Gangubai Kathiawadi EXCLUSIVE: Shantanu Maheshwari reveals about his 1st meeting with SLB, praises Alia Bhatt

Shantanu Maheshwari is paired opposite Alia Bhat in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

Updated on Feb 24, 2022 12:17 PM IST  |  104.5K
Gangubai Kathiawadi EXCLUSIVE: Shantanu Maheshwari reveals about his 1st meeting with SLB, praises Alia Bhatt
Gangubai Kathiawadi EXCLUSIVE: Shantanu Maheshwari reveals about his 1st meeting with SLB, praises Alia Bhatt

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Alia Bhatt starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi is around the corner, and in an exclusive conversation with Pinkvilla, actor Shantanu Maheshwari talks about bagging the project, being paired opposite Alia, and collaborating with SLB. He informs that he had got a call from casting director Shruti Mahajan to audition for this upcoming biographical drama. “I went through that whole audition process and it was super fun,” says Shantanu. 

He further adds, “Though I never thought that I would get selected (laughs). I mean you just dont think like (that), it’s best to think the worst. Just keep giving your best in the auditions, that is what was my thought process. But I got shortlisted for another round of audition, then got selected for a look test, and that’s how it all happened.” 

Does he remember his first meeting with Sanjay Leela Bhansali? “I absolutely do. I was actually not going to meet him, because I was caught up with another project of mine and the time was clashing. It was at the last minute that I got a call (informing) that ‘sir wants to meet you’. So I was on the verge of saying no, that I won't be able to make it. But my friends were like, ‘are you mad?’, they forced me, ‘make sure you take out time from your schedule and go and meet him. Tell them you have two hours of opening and then you can just meet and come back’. That’s what I did, and I am so happy that my friends forced me to do something like that because that was the best thing.”

Shantanu also shares, “I got to sit in front of him, he was observing me and we had a small chat session, which I don’t remember what kind of discussion we had if you ask, but it was like a general one. I was so much in the moment trying to absorb everything, in a trance state - is this actually happening? I am sitting right in front of him.” 

Before collaborating on Gangubai Kathiawadi, Alia and Shantanu had met once earlier. “I had met her while I was doing Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. She was there as a guest judge, and we had this post performance moment where she asked me to teach her one of the performance steps. That was the only interaction I had with her, after that I never had a chance to see her. So this was the first time we are working together,” Shantanu states. 

The actor says that he and Alia got along well. “It was super fun to work with her. She gives you your space in terms of the performance aspect of it, and she makes sure that the co-actors are comfortable,” he adds. 

Shantanu also opens up on his prep for the part. “I can’t talk much about my character as such, but when it comes to preparing, my approach is to get your character’s thought process and once you get that right, I feel things become very smooth and easy. You can put the character in different scenarios but the thought process will always remain the same, right? So that is what I try to achieve, and once I did that, it was very smooth for me,” he concludes.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Santanu Hazarika opens up on moving in with girlfriend Shruti Haasan, marriage & his art exhibition

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