Making a dream debut with a legend like Majid Majidi is a privilege no Indian actor can boast of other than newbie Ishaan Khatter. He will be seen essaying the male protagonist of Beyond The Clouds alongside Malavika Mohannan who makes her Hindi debut with this film.
Basis the trailer and from source based chatter, it is believed that the character Ishaan plays – Amir is your regular boy from Dharavi who has his focus on surviving and doing whatever it takes to get by. As part of his prep and to familiarize himself to that way of life and to understand that mindset, Ishaan ended up spending a lot of time with the boys who really hailed from Dharavi and who were cast to be part of the film.
Interestingly a lot of the actors in the film were cast from Dharavi including a boy named Akash, who plays Ishaan’s best friend in the film. The two spent alot of time together bonding over everything especially their special musical talents.
Says an insider source, “Knowing the major undertaking he had, to deliver to Mr Majidi’s vision, Ishaan took every bit of his pre-shoot process very seriously. Owing to his character brief, Ishaan met with a few boys from Dharavi who were cast in the film. He started spending a lot of time with them to understand their world, their ways, their mannerisms, their ideology and most importantly what drives their actions so as to incorporate it in his performance. Ishaan and Akash would be seen hanging out all the time before the film and also when the shoot started, post pack up. During the preparatory stage, Ishaan realized that Akash was a rapper. Fascinated and impressed by his talent, Ishaan learnt few stanzas from his rap song and the boys often jammed together on the sets with Akash rapping and Ishaan beatboxing – one of his many talents. Besides that, Ishaan and Akash have, over the course of time, become really good friends and still hang together and jam with all their friends whenever they find time.”
Talking about his co -star Akash, Ishaan says, “During early casting stages I met with Sense (Akash) and the boys (Rahul, Naveen and Paul) who are exceptionally talented rappers from Dharavi. I was already finalised for the part and we’d met for their final audition. Majidi sir wanted to group them with me and shoot a test to see if we looked believable as friends, especially since he was considering Sense for a significant part. He essentially just asked us to start jamming together and they began rapping one by one while I grooved and beatboxed with them. During preparatory stages we became pals and they showed me around Dharavi like an insider. This period really helped me build a history for Amir (my character). My equation with the boys was easy and organic because we’re likeminded and connect through music and dance. Shooting for the film together made us even tighter as friends and we still meet and jam every now and then.”
Produced by Zee Studios and Namah Pictures, Beyond The Clouds is set to release in India and worldwide on April 20, 2018.