Amidst controversies, Salman Khan Films’ LoveYatri is all set to release on October 5. Actors Aayush Sharma and Warina Hussain are ready to step into Bollywood with their sweet love story based in Gujarat and London. Along with the actors, director Abhiraj Minawala is also making his debut. To share their interesting journey, Aayush and Warina visited Sakal Times office recently. Excerpts:
What attracted you to this project — the Navratri backdrop, the love story or Salman Khan Films banner?
Aayush: What attracted me to this project is that this film was high on culture, emotion, comedy and romance. Being such a rich film, it’s still very simple and sweet and I had a smile on my face when I went through the narration. I am from the North, so, for me, Gujarat and Garba are very new. Through this film, I discovered the beautiful culture and I want more people to know about it. This film has the charm of the ’90s. You can watch it with your family members, your kids and have a great time.
Warina: The banner definitely attracted me. Why would somebody say ‘no’ to SKF? But the selection process was difficult, it was like an examination at different levels. I went through a couple of auditions after which I was selected. I was signed for the movie even before I could go through the narration.
What did you enjoy the most while doing the movie?
Warina: I enjoyed everything about this movie. Every day I learnt something new and I will cherish the experience all my life. I really miss my training period now. When I was training, I had a very hectic schedule; it was more like a military camp. But now I miss it.
Aayush: For me, from being an assistant director to becoming an actor was a big jump. But I enjoyed the entire experience including the perks. I had a lot of fun and there was too much entertainment. The madness of living an actor’s life is what I enjoyed the most, now I miss it.
The film’s title has been changed once but rumours are rife that it will be changed again. What would do you have to say about that? Do you think the title could offend a community?
Aayush: In my opinion, I believe every human being can process things in their own capacity. It was a fictional title which was given to the movie earlier. It never had any meaning. How can a fictional thing be offensive? For us, the title purely focused on the celebration of love. There is no bigger emotion in life than love. And love can be for anyone — family, kids, parents, etc. I did not want to be engulfed in controversies for my first film, so we thought of changing the title. I did not want to hurt people’s sentiments and disappoint them. As far as the rumour about changing the title is concerned, I don’t think it is going to change any more.
Since Salman is guiding and helping you with the film, do you feel people will not appreciate your hard work?
Aayush: My film has got recognition because of Salman being involved in the project. Honestly, a lot of films which have debutants don’t do well at the box office. Our film too has new faces and a new director as well, so Salman’s presence has given us a boost. He has a huge amount of experience in the industry, so he can help us with what’s wrong and right for the movie. That said, I was known as Salman’s brother-in-law before, but since my song Chogada released, now people call me the ‘Chogada boy’. I believe nothing is bigger than talent, if somebody likes your work, they will appreciate it.
You are married. Do you think it can affect your career? Will you avoid doing certain kind of films/ scenes?
Aayush: I don’t think being married will be an issue at all. I am someone who always sees the brighter side of things. People can always say that married men don’t work at the box office; I think it’s completely wrong. Well, Shah Rukh Khan was married before he started doing films, so was Aamir Khan. It is only Salman Khan who isn’t married. It all comes down to what you do on screen, doesn’t matter if you are married or not. I prefer doing films which the audience can watch with their family.
Warina, how was your experience of working in India? Do you like the country?
Warina: Well, India is home for me. I have been staying here for a long time. I am as desi as any other Indian. People here are really warm and I love the food as well.
The way Salman introduced you on Twitter was very interesting. How did this opportunity come to you?
Warina: It was a very interesting process. I was auditioning for a couple of movies, and then I came across the audition for LoveYatri. So to be able to audition for the film, I had to send my video to an app called Being in Touch. Initially, I thought this was a ridiculous concept, but I still sent it. After a month, I got a call for the audition. So I went, and the next thing I knew was that I was selected.