Shashank Khaitan has delivered two back-to-back hits with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which starred Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. The filmmaker's next Dhadak is the Hindi remake of the Marathi film, Sairat (2017) and stars newcomers Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter.
On how it was working with Janhvi and Ishaan, the director shared with DNA, "This was to be Ishaan’s debut film, too, but he got a unique opportunity to collaborate with Majid Majidi and we were more than happy to let him do so. Working with Janhvi and him has been a lovely experience. Yes, this is the first time I am directing debutantes. When I worked with Varun and Alia, they were one film old and had learnt a lot from Karan Johar, but they were still new and young. Now, I am much older than when I first met Varun and have a fatherly instinct towards Janhvi and Ishaan. I have a certain process with which I direct my actors, so I took them over that journey as well."
Tragedy struck the Kapoor family when Janhvi's mother and veteran actress Sridevi passed away due to accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub. When Shashank was asked about the atmosphere on the sets of Dhadak once Janhvi resumed shooting post her mother's demise, the filmmaker narrated to DNA, "Janhvi resumed 13-14 days after her mother’s demise. It was difficult, but half the job was done by her family, who were extremely strong. They really took care of her. Janhvi herself is a brave girl. Her first day on the set was normal. We didn’t make any conscious effort to sympathise with her or try to be stricter or more disciplined. We just let the day go as it progressed. We wanted to get back to work as we had our commitment to our producer. Even Janhvi didn’t want to take a longer break because an empty mind is something which will trouble you more. It worked out well for her as she had a film to go and work on it."