Debutant Anmol Thakeria Dhillon shares his experience of meeting Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the first time

Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, son of actor Poonam Dhillon, is Bollywood bound. He is gearing up for the release of his debut film, titled Tuesdays and Fridays, produced by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The love story, which is directed by Taranveer Singh, sees Anmol pair up with former Miss India and debutante actress Jhataleka Malhotra. In an interview with the Cinema Journal, Anmol, who grew up watching the filmmaker’s movies, says his mother had no inkling that he was auditioning for a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Excerpts from the interview:

How did you manage to bag a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film?

I had never met Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but have grown up watching his films. My talent management company sent our [Jhataleka Malhotra] details to Bhansali sir’s production house. It took some time. Jhataleka and I auditioned on the same day along with many other people.

What was your first meeting with Sanjay Leela Bhansali like?

I would give him credit for making me feel comfortable when we first met. When I entered the room, he was standing near the door wearing kurta and pyjama, with his cute little dog next to him. After a few introductory questions, he asked me for my pictures that I showed him on my phone. On seeing those, he said, ‘I like your personality, you are handsome. You must send me your audition tape.’ I sent him my audition tape, and after three months I was shortlisted.

Tuesdays & Fridays is a romantic film. Are you worried you might get typecast as a romantic hero?

To be honest, I like romantic genre, and I’m not going to shy away from doing romantic films... Mujhe aise genre se launch hona hai, and I am happy about it. I have faith in my craft and I can give my best to different characters as well.

You both are newcomers. How was your camaraderie on the set?

Our journey started together. Jhataleka got a call and I too was called at the same time... it was like ‘saath saath’. It can be called a joint venture. We shared a great camaraderie while shooting. Our director, Taranveer Singh, made us rehearse the scenes so everything went quite smoothly.

So, no controversies or jinxed scenes?

There were no controversies at all. But, yes, there was a little problem with one scene which had to be shot again in the night. I was driving, had to go back again, mouth a dialogue... that took a little time. But it can’t be called a jinxed scene.

How much help did your mom extend to you for your debut film?

I did not tell her about the audition with Mr Bhansali, she had no idea. When things were finalised I broke the news to her and she was very surprised. It was all done professionally. Mom is extremely happy as I am making a debut with such a big banner. We are waiting for the release of the film, which is February 19.

Poonam Dhillon brought in the concept of vanity vans in Bollywood. As an actor, what are your thoughts on that?

I really respect this deed of hers. She is a dynamic individual. Apart from being an actor, she has an unbelievable mind. For actors shooting in remote areas it was difficult to find proper changing rooms. At that time, vanity van was quite a hit in the West. She brought the concept here. Today, almost all artistes have one... they even conduct meetings in their vanity vans.

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