For Daanish Gandhi, things have been a little different than that of a star kid. Nephew of actor Ajay Devgn, and grand son of Veeru Devgan, Daanish had a very humble introduction into the Hindi film industry. We caught up with the new kid in the block to know more about his filmy background, how it all began, and more.Excerpts:
As a kid, you used to visit film sets with your grandfather, Veeru Devgan. Tell us some interesting memories you shared with him ?
I’ve been on set multiple times since I was a child, but the first time it intrigued me was when I was around four years old seeing the chaos on set, the light men running around, the director shouting ‘action’ and the actors performing really made me feel like I’m home even though I was only four years old. I felt something I can’t explain in words, and that stuck with me. An interesting memory with my grandfather would be when I was a child he was carrying me and teaching me how the film cameras worked back in the day. And I was really fascinated by the huge lens and structure of the camera with all the buttons it had. And that’s always stayed with me after which, every time I glance at a camera on sets today, I remember this moment I shared with him.
Who was your biggest support during your early days?
My biggest support has to be none other than Ajay Devgn. He has pushed me to do things I didn’t think I was capable of. All the knowledge he passed down to me and all the lectures and motivation he gave me will never be forgotten. Other than being a fantastic actor, he’s a brilliant technician as well. His love for cinema and 30 years of experience has lead him to master camera angles, screenplay, story telling, VFX and even the editing part of the process of filmmaking and I’m grateful to have a teacher like him.
Are you thinking of going to debut as a director in movies anytime soon ?
To be honest, I’m 23 and I don’t want to have a directorial debut until I’m 27. I surely will debut once I’m ready with a good script that fits my vision for story telling. But for now, I want to focus on what I’m doing on set with all the upcoming films we have in the pipeline and learn and grow as a filmmaker.
Being from a filmy background , did you face any challenges to reach where you are today?
My journey started as an intern on set. I used to bring water and chairs for people and I also maintained the continuity sheet of the film on set and then I grew and learnt the art of cinema, the way every individual does, and I’m glad I did that as I learnt the basic form of cinema. The background I come from, gave me was immense knowledge of the history of cinema and a few technical perks on set and I still have a long way to go because every time I step into a set I leave with a new skill or lesson learnt.
Do you think nepotism is a justified debate?
I don’t think so. You can’t choose where you’re born and everyone has their own journey. For example, I started as an intern. But someone else may start directly start at a higher level and it’s nothing to judge or talk about plus I strongly believe that even if someone gets a good launch pad, the reason they do well or stay and sustain is because of the audience. The audience is the king/queen. If they love someone’s work they want to see them again and again. You’ll never see someone who’s not good at their job. Whether they are someone’s son or daughter or not, talent speaks for itself.
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