'I've never used my father's name to get anything'
When Sadiyaan, directed by Raj Kanwar, releases this Friday, audiences will get their first look at Luv Sinha, son of actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha.
Along with known names like Rishi Kapoor, Rekha and Hema Malini, the film also features newcomer Ferena Wazeir.
Though his first film hasn't released yet, Luv who turns 27 in June is already earning a reputation in B-town as a good-looking bad boy. Here, he talks to Patcy N about being Shatrughan Sinha's son and his long-awaited and much-delayed debut film Sadiyaan.
What did you do before getting into films?
I studied in Kodaikanal International School (Tamil Nadu), and then went to Webster University (Missouri, USA), where I studied Media communication because it would help me to think creatively.
I was always interested in acting, as it challenges me as an individual. Plus, I understand other aspects of film making as well. I have done an acting course taught by Roshan Taneja [Indian acting coach], and also from Vidur Chaturvedi.
I got admission at the Film and Television Institute of India, but I decided to drop out. Even before I signed Sadiyaan I was getting film offers, but I did not take them because I was waiting for a good script.
Image: Luv Sinha
'Like everyone else, I had to give a screen test and a small audition'
Did you have to struggle a lot before getting this first break or was it easy because of your parents?
If my parents would help me get movies, I would have had 10 more in hand right now!
I got my first film because I was looking for work and had met with a few directors already. Even as a kid, I was very focused and knew what I wanted. I did not assist any one; instead I directly started looking for work.
Raj Kanwar had spotted me somewhere but was not aware who I was. In the meantime, I came to know that he was looking for a fresh face, so I went and met him. By then he knew who I was, so he narrated the script for me.
Later, Rajji came home and gave a joint narration. Like everyone else, I had to give a screen test and a small audition. So it was not like I walked in and everything was already in place.
Image: Luv Sinha
'The only time I used my father's name was when a guy threatened me'
Why did you start your career so late?
I started with this film when I was 24, but it got delayed because my director fell ill during the post-production.
How is it to be a star kid? Did you accompany your father on the sets during his days?
I did accompany him on sets and that was the only advantage I had of being a star kid, not the other so-called advantages people think.
It was an amazing experience going on sets with dad, and I am very fortunate. I got to learn so much from those visits. In those days, on the sets there were no monitors, so everything was what the actor and director saw through their eyes. The action and song sequences were particularly difficult, yet they managed it all so well.
I also remember going on the sets and spending good time with his co-stars. They would take care of me, especially Dharamji [Dharmemdra]. He was very nice to me.
Also, as a kid, I've never used my father's name to get anything. I respect him and so prefer not to use it. The only time I did was when a guy threatened me.
Image: Luv Sinha
'Hema aunty and Rekhaji are beautiful'
What made you sign Sadiyaan? Tell us something about the film and your role?
I said yes to Sadiyaan because of the cast and the story. When I heard the script, I connected to it emotionally. Even now, after seeing the movie, there are a few moments in the film that still affect me.
Sadiyaan is a family drama set in the 70's. It is about parents-son relationship, and how all of their lives change when the child knows certain realities about himself, and how he copes with them. I play Rishi Kapoor and Rekha's son Ishaan Singh.
Ishaan is very different from how I am in real life. He is a very simple, sweet, ordinary-looking person.
Tell us about working with Hema Malini and Rekha?
They are beautiful. It's unfortunate I was born a bit late [laughs].
I am very grateful to Hema aunty. She is family. Rekhaji was so kind to me on the sets. When I had free time I would sit with her and she would give me acting tips. Also, I will never forget working with Rishiji. They were all kind to me.
How was it working with Raj Kanwar?
Rajji is a very good story-teller. He has a very good ear for music. He knows his job very well and knows how to work quickly. His track record is very good, and has given us some brilliant films.
Which was your favourite scene?
The climax. It's a really intense scene, where Rishiji comes to me and asks whether I would like to speak to my mother. That scene did not require any retakes, though it was very difficult.
Image: A scene from Sadiyaan
'I want to do a film like Khudgarz, my father was amazing in that'
Which was your toughest scene?
I have been saying this very frankly. I am a newcomer and when you are working on an outside production, the pressure on you automatically increases. There were some difficulties, especially because I was working with senior actors -- they are so good in their work and I am new.
So I would say the initial few scenes were a little tough, as I was getting into the groove. Thankfully, shooting on the first day wasn't so difficult, because I was doing a silent shot.
Where was the film shot?
We shot in Kashmir, Punjab and ND studio at Karjat.
What types of roles do you want to do? Do you want to be known as a chocolate hero or an action man?
I think I can manage both. Let's see what I get. I want to do a film like Khudgarz, my father was amazing in that. I would like to do a film like Swades and Lagaan, because I like films that can connect with people.
What are your forthcoming films?
I have not signed anything yet, but I am reading a few scripts. At some point we will start our home production and make films.
Where do you see yourself 15 years from now? What are your futures plans?
I would want to be among the best actors of my generation. But being the best is not in your control, as two people decide this -- the director and the audience.
Image: A scene from Sadiyaan