With his family's rich film pedigree, Shiv Darshan, son of acclaimed producer/director Suneel Darshan, has a lot to live up to. In a new film - Karle Pyaar Karle, released in cinemas this Friday, directed by Rajesh Pandey and produced by Suneel Darshan, Shiv makes his debut, playing the lead role no less.
When I spoke with him, expecting a man consumed with nerves and anxiety, Shiv was brimming with a content confidence "Although I'm slightly nervous, I feel I did my best, I just hope audiences enjoy it" As producer, his father was there to give a guiding hand, but didn't interfere - "He never dictated, he just gave constructive advice and let me find my own way with the script etc. He's always been a great mentor." Rehearsing the role and becoming the character was a particularly enlightening experience for Shiv "It was great, because it gave me a chance to put all my training and knowledge into action" he said "like any role, becoming the character of Kabir required a lot of concentration, it was great that I had a good relationship with my co-star Hasleen Kaur, we definitely learnt a lot from each other."
Since the press and public heard the news that Suneel Darshan would launch his 26-year-old son into the Bollywood spotlight, there's been much talk about Shiv living up to expectations, but as he said "My father told me to be patient, not to rush into things, that's why I've waited this long. I've done my training and I now felt ready to pursue a career in acting."
Yes, it's a big Bollywood extravaganza, filled with action, suspense and melodrama. However, like every film Suneel Darshan is involved with, there are some deeply profound questions explored. The exploration and consequences of young love are given particular attention. Loss and the pit falls of entering adulthood are two more aspects that Karle Pyaar Karle seeks to understand. Critics have already praised Shiv and Hasleen for their on-screen chemistry and dynamic portrayals of their characters.
Drama is something Bollywood is renowned for, and it requires actors to truly understand the complexities of drama. It's something that Shiv and Hasleen do, although both having differing methods of training, the two were able to grasp the intense methods required.
Hasleen Kaur rose to fame when she was crowned Miss India Earth in 2011, she'd previously caught the attention of Bollywood producers starring briefly in Imtiaz Ali's 2009 film Love Aaj Kal, with Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, yet it's Karle Pyaar Karle that is set to launch her into global stardom.
Again, expecting to talk to someone wrapped with anxiety, Hasleen was pretty chilled, for her it was more about hoping the audiences will enjoy the film and enthusing about her experiences working on it - "I felt the whole experience was a great learning curb, becoming Preet was really intense, because I wanted to really understand her, her personality, thoughts, dreams etc."
Shiv and Hasleen make a great screen couple, and both of them are highly confident actors. It's likely Karle Pyaar Karle will be the first big Bollywood blockbuster of the year.
Karle Pyar Karle opens in cinemas worldwide on 17th January 2014, presented by Shree Krishna International and distributed by B4U.