16th March, Mumbai: Ashrit Wadhwa was always intrigued by the works of the camera. Though his father Manish Wadhwa is a famous actor, he never wanted to face the camera and decided to pursue direction. Till now he directed the film —Kaunn Con Haii, short films— Dhun, Bojh, Gulab Jamun, Threesome, Dharam Karam. His latest web series Kode Lag Gaye Ji (KLGJ) is streaming on MX Player that happened during the lockdown.
“I was watching a lot of content and had this idea. And, I called my producer and he said he was also looking to do something and overnight we were doing the pre-production for this project. It just happened out of nowhere. It’s a very simple, relatable story shot in a good location and with good actors. Like every 22-23-year-old couple our main characters too want to run away as their parents don’t support their relationship. It’s super fun to watch how things happen here,” he adds.
This is the first time Ashrit has worked with Samridh Bawa in KLGJ. “He is a professional and upright person. When I first met him I was like pata nahi kaisa rahega kaam karna. Also, ours was a low budget production. We were like, how will he be? Will he cooperate? But within 24 hours he became one of us. He was hanging out with us, and became family. He is humble and has become one of my closest friends,” he says.
While finalising Samridh for the role, Ashrit and team did think about roping in someone with good social media presence. The reason being, makers always want their projects to work. Ashrit is co-producer of this series.
“But as a director I always wanted to work with good actors. We also almost finalised someone who was not a good actor but had a great social media presence. But then Samridh was finalised for his acting skill, and he has a decent social media presence too,” he adds.
Ask if his father’s profession ever interested him and he says. “I always wanted to direct. I enjoy telling stories. Apart from my Bachelors degree in filmmaking, what helped me the most is practical experiences,” he shares.
Ashrit is inspired by a lot of directors, the list is never ending. “But there are a lot of projects that inspire me, and each of them has something unique in it that comes from the director. For example, Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad, Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara etc. These all are different genres that have helped me learn. Of course these are the legends and no one can touch that,” he adds.
In his five-year stint in showbiz, Ashrit says that the social media trend is new. “When I started, talent was considered while casting, unless you’re going for A-listers. Now they are more concerned about the follower count on social media. At times it makes me sad that there are many who are not good actors but getting good roles for that, same happens for creators,” he says.
The OTT boom is here to stay. Agreeing, he adds, “But the content heads of OTTs should get selective. When Netflix, Hotstar started, looking at its content, we used to go ‘wow’. But now everyone is making the same things, it’s easily accessible and there’s no uniqueness. I get the point that actors want to do OTT and not TV but then content is content. And, both kinds of contents have their own space.”
Ashrit would love to explore all mediums, be it TV, film or OTT. “But definitely I want to direct a film next. I have been working on the story,” he ends.