‘There’s pre-conceived notion about Ashutosh’s intense acting prowess’

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) First time director Sameer Chand says there is a pre-conceived notion about actor Ashutosh Rana’s “intense acting prowess”.

Ashutosh, an alumnus of the National School of Drama, has impressed many with his impactful roles in films like “Dushman” and “Sangharsh”.

So when Chand, who has produced films such as “Mr Ya Miss” and “Hum Tum Shabana”, thought of making “Test Drive”, he had the actor in mind.

“When I wrote this script, I only had Ashutosh Rana in mind. Initially, he was not sure (about accepting the role) but after hearing me out, he agreed. It was a challenge to keep his character, so we underplayed his emotions as there is a pre-conceived notion about his intense acting prowess,” Chand told IANS.

“The audition sequence he did for this short film is great. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen in a short film. I also tried to remove a lot of his style and behaviour in this film,” he added.

The short, presented by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, is a story of a struggling actor who believes in himself.

What made him make his directorial debut with a film on the digital platform?

“Making films on the digital platform is a lot of fun as you can openly say the story you want to without any restrictions,” he said.

There were challenges too.

“It was shot in seven locations in three days. It was definitely not easy but the budget could only support those many days. Sometimes to shoot with such restraints is also fun. I had written the film, so it was a great advantage as I was very clear about what I wanted.

“All I did was a detailed pre-production with my team and did five to six readings with all my actors which helped us during shooting,” he said.

Talking about other actors of the film, he said: “I saw Salim Zaidi in the comedy show ‘Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain’ and I wanted him to be this loudmouth executive producer on the film’s set.”

The film also stars actor Pankaj Kalra.

“He plays a producer. He has done such roles in many feature films but out here, you will love to hate him,” said the director.

On his upcoming projects, Chand said: “I’ve fallen in love with writing. I have written a few scripts.”

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