Remember Laddoo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham? Well, Kavish Majmudar, the actor who played the young Rohan Raichand is now in Dubai! Kavish’s journey into Bollywood had an interesting start, starring in the much-loved classic opposite superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. 16 years later, the actor has found a home in Dubai. Kavish plays the role of Nashook, the manipulative jester in Dubai’s resident Bollywood musical, Jaan-E-Jigar, at Bollywood Parks. He will be reprising his role as Nashook for the Masala! Awards 2017 His enthusiasm and energy for his work shines through as he reminisces his experience working in K3G and speaks about how he made his way to a musical in Dubai, and a whether a return to the big screen is in the works or not…
How did you land your first role as Laddoo in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G)?
Before K3G, I played the main role in a show at one of the theatre hotspots in Mumbai, called Prithvi Theatre. A coordinator from K3G saw the show and contacted me, asking whether I would be interested in auditioning for Laddoo’s role because they were looking for someone like me. And it so happened that one day after school, I dropped in for an audition, and the people there thought I nailed the first round. Then I auditioned for the legend himself, Mr. Karan Johar. Three months later, I landed the role. It was like a dream.
How was your first day of shooting?
I was in my green room, waiting for my first shot to be ready. I had my makeup on, when my dad came running to me and said, ‘Kavish, you know what? The first shot is with Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Jaya Bachchan! Aren’t you excited?’ And my reaction was, ‘I am excited but don’t make me so nervous!’ But when I was on set, everyone made me feel really comfortable. From the word ‘go’, it was a very smooth ride.
What was your most favourite memory of working on K3G?
We were shooting at a palace in London as I had a few scenes over there, like the famous bench scene, which is done in every Dharma Productions film. I remember the exterior part of the palace had a huge canteen. The best part was that at one o’clock, the entire cast and crew – Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, all the actors and me – were in one place, and we were served hot biryani. We all ate food together and talked to each other about their life experiences. It was a very interesting time for me.
Are you still in touch with Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan or anyone else?
I’ve not come across anyone of them, but I have met Karan Johar once or twice, and he’s been very warm and nice.
We saw you on-screen after twelve years in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein and Main Tera Hero. What was the reason for such a long break?
After K3G, I wanted to finish my schooling, so I focused more on my studies. But I continued doing theatre and some behind the camera work as well.
I then began auditioning again. I bumped into an assistant director of Gori Tere Pyaar Mein at a friend’s wedding, who suggested I meet the director, Punit Malhotra. That’s how I landed the role. And for Dharma Productions, I would anything as an actor. With Main Tera Hero, a friend of mine was reading on the film as well. Through him, I met the director, auditioned for the role, and got the part!
You are currently part of the musical Jaane-E-Jigar at Bollywood Parks. How did you come to be in a Bollywood musical in Dubai?
I always wanted to get back to theatre in some way or the other. I learnt that there was this project happening and that auditions were being held nearby. I thought it had a lot of potential and offered security that I wanted in those days as an actor. For auditions, I was required to make a monologue and a small dance piece. The best part was that both the director and choreographer were very happy with my audition. The next night, I received the call from production that I was on.
You play the character of Nashook, the jester. Tell us more about your role in the musical.
Nashook is the manipulative jester and is in the awe of the villain, Marjaani. He would do anything for her. He’s evil but in a humorous way. My influences were from Jim Carrey’s The Mask, like the dialogue, ‘Somebody stop me!’ He’s the character that later you’ll find out was behind the plotting and planning, but tries to fix things in the end. Nashook is a very well-written character and as an actor, I have a lot of freedom. I improvise and change from time to time because even my audience changes.
How different is working in a musical as opposed to a film?
In a musical, the more you feel that you are doing the same thing over and over, the more new things you discover as an actor. The best part is that every week, I get a new audience. I’ve been doing this for nearly a year and a half, but I still have nervous energy before going on stage. And when people appreciate and applaud you, there is nothing better than that.
Can we expect to see you on the big screen again?
Definitely. But I want to work in the most flexible manner. Hopefully, if there is an opportunity, I can shoot for them for a few days and then come back here and work. I would like to be in that space, rather than leaving one or the other. I want to be everywhere, I’m a young guy!
How is the audience’s response to the musical?
It’s been great. The audience is quite awed by the story and characterization in the musical. By the time the curtain call happens, the audience is also dancing along to the title track. There was one time when an audience member ran onto the stage to shake hands with. At the end, the audience is clapping and we get a standing ovation!