While dozens of Valentine bouquets were arriving at his doorstep in India, Amit Sadh was hundreds of miles away. The roguishly charming actor was in Dubai, ensconced in a five-star hotel room – not with some gorgeous, long-limbed beauty but with Sushant Singh Rajput and Raj Kumar Yadav – his Kai Po Che co-stars and partners in bromance.
“You have to keep it real,” Sadh said, laughing and trying to free himself from the headlock Yadav had him in.
“When the camera is rolling, you’re saying lines that someone else came up with. You can’t let that change who you are off camera. Off camera is your chance to write your own lines.”
A very strong male camaraderie – an underlying constant in all of Chetan Bhagat’s books – is palpable in these three actors, who play the main protagonists in Kai Po Che, a film based on Bhagat’s book The 3 Mistakes of My Life.
“We had this amazing chemistry the minute we met,” said Yadav. “There was no doubt that we were Ishaan, Omi and Govind.”
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, the film is about three friends from Ahmedabad, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat, who start a business together to prove their worth, embarking on a tumultuous journey as they set about turning their dreams into reality.
Yadav plays Govind Patel, the sensible friend, a rational and pragmatic person who thinks hard before he acts. Yadav started as a theatre actor, making his Bollywood debut with Dibakar Banerjee’s Love, Sex aur Dhokha in 2010, followed by appearances in several critically -acclaimed films: Shaitan in 2011, and Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2 and Talaash in 2012.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with directors such as Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Reema Kagti and Abhishek Kapoor so early in my career,” said Yadav.
“When I was approached to play Govind in Kai Po Che, it was very obvious to me that though I had nothing in common with the character, it was a very interesting one.”
Amit Sadh plays Omi (Omkar Shatri) – a troubled individual whose lack of confidence is offset by a desire to prove himself. Though he might be a new face on the big screen, TV audiences know Sadh as Adi from Neena Gupta’s TV soap Kyun Hota Hai Pyarr. His first film, Ram Gopal Varma’s Phoonk 2, was followed by Maximum; both films were released last year.
“Kai Po Che was good news from the start,” said Sadh. “When I met Sushant and Raj for the first time at the screen test, which we did together, there was no question of me not being Omi.”
The final piece of the puzzle is Sushant Singh Rajput, who plays Ishaan Bhatt, the leader of this trio. Despite his alpha-male status, the character has a streak of naïveté and is a bit of a Good Samaritan, always yearning to help others.
Rajput started his career in entertainment as a dancer. He also dabbled in theatre, training with Barry John and then performing as part of Nadira Babbar’s famous theatre group Ekjute.
He crossed over to TV in 2008 with the Star Plus soap Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil, but his big break came a year later when he played Manav Deshmukh in Pavitra Rishta – a role in a popular soap that he is most recognised most for. He parted ways with the show in November 2011 to concentrate on a career in films.
“It’s very difficult to leave something at the height of its success – like I did with Pavitra Rishta,” explains Rajput.
“I took the plunge because I thought it would be a good move for me as an actor. I was right. Kai Po Che is an excellent film. I am sure the audience will appreciate all the hard work that went into it.”
Kai Po Che premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival this month, and will be out on Thursday in the UAE