Shantanu Maheshwari is touted to be the most loved celebrity on Indian television, this young lad is a dancer, choreographer and host. He made his debut with the show Dil Dosti Dance and made a mark in the heart and minds of the audience. Post which the talented actor and dancer went on to become the winner of Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 8.
Maheshwari is also known for his roles in various fictional shows like Girls on Top on MTV India, and reality shows including Nach Baliye 9 on Star Plus, hosting India's Best Dramebaaz amongst others. He has also made his web debut in Alt Balaji's Medically Yours. with a lot of shows retelecasting on TV and on the web, Shantanu's debut show Dil Dosti Dance 3 has also made a digital comeback
In conversation with International BusinessTimes, India Shantanu Maheshwari spoke at length about his D3 making a comeback, his tryst with facing the camera with his mom back then and how his first show changed the game for him.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Did you expect D3 to make a comeback like this?
No, I definitely didn't expect D3 to make a comeback like this, because I didn't expect a lockdown of this sort to ever happen in the first place! But I am glad that the show has made a come back in its own way because it is a show that is super close to my heart, and all the people that were involved in it also have a special place in their heart for D3! And we are all happy with the fact that we can entertain people with this D3 igtv skits, in some way or the other during these challenging times.
How was it to shoot for D3 back then?
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It was the best experience of shooting D3 back then! Loved that whole routine of acting in the morning and dancing in the night, and going over the process in repeat. I started my career with D3 at a very young age and there was so much to learn from the show! The exposure I got to so many things that I loved doing, was absolutely amazing! So overall it has been the best experience of my life till date!
How do you manage housework and work from home?
Fortunately, I live with my family so the work is always divided, so we get our individual me time as well! Hence I don't have to really stress about housework or the work from home situation. We preplan our days in advance and inform each other if there is something important coming up, so everybody's personal schedules can be in place.
Any BTS or fun memories from Dil Dosti Dance days?
There was this Urvashi dance sequence for the boys only, and the choreography was being done by Sumit and Vinod sir, so the first time their assistants taught it to us, hum log woh choreography dekh ke hil gaye! As we just didn't understand the beat and style they were picking onto, as it was very different and new for our bodies to adapt to. After which we were all literally in panic mode!
So it was only when Sumit sir himself came and bifurcated the entire dance to us was when humare jaan mein jaan aa gayi and we were all able to catch up! But it was so much fun because the next day we were all enjoying the dance, and what was eventually funny about the whole situation was that for the first time all of us boys were so rattled by that particular dance sequence!
How have you grown as an actor from a dancer from Dil Dosti Dance days?
I had been dancing since a while anyway, but to work together with so many others taught me so much! Everybody had their own styles of dancing and there was so much to pick up from all of them! Mace and I were even lucky enough to get behind the camera for a couple of shots during the show, and even try our hand at working on the choreography for particular dance sequences.
Acting-wise, that was my very first project where I had to act, so all the mistakes and learnings that we acquired through it all was from D3! It also made me fall in love with acting and the whole beauty of the craft! Helped me realise it to be my passion!
Have you been in touch with your co-actors from D3 days?
We were always close to each other because we started our journey together as actors in this industry, so we were pretty thick, to be honest. Over the years too, our equation with each other has just grown stronger, and that was the binding force of the show!
Your mother also made a special appearance in one of the episodes. How was it sharing screen space with her?
My mom loves dancing and acting but never really got a chance to explore this because of family. So when the opportunity came about for her to play this cameo role in the D3 igtv series, I insisted that she do it, and initially, she was a bit hesitant, but then she sweetly agreed to play the part. It was super fun to direct her at times, and that cute mujhse nahi ho raha hai and her nervousness was just so nice to watch! Though she dil se played her role, and it was good fun to film the entire scene with her!
Are there any chances of this cult show coming back with next season on TV?
That is something that I can't really comment on to be honest, as I don't have much authority to do that. This is a property that belongs to the channel, so they should be asked this question, not us!
One word for D3 fans?
They are all amazing, and without their love and support, this show wouldn't have been where it is today! They have always supported me throughout my journey and that has given me a lot of strength! So a big thank you to them all for the kind of faith, commitment and love they have showered upon us all till date!