Shantanu Maheshwari, who turns 31 on March 7 is on cloud nine and this birthday ought to be super special for him. His Bollywood debut, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi has been receiving good reviews and set the cash registers ringing as well.
“The reactions have been all positive. People are appreciating my work and chemistry with Alia (Bhatt). I am just very happy,” gushes Maheshwari.
The actor admits that keeping his debut a secret was quite tough, given the pandemic delayed everything.
“[Not disclosing things for] three years is not a joke. Covid-19 stalled the release and it became difficult for me hide it. At one point, I wanted to announce to the world, ‘I am going to be a part of it’. But it had it’s own perks, in terms of not announcing to the world — it came as a shock to people,” reveals Maheshwari, who has been a part of shows such as Dil Dostii Dance and Girls On Top.
He didn’t even tell his family what his role was all about. “They were a bit curious and wanted to know everything. I said ‘go watch the film and find out’ When they saw me, they were really happy and proud, and couldn’t keep it in,” he says.
The best compliment, he says, was from Bhansali himself. “He appreciated my work. He is not someone who appreciates casually, he knows what he is talking about, he is a work oriented person. When he did it, it was very special. After him, it was my best friend, she appreciated me. Then I was like I must have done a decent job, because she is very strict,” quips the actor.
Sharing his plans for the birthday this year, Maheshwari says, “I am not the one to get very excited about birthdays or plan the day in advance. For me, it’s a day dedicated to spend time with my family friends and close ones. Baaki time already schedule kuchh hota nahi hai industry mein, so I make sure I stay with them on this day.”