Actor Abhijeet Khandkekar has grown up watching Shahrukh Khan’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but he had never imagined he would be playing a similar kind of role, that too at the beginning of his career. With Avdhoot Gupte’s Jai Maharashtra Dhaba Bhatinda, which releases 14th February 2013, Abhijeet debuts in Marathi films with what he considers as a dream role.
“Imagining yourself in such a role is one thing, and play it onscreen is I think something very special. This doesn’t happen to everyone,” Abhijeet expressed his feelings to Rang Marathi.
Abhijeet play Sayaji Nimbalkar, an educated guy from a well-to-do family in Kolhapur. He accepts a challenge and lands in Bhatinda in Punjab to open a dhaba. There he falls in love with Jasvinder Kaur, played by debutant actor Prarathna Behere. “Jai Maharashtra Dhaba Bhatinda is a love-story with a twist that has Punjab as its backdrop,” he informed.
Almost 80% of the film has been shot in Punjab and the remaining part was completed in Mumbai and Pune. “Punjab is a very beautiful place. People in Punjab are very loving and good-hearted. We shot during summer and winter and never felt like working. It was fun,” Abhijeet said.
Abhijeet first met director Avdhoot Gupte when the latter was busy making Morya. That time, the filmmaker had already started working on Jai Maharashtra Dhaba Bhatinda. “Working with Avdhoot was a great experience. He is a friend, a guide. I never felt any pressure while working with him. He gives enough freedom to actors. What I like most about Avdhoot is that he is a very genuine person,” Abhijeet acknowledged.
The actor, who would like to play negative roles also, will start shooting for his next film from March. “The film’s casting in is progress. I can’t divulge any details at this stage,” Abhijeet said, and expressed his desire to work with eminent filmmakers like Mahesh Manjrekar, Chandrakant Kulkarni and Kedar Shinde, and also Anurag Kashyap and Imtiaz Ali from Bollywood.