After their theatre days together in Delhi, Deepika Amin acted with Shah Rukh Khan in the 2016 action-thriller film, Fan
Deepika Amin and Shah Rukh Khan were part of the Barry John theatre group in Delhi back in the 1980s, before they joined television and eventually films
Last Updated: 03.56 AM, Feb 17, 2023
Did you know before he moved to Mumbai and started his career in television, and eventually became one of the biggest superstars of Indian cinema, Shah Rukh Khan was part of Barry John’s theatre group in Delhi? In a recent conversation with OTTplay, actress Deepika Deshpande Amin, who was also part of the same theatre group back in the late 1980s, spoke about how the Pathaan star is an unwavering talent, who has always been enthusiastic and passionate about his work.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Deepika - who has recently appeared in Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke and Tara Vs Bilal on OTT - said, “Theatre has always been a part of my life. I began my journey with Barry John’s theatre group in Delhi in the late 1980s. We used to do a lot of plays and theatre workshops at that time. Shah Rukh, Manoj Bajpayee were my theatre colleagues back then. Some of us were still studying and the others were just out of college. We were just kind of finding our way in life and just doing theatre, because we were all so passionate about the medium. We were associated with the theatre group for about seven-eight years. And then, one by one we started getting work and eventually all of us moved to Mumbai. I got a role in Farmaan (1994). Lekh ji [filmmaker Lekh Tandon] saw one of my plays and offered me the role of Aiman Bibi.”
In 2016, Deepika and Shah Rukh shared screen space in the Maneesh Sharma-directed action thriller film Fan. Sharing her thoughts on the success of Pathaan, the actress said, “I am so happy for Shah Rukh. It feels like a personal victory that he’s doing so well. The main thing about him is his passion and enthusiasm for his work, which is the same today as it used to be earlier. Even during those days, he would be bouncing all over the place, saying ‘let’s do this’; ‘shall we try it like this’. When I worked with him in Fan, Shah Rukh displayed the same energy and enthusiasm. He hasn’t changed a bit, and that is what I think makes him such a big star. He is still as warm as he ever was. Even during the shooting of Fan, we’d sit and chat about old days. Acha, ‘do you remember so and so?’; ‘where is so and so?’; ‘remember this happened and that happened’ - it was truly like a walk down memory lane. He hasn’t jaded at all. He’s always striving to do something new, something interesting. And that’s fabulous. That is how an actor should be. That constant burning fire. The desire to do something new all the time.”
Cut to her latest work onstage, Deepika is getting ready for the second run of legendary playwright Sir Tom Stoppard’s play Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai next month (March 9 to 12). Directed by Bruce Guthrie, the play also features actors Denzil Smith, Neil Bhoopalam, Sohrab Ardeshir and Mihaail Karachiwala. Created in collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra of India, music for the play is composed by André Previn.
“This has been such a fantastic opportunity. We actually had a Zoom call with Sir Tom [Stoppard]. He’s in his eighties now, and we all sat down and spoke about the play. He told us how he wrote the play, among a lot of other things. Director Bruce [Guthrie] has also done such a wonderful job. He is from the National Theatre in London. So, it is quite the experience to work on a play of such a scale and international standard,” Deepika elaborated.
She has also been part of Lillete Dubey’s The Primetime Theatre Company. Deepika has acted in one of Girish Karnad’s most talked-about plays, Boiled Beans on Toast and Vijay Tendulkar’s ‘incredible’ piece Kanyadaan, among many others. The actress - who also enjoys singing and strumming the guitar - said that given the chance, she would love to be part of a musical - be it on stage or screen.