Tota Roy Chowdhury plays the role of a Kathak dancer in the romantic comedy.
In Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, Tota Roy Chowdhury, who plays the role of Alia Bhatt's onscreen father, is seen as a Kathak teacher. The talented actor left an impressive mark with his acting prowess as well as his Kathak in the film. However, (spoilers alert!) there's an emotional scene in the film where Tota's character talks about how he was looked down upon for pursuing his career as a dancer.
Sharing an anecdote regarding the same, Karan Johar, the director of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, told Film Companion, "It's also about things I have believed personally. As a child, I was very effeminate, and I used to dance in my own room to Hindi film songs and to Lata Ji's (Lata Mangeshkar) songs. My dad thought it was great; he used to see me dance on Dafli Wale, and I used to do the Jaya Prada part. My father used to watch and clap. Every time his friends came, he would say to Karan, ‘Woh dance dikhao sabko (show them the move).’"
The filmmaker also said, "No one told me there was anything wrong at that time. So I grew up thinking that this was fine. Much later, when you go to college, you realise that when you carry that through and do those moves, people look at you and laugh."
Talking about the particular scene, Karan also shared, "You're called all kinds of things. There are terms used, and it's still in my heart because I grew up with that feeling that I was laughed at for my body language or way of being. Somewhere, Tota's character is borrowed from my childhood. When he says, ‘Hunar ka koi gender nahi hota (talent has no gender)’, I believe that."
However, KJo went on to reveal that Tota is not a professional Kathak dancer. The director stated, "Tota was struggling; he is not a dancer; he is not a classical dancer. He is an actor who has rhythm; he has party rhythm. Tota was rehearsing for six months in Kolkata."
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani features a dance sequence between Tota and Ranveer Singh on Devdas song Dola Re Dola, originally picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.