Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif had breath-taking chemistry in the hit romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan and choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant added the sizzle to their on-screen romance in the song 'Ishq Shava'. On the 8th anniversary of Yash Chopra’s last directorial, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Vaibhavi opens up about how SRK and Katrina gave their all for this special, last film of the legendary director.
Vaibhavi says, “For me, both Katrina and SRK were exceptionally hardworking on this song, especially, because it was a very, very special film. They knew this was Yash Uncle's last film because he was planning to announce his retirement post this film. So all of us, we wanted to give it our all and we didn't want anything to be left behind. We wanted to give it our best.”
She opens up about how hard the leading pair worked on the song. “Katrina had trained for the song well in advance in Mumbai but we never really got a chance to train SRK. Sometimes, I wonder what is it that he can’t do! So, with SRK we didn’t have a choice but to rehearse with him in London itself. And I guess he rehearsed for about 3 or 4 sessions may be but those were like 3 or 4 very grueling sessions. We would not proceed or we would not stop until he got it right. He understood that he needed to kind of get his hands completely sunk into because he knew how both Yash ji and Adi would then want him to get it right and he didn't want to kind of repeatedly do it on sets in that freezing cold weather,” she says.
Vaibhavi adds, “Katrina is somebody who you have to tell please stop rehearsing because you are overdoing it. She is the opposite of SRK. She would want to rehearse and rehearse till she gets it right. But she's been like that right from the beginning. All other songs or any other dance numbers, she always tends to put in a lot of hard work. Even though she is a good dancer, she believes she is not a good dancer.”
Vaibhavi reveals that dancers who had performed for Michael Jackson, Madonna and Beyonce were hired for Ishq Shava! “We really hired some of the world's best dancers. From London, people who have been a part of the Broadway, people who have been part of Westend, people who have danced with the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna and Beyonce. They were a fantastic group of performers who also supported our lead actors! They would encourage and they would all cheer for each other as soon as the shot would be over. We all had a great time shooting this song basically.”
'Ishq Shava' was shot in a unique location and had the street dancing vibe which was super fresh and new for a Hindi film. Vaibhavi says, “There is nothing that comes without its own share of challenges. It was freezing cold when we shot Ishq Shava. We did not complain one bit because there was this man, all of 80 years of age, with his jacket, with his director’s hat, with his love, with his passion for cinema, with his undying attitude towards his craft and his complete dedication and his complete madness and his complete passion for his own film, standing there towering above all of us.”
She adds, “Katrina had to be dressed in a certain way, and then she was getting her layers off and she had to dance in that freezing cold. We were still layered in jackets but I can only imagine how the actors pulled it off. SRK was dancing after so long, like the way he has danced. I think he has danced in this song, like after years maybe, with proper choreography. See, SRK is always known to give his charming looks and expressions and his hand gestures and that famous poster pose that he tends to give with his arms open but here he had a lot more to rehearse for and lot more to project and a lot more to do. And since he had to dance with Katrina, whose USP is dancing, so he had to match steps with her, and he really did a great job with his rehearsals and he really worked hard.”
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