Aayush Sharma says it was disheartening to have to change the title of his debut film from Loveratri to Loveyatri.
The right-wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was irked by the title Loveratri, which according to them distorted the meaning of the Hindu festival, Navratri.
Later, a Bihar court ordered an FIR to be lodged against co-producer Salman Khan, saying the title hurts religious sentiments and promotes vulgarity.
“Our intention was very clear. We wanted a film that connects with most people. There was unnecessary conversation and objection happening over it,” Sharma said. “The film will not hurt anyone’s sentiments. There is not one double meaning dialogue in the film, it only talks about culture. Something or some elements had a problem. I don’t want to win the box office with a controversy.”
Sharma, 27, has been busy promoting the film in various cities and he says he is enjoying meeting new people and interacting with them.
“The kind of love we are getting I feel lucky as a debutante. When I used to go for promotions and I used to wonder do people even know who I am? Slowly it started as a lukewarm welcome to good to an amazing welcome,” he added.
The actor, who came to Mumbai to study, never imagined that he would face the camera one day. Sharma is the son of Delhi-based politician, Anil Sharma.
“I was clear I did not want to do a 9am to 5pm job. I wanted to stay away from politics. As a viewer, I would look at the films and say, ‘Wow, what a beautiful world’. There were people who told me I should take up acting, do TV serials and ads. But I never gave it a serious thought,” he added.
But he believes God already had plans for him as he happened to meet his future wife Arpita Khan. When the two became friends, she introduced him her brothers Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail.
“They told me I should be an actor, I was like ‘Okay, let me step into this world’. I was told there will be lot of pressure and I had to be prepared for it. My training began at their residence, which we call ‘Galaxy Institute of Performing Arts’. Some successful and miserable graduates have emerged from there,” he added.
When Sharma worked as an assistant director on Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Sultan and Tubelight, that is when he realised that filmmaking was a taxing process.
“My perception towards films changed. So while I was assisting for films I felt I should act. So, I started listening to scripts, I was not getting the right blend between a commercial film and a plot. When I heard Loveyatri, I loved it. It had everything from comedy to emotion and a sweet love story,” he added.
In Loveyatri, Sharma plays the role of Sushrut, a dance teacher.
The film, which also marks debut of model Warina Hussain, is set to release on October 4 in the UAE.