Ishaan Khatter: Shaping Stories

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The last time Ishaan Khatter sat down with ELLE India, he was two films old. A career, nothing short of awe inspiring, began with his indie art cinema debut in Beyond the Clouds (2017). He followed this up with the critically and commercially successful film Dhadak (2018). His repertoire now includes Phone Booth (2022) and Pippa (2023), films that successfully showcase his versatility. In a lighthearted and candid chat, he talks about his varied projects and what’s next for him.

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Elaborating on the warm reception to his latest release, Pippa, Ishaan says, “The constant outpour of love and support we’re still getting is unimaginable. As my first war-focused film, the amount of preparation the part required was extensive. To play a young captain, I had to first learn to be an armoured officer.”

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While his contemporaries find their niches, Ishaan has found a way to keep experimenting, while solidifying his position in the industry. He credits his consistent reinvention to the nature of the job and the right opportunities. Ishaan says, “I’ve been incredibly lucky. Acting is a constant journey of self-exploration which deepens with each character we play, helping me better understand the human condition. I’m incredibly grateful for the diverse opportunities I’ve been given in my career”

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Each of the characters he has played have left an impact on him, which is perhaps why, when asked which role he would repeat, he is reluctant to pick favourites. “I don’t think I’d like to repeat a character unless the narrative continues” he smiles. “But I do long for the attitude I had while I was working on Beyond The Clouds when I was really surrendered and assiduously studious”

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Speaking of A Perfect Couple, an upcoming Hollywood project, Ishaan Khatter says, “I’m incredibly excited as this is my foray into Hollywood with a very different script and character.”

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Between seeking meaningful roles and working endlessly, he signs off with one advice “If acting truly gives you joy, go for it. Curiosity is the key to learning. If you work on your craft, the sky’s the limit.”

Photographer: Pixel Exposures, Creative Direction: Aangi Nahta, Office Hours, Fashion Stylist: Who Wore What When, Makeup: Nalini Ferns, Hair: Pat Patrick, Cover Art: Sakshi Badani, Assisted by: Shubham J (styling); Chaitanya (styling); Tapswini Dalai (styling), Words: Parag Agarwal, Production: Cut Loose Productions, Artist’s PR: Think Talkies

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