'Tooth Pari' had ingredients to be a pathbreaker: Shantanu Maheshwari
If you have watched ‘Tooth Pari: When Love Bites’, you can’t help but fall in love with the shy, faint-hearted dentist Dr Roy played by Shantanu Maheshwari. This cute boy-next-door dentist develops an unusual relationship with a rebellious vampire, Rumi (Tanya Maniktala). Despite not being a fan of vampire sagas like ‘The Twilight’ or ‘The Vampire Diaries’, Shantanu didn’t take much time to say ‘yes’ to Pratim D Gupta’s Indianised vampire web series on ‘Netflix’.
“I had just completed shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ when the offer for ‘Tooth Pari’ came my way. I was not aware of the vampire genre until I was offered ‘Tooth Pari’. When I started doing my research, I saw ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘The Twilight Saga' and all kinds of films. But ‘Tooth Pari’ was nothing like them all. Pratim sir made the genre more Indian and humanised, which I loved and found unique,” said Shantanu, whose performance opposite Alia Bhatt in ‘Gangubai’ was highly praised.
Basking in the success of ‘Tooth Pari’, Shantanu said the series had all the ingredients to be a pathbreaker.
“You get to see a lot of adaptations in this genre, but the way ‘Tooth Pari’ has humanised vampires and their emotions is completely new and experimental. The strength of ‘Tooth Pari’ lies in Pratim sir’s writing,” smiled the actor, who made his debut in 2011 with ‘Dil Dosti Dance’.
Though Shantanu was born and brought up in Kolkata, he isn’t very fluent in Bengal. However, he had a gala time shooting with Bengali actors like Saswata Chatterjee, Rajatava Dutta, Swaroopa Ghosh and Tillotama Shome. “They are so giving. They will pass on their energy to elevate the scene. It was such an exhilarating experience,” he said.
Shantanu shares maximum scenes with Tanya of ‘A Suitable Boy’ fame. Calling her a thorough professional, he said Tanya had given him the space to shine. “She is amazing and inspiring. She is professional with her approach and at times, her performance is so subtle,” said the actor, who will be seen alongside Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Saiee M Manjrekar in Neeraj Pandey’s next ‘Auron Mein Kaha Dum Tha’.
Known to be a terrific dancer, Shantanu is not under any pressure to be a part of a dance film. According to him, his debut vehicle, ‘Dil Dosti Dance’ brought out several aspects of a dancer. “So, unless I get anything that will offer something new in dance, I am not interested in a dance film,” he said.