He is not a star son, but Saahil Prem who is gearing up to make his acting and directorial debut with Mad About Dance has the cream of Bollywood rooting for him. From Shah Rukh Khan to Farah Khan, everyone's been talking appreciatively about the newbie. Son of veteran journalist Nishi Prem, Saahil confesses that he is overwhelmed by the support he has been getting. "I am extremely grateful to Shah Rukh Khan. He is the biggest star and his support to my film is like a dream. He has seen parts of the film and liked it," gushes Saahil.
Ask him if he always wanted to be an actor and he confesses that more than acting he wanted to make a film on dancing. "Dance is my passion, so much so that I can't stand straight. I am always moving! I started dancing since I was a five-year-old and it was my dream to make a film on dance, a genre which has not been explored in India," says Saahil who himself has scripted the film. Initially, he only wanted to act in the film and get somebody else to direct it. "I conceptualised it six years ago and didn't want to let it go. When I didn't get the kind of director I wanted, I stepped in because I knew exactly what I wanted," explains the newcomer.
A follower of the award-winning hip-hop dancer from France, Salah, Saahil was determined to cast him in the film. However, it wasn't easy to get him on board. "Salah is very busy, but I didn't give up. I kept calling him and finally he relented. He was also being offered the Step Up series but he agreed to be a part of my film, and plays an important role," says Saahil who considers him his guru.
For the lead opposite him he wanted a good dancer for which he auditioned several girls both in India and London. "Farah recommended Amrit to me and she is very good," says Saahil. He shot the film in Sheffield University, where he has studied and the story is inspired by real life. "It's about a bunch of young underdogs who study abroad. The culture of dance to fight underground battles is there - even I have been a part of it," he reveals. Tell him that ABCD, the first 3D dance film in India was also about underdogs, and he retorts, "I wrote the film much before ABCD came. In fact I had discussed the idea of a dance film with Remo D'Souza before he made ABCD. I have seen parts of it. It will not hurt my film in any way."
Isn't he apprehensive about the response to his film considering it has no big stars in it? "Dance is the star of the film! In the last two-three years several films with a good story and concept have done well, irrespective of whether they had big stars in it or not," says the youngster confidently.