Ashlesha Thakur, who plays Dhriti in The Family Man, discusses the positive reception to the web series and her love scenes with co-star Abhay Verma.
Ashlesha Thakur, who plays Ashlee in the spy series The Family Man, is one of the show’s most popular characters. As a result, her enormous fan base is unsurprising. While her character Dhriti was introduced in the first season as a turbulent and rebellious girl in the middle of a family’s disintegration, the current season finds her delving further into the skin with a love angle. The love bond between Dhriti and Kalyan (played by Abhay Verma) has also been a heated topic of discussion among viewers.
We asked Ashlesha about how she prepared for the romantic scenes in the web series with Abhay at such a young age. “I was extremely nervous,” she says. It was a whole new experience for me. I needed to give the character a sense of maturity and avoid acting like a child. I wanted it to seem extremely genuine and unscripted. I’ve been watching a lot of web shows with a love interest. I did a lot of research and studying. It takes a lot of skill to shoot the kissing moment. It’s not enjoyable. It’s my job, and whatever the duties as an actor are, I should be able to handle them. Raj and DK (the filmmakers) were surprised to learn that I had a tiny peck and a love interest in the second season.
Before The Family Man, Ashlesha and Abhay both worked in a TV commercial. “I was lucky that I knew him,” she adds of developing chemistry before the shoot and acting out the full love aspect. He’s in half of my track, and Abhay was completely reliant on Dhriti. We spoke about how to act and it helped to break the ice between us. We were both naive, and this is when Raj and Suparn (Verma) sir stepped in. They instructed us on how to act and how it would seem on television.”
The 17-year-old actress also opens up on doing the gruesome kidnapping scene. “It was exhausting and emotionally and mentally challenging for me. Getting kidnapped was something that was making me very nervous. I did not want to do that scene. I was telling Raj and Suparn sir, ‘let’s do it another day. When I did the first take, I was confused whether I was doing the correct thing. When the directors supported me, I knew I was on the right track.”
Ashlesha shares that she has been getting a lot of proposals on social media after The Family Man has propelled her to national fame. “I have a lot of ‘rishtas’ in my DMs and people are sending me the creepiest and the sweetest of messages.
When it comes to script selection, Ashlesha says she and her father debate the projects, but she is the one who ultimately decides which ones to pursue. “My father and I talk about how things will be for me. He makes suggestions on what kinds of roles I’d be excellent in. He takes me to the auditions as well. I take screen exams, but I also have a say in who I am and how I present myself. I’d try it again in the future if the narrative or character piqued my interest. Taking up new challenges is usually a good thing. I’m willing to do it even if it’s a grey character. I’m a person who keeps an open mind. All I can think about is how to be more adaptable.”