Gum commercial lands Banita Sandhu opposite Varun Dhawan


Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar says he knew he had found leading lady of October while directing Banita Sandhu for an ad in 2016

Banita Sandhu
Banita Sandhu

In a bid to highlight that Varun Dhawan’s October co-star could steal hearts with her beauty, web portals were painted red with Banita Sandhu’s Instagram feeds as soon as news of her casting hit headlines. Director Shoojit Sircar backed his decision to rope in a newcomer, given that “when it comes to the genre of romance, it is always beautiful to see a fresh pairing,” as he had stated. However, it was Sandhu’s acting prowess that she made evident during her stint for a commercial helmed by Sircar, that won the latter over.

Varun Dhawan
Varun Dhawan

“Everyone was in awe of Banita after the gum commercial that I had directed,” Sircar tells mid-day of the ad that had Sandhu romance her lover against the backdrop of the song Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se in 2016. Viewers had admired how the duo portrayed their love sans words, and Sircar, then penning the script of October, was convinced he found his lead actor. “While shooting for the ad film, I clicked a picture of Banita and sent it to Juhi [Chaturvedi, writer] saying, ‘She has the potential to fit into the character that we are creating’.”

Shoojit Sircar
Shoojit Sircar

Banita Sandhu was invariably the first that Sircar, Chaturvedi and producer Ronnie Lahiri approached once the script was locked and Dhawan signed on for the film. “We were sure that she was the girl we should approach. My casting director [Jogi Malang] also knew that she was the right person for this character. Her performance in the film is captivating. I’m sure that October will be a milestone in her career.” While the first poster was expected to release today, the trailer launch will take place next week.

Also view: Photos: Meet Banita Sandhu, Varun Dhawan’s ‘October’ girl

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