Mumbai: He gave Aamir Khan one of his biggest hits in Raja Hindustani, and he is credited with giving Shilpa Shetty an image makeover with Dhadkan.
His recent films, Bewafaa and Aap Ki Khatir may not have worked, but that hasn't stopped filmmaker Dharmesh Darshan from trying again, and trying harder this time.
The director's now turned producer with his new film Bhanvraa for which he's assembled a cast of top actors from television - Eijaz Khan, Manav Gohil, Shveta Salve and Sangeeta Ghosh.
A romantic thriller, Darshan says Bhanvraa will be a big-budget extravaganza just like his previous films, and he is convinced his small-screen stars have the potential to make a successful crossover to the big screen.
"We will be shooting in foreign countries like Australia and will put up a set in Jaipur. I don't believe in compromising and these actors have the mystique to become celluloid stars,” says Dharmesh Darshan.
Predictably, it’s the monotony of those weepathon soaps, and the lure of a fresh challenge that has excited the television actors into taking the plunge.
"Serials don't offer me anything new. And when Dharmeshji gave me this role with grey shades, I jumped at it,” says Shveta Salve.
Manav Gohil adds, “For me it's not a risk of competing instead it's a challenge to try my hand out in cinema. It won't be easy but it's a dream project”.
All set to begin filming on Thursday, Darshan is currently working on the soundtrack of Bhanvraa with his favourite composer-duo Nadeem-Shravan. Meanwhile, he's looking forward to wrapping up the entire film in a start to finish schedule - an impossible feat when you're working with established Bollywood stars. And that's just one more reason he's so happy working with these TV stars.