Interview By: Drishti Pandey

Gorgeous Disha Patani who has step onto the city of dreams only three years back has already done an international film with the living legend Jackie Chan; “her Hero” that she claims.It was a pleasure to talk to her. She is all smart and innocent and practical in her head. The young and charming lady has a long way to go in the industry. Read on…

“I am a huge fan of Jackie Chan since I was young, he is my hero”

You are just a film down and a music video which was phenomenal in its own way and also you have been recognized and appreciated for your work, how does it feel?

It feels good but in my mind I feel I’m still not there, I just feel I’ve just started and I’m just working hard every day trying to be better; it just feels nice when people recognize me and call me by my character’s name; it feels good but I still feel there’s a long way to go.

How did you react when you were onboard for ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ especially when you heard Jackie Chan is in the film?

Well, when I heard it’s a Jackie Chan’s film I was like –“I just want this!” I didn’t even care about anything else because we all have grown up watching his films and I’m Jackie Chan’s huge fan since I was young, he is my hero. The end result doesn’t matter for me so much; but just for the fact that I did a film with him, and I met him, and I learnt so much from him. It’s such a nice thing and I feel so good about it. I never expected, I never thought, I would get such an opportunity; I’m really blessed I feel.

Tell us about your character and something new that we will get to see and the preparations that you did? You’re doing action sequences as well…

Yes people see me doing action since it’s an action comedy. My character’s name is Kyra, an Indian princess and also an archeologist, who is looking for her family treasures; she goes up to Mr. Chan, who is the biggest archeologist in China, so I just ask for help;so that’s how the journey starts and we make a team and it’s about how we look out for treasures and how we fight the bad guys. Luckily I was learning gymnastics at that point, now I have lost the track because I didn’t get a chance to do it. But yeah that time I was very active, and I made sure I use to go the class so I have few videos that I had made, some basic gymnastic moves, basic actions, so they saw and took it because they were basically looking out for someone who could do action because they didn’t have the time to train and everything, our training use to be on sets before the shoot. They use to call us on set before and give us some guideline to prepare ourselves and do it. So we actually didn’t have any proper training. So whatever skills I had like flips and all of that, they used it. I auditioned for this part and also I had sent my action videos to them.

Were you intimidated by Jackie Chan and did that make you all cold feet at any point of time?

I wasn’t intimidated by him but every shot that I had to give I made sure I’m going impress him, it’s how you want to impress your family all the time it was that feeling. He is my hero and I’ve grown up watching him and now that he is in front of me I have to show that even I can do stunts, I’m also cool, I’m also strong. (Smiles)He is such a nice person he can’t be intimidated and he makes sure that everyone is comfortable and he makes everyone smile on the sets, so he isn’t like a scary person at all.

So in a way you were more confident to work with him?

Yeah, he is very quick with his work and very particular with what he wants with his shot and everything. So when you’re with him you know what you want.  So there wasn’t any point of getting scared.

How is it working with actors who are much more invested than you are, in terms of your co-stars, how much does it help?

It helps a lot, even when I did a video with Tiger, when I did a film with Sushant, Neerja Pandey, I couldn’t believe I was doing my first film with Neerja Pandey, he is an amazing director. I could never expect my film to be his film. I just run out of words but he’s really amazing. And all my co-starshave been very much experienced in now even Sushant, Sonu Sood and Jackie, there is so much to learn from each and every one because each one of them have their own style and they have been in the industry since so long; so they know everything about it. And they know how to act, they know how to perform. It’s just not about acting it’s about acting for the camera so it had to be a little different. So yeah I’ve been learning a lot and I’ve been very lucky and fortunate.

“I don’t like watching my films because it makes me feel that now the journey is over and I miss it so much”

What is that one thing that you pick up from your co-stars?

Everybody has a different style, I do pick up small nuances or things, I can’t pick up acting from someone of course, because it’s their own style but small things like how to be more focus, how to go about, the strategy is the main; one needs to learn. Because I think it’s a very technical thing for example one can be emotional and cry once but one can’t cry 20 times right? If we have to give the take 20 times so it’s very technical cinema as well. So the technique and the small things are very important that one learns after certain point when one has worked a lot. So those things I do learn and I feel very good when I learn and I know it.

Do you think there is some kind of pressure or responsibility that comes after being part of successful film and do film with great actors?

Actually the good thing about my life is that I never thought I would be an actress, I never thought I’m going to be here in this industry. Anything I have done till now I haven’t planned. So because I don’t plan I don’t expect so much and the fact that I enjoy and I love my job, I love shooting, I love being on sets. I don’t like watching my films because it makes me feel that now the journey is over and I miss it so much. When I saw ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ I was feeling so sad that I’m not going to see everyone. Like one goes through so much hard work, being an actor is not easy. Every day we have to wake up for trainings, go for the shoot even if one is not feeling well; it’s a difficult job and then all that hard work comes to this one film and then you see it, it all finishes. Maybe one did a very heavy action scene and shot for a weeks and when you see it, it’s like just for 2 minutes (laughs) and then I feel that was it and I crave to see more. So yeah I never expect when I hear a script I always see if I like it, if I would like to watch something like this, if I would like this character so that’s how I choose.  And I don’t feel any pressure on my head I just like working and do something that I love.

What are your expectations from ‘King Fu Yoga’?

‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is doing very well in China and has broken records, right now it’s one of the top films in China. It has already made the money that the producers have invested in it. It’s the blockbuster in China and it seems it’s the main market for this film. I don’t actually know what to expect because I’m more than happy, it did really well. (Smiles)

How is Bollywood treating you since you are not from a filmy background?  Did anyone support you to get into it or you worked hard for it?

At the end of the day it’s your hard work, nobody can help you.It’s one’s face on TV or cinema, it’s ones acting or skill the way one does it. And struggle is part of life and I think it’s in every career and not just in film industry. It’s very important to actually struggle so that one understands the value of what you getting and that one works hard for that. Everybody has been very kind to me, I’m not from here but I don’t feel like that, people have been really kind but work wise it’s your own struggle and everyone has to go through it. And you can’t skip that and I feel it’s very important to struggle to become a better person.

What’s next in hand for you?

Right now I haven’t signed anything yet; I’ve liked a few scripts I think I’m going to sign them soon.

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