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Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR

With ‘Lukka Chuppi’, Kriti Sanon is back, post the appreciation that ‘Bareily Ki Barfi’ got. Donning a yellow white striped dress, totally giving the summery vibe – looking gorgeous as always – Sanon settles down for a chat. There’s indeed a lot more to her, beyond looking like a million bucks, and evidently, that’s what she’s trying to explore. Read on…

Do you feel that the world and feel of ‘Lukka Chuppi’ is similar to ‘Bareily Ki Barfi’?
Because it’s a small town, maybe. But it’s very different otherwise – in terms of the story and characters. In a way, ‘Bareily…’ made you feel the warmth of small town with its lanes and all. You’ll see the same here also, but here there are a little more colours. As a character, I was more de-glam in ‘Bareily..’. I was seen in pyjamas, pull-overs. Here, Rashmi is slightly more modern and very girly. She is born in Mathura but studied in Delhi so she is way more educated, she is gutsier and liberal as a person. So you will find the small-town similarity but the town is different.

How’s it getting into this drastically different, historic zone with ‘Panipat’?
There are films and people who see beyond what you’re wearing on-screen to the acting capability. Hair, make-up, costume can totally transform you. Coming from a modelling background, I know it makes such a huge difference. I feel like I’m fortunate that I’ve met people in my profession who have seen the actor rather than what they’ve seen me wear. For example, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, she saw me as Bitti before I saw myself as Bitti. She saw me look like that simple small-town girl who is not glamourous. The first thing she told me was Bitti is tom-boyish and the first thing she told me was to tie my hair up on my own. I do that at home all the time. So, that image broke and then I only got small-time characters. And now, Ashu sir saw a Marathi lady – Parvati bai in me, and I don’t know how. I come from north and I’m a Punjabi, you’ve seen me play spunkier roles. Even though Parvati bai belongs to a different era and talks in a slightly different manner, but I feel, as a character, the way Ashu sir has made it – is a lot more independent. As opposed to what women would have been at that point in time. He has added these layers to her which are nice. She is a princess because she marries Sadashiv Rao but she doesn’t come from a royal family. I don’t think everyone behaved the same way, just because they belonged to that time and they are royal. So, I think I’ve added a bit of my own flavour to the character, of course, with what Ashu sir has told me. But it would be nice for the audience to see me in that period sort of a zone, because they’ve not seen me like that before and I hope I surprise you.

So has the bouquet of films to choose from also increased at this point?
Of course, I have more films to choose from but sometimes I also want to do things which are not on my table and I want them to be on my table. Slowly your table and choices start expanding with the work you do.

The worlds have been very different of all your films – be it ‘Heropanti’ or ‘Dilwale’ or ‘Bareily…’. Despite that, do you think an image has been formed? And why so?
I think, the image was formed may be in ‘Heropanti’ and ‘Dilwale’ because they were commercial films with the kind of songs where you wear great clothes and look great. In my first film, thankfully, the director was like, I’m launching two new people so I’ll make them wear everything to make people feel they look so good, so I’ve literally worn sarees to skirts to lehengas to everything. And I’ve also been on model, and then there’s red carpet so you’re always nicely dressed. And I come from Delhi so I feel people think that I look like this all the time. But at home I’m a jhalli. I don’t sit how girls are supposed to sit all the time. I’m more like denims with ganji, or pyjamas legs apart kind of a person. And when Ashwini met me the first day of my readings for ‘Bareily…’ and I had signed the film. I was in Mukesh Chhabra’s workshop and I was sitting on the floor, reading my script, in denims and a loose tshirt. I tied my hair in a bun on my own and she was like, ‘tum aisi hi ho ghar pe?’ And she is like, I have always seen you on the red carpet and people think that’s how you look always. Hence, there’s an image formed that you can only do a particular kind of roles.

Having said that, how difficult is it to sometimes leave behind the vanity, or perhaps make people look at you beyond the vanity?
I’m seen a certain way in commercials or on the red carpet. But when you play a character, you need to leave the vanity aside and you need to make sure that you are true to the character. If you are playing a tom-boyish girl who doesn’t care about how she is looking, you literally shouldn’t care about how you’re looking. You need to make sure that it’s okay if your hair is messy and it should be that way. Sometimes you need to make yourself look and feel like your character and leave the vanity behind. I hate it when every few minutes my make-up guy comes for touch-up. That’s how you can make the character shine more.

How have you grown up while working with directors that you’ve worked with?
I feel that’s been one of my motives when I’m doing a film – to grow. Because I’m literally learning on the job and every film teaches you something. I feel I have sort of figured out my process as an actor now. I know what works for me, what things don’t work for me. There are certain films which open you a little more as an actor – which for me were – ‘Raabta’ and ‘Bareily Ki Barfi’. ‘Raabta’ purely because firstly, I had a lot to do for the first time. There were two times and two complicated characters, there was a lot physically that I learnt also. The way I looked at it also changed. The way Dinu sort of helped me prep, I opened up a little bit and I started looking at the character in the sense that what else can I do which is not written, so I understood the subtext. With ‘Bareily…’, I was getting into a dialect for the first time, and I was working with such amazing actors like Pankaj sir, Seema ma’am and of course, Ayushmann and Raj. You start feeding off actors also, and while working with people also. So all that helps you grow.

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