Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY

Kriti Sanon made a remarkable debut in Bollywood with ‘Heropanti’ and left the audience and the industry impressed with her charm and potential acting skills.  Within no time she cracked a hit film ‘Dilwale’ and worked with the most iconic couples of the industry SRK and Kajol. The young actress is a tough play for other contemporary actresses. Kriti has gained in a lot of praise from critics and her fans for her acting and screen presence. The talent talks to us about her new film ‘Raabta’ and how she is indeed enjoying her Bollywood journey. Excerpts:

How challenging was this role for you to play this time as it seems intense than your other roles which were lighter ones?

I think in my past two films my characters were like a girl next door but also being a character like a girl next door; it too has layers in it, like for example in the film ‘Heropanti’ the girl Dimpy was kind of a brat but at the same time she was naïve, there were many things she didn’t know so I think that at times to portray simplicity also is a tough thing to do. But yes the characters in ‘Raabta’ have many layers and are much more intense. And it was quite different from my personality so I really enjoyed doing it and getting two different characters to play in one film – not only that it’s different from each other but also it belongs to two different worlds so I think it was very interesting and challenging.

So did you have workshops for it or was it instinctive?

No, no, it wasn’t instinctive because the period which we were showing had no reference point because when we show any Mughal era or any such ancient eras and have kings and queens; so we have seen that – how they stay and what all they wear.   That type of cinema we have seen in India so we have a reference for these type of films but in ‘Raabta’ the period which we were showing had no reference as to how will it look, how the people are, what does the place look like. I had seen a few English films which was slightly near to it or is in that zone for example ‘Game of thrones’, ‘Apocalypto’ is in that zone in which their language is different but they are very raw almost tribal so that world for us to come on one page and understand it and to take the audience just for 20- 30 minutes in that world was very challenging for us to make the audience convince, that we are from that world.  And that’s the interesting part because I feel that’s when the audience gets intrigued, when they are offered something new to see.And as actors it was interesting for us as well because we didn’t know how that world would be until we got to know how would we look and when that got decided we started believing that now definitely we are not from this world. The thinking of that period and the kind of people were there in that time it was more about survival and about their land and they didn’t have much emotions in them at that time but emotions for their land use to be very strong. In fact that period used to be like girls did not get much importance and they were only considered for reproducing; but my character was a strong headed girl who was like a boy and her upbringing was also done like a boy; she is a warrior princess so I had to understand her psychology as to how she thinks, she is like a boy and she doesn’t think less of herself, she is fearless, though in the film I’ll be taking the audience just for 20-30 minutes but for me to understand that character was to understand her since childhood. So in my mind since her childhood she’s learning weapons training, hunting, sword fighting, but it isn’t much showcased in the film. But there are a few sequences where we get to see these things. So all these small things we had to learn so that it looks convincing; so I learnt horse riding, martial arts, though martial arts is not shown much but for me it was important to learn because of it my whole body language and stunts change; because a warrior stunts is meant in a way.  Because they keep on fighting since years so every posture of them is different. Like how they stand and run, for example when a girl runs she needs to be more strong and seen strong and that I was running with Sushant, so for me it was important that I’m conveyed more strong; so I made sure I was running in a strong manner.

Among the two characters which you have played which one you enjoyed the most?

I think the current time character Saira, I enjoyed it more because I have spent more time with her because the flash back character comes just for 20-30 minutes but the current time character is for a longer time in the film and I can relate to her because she is from this world and this time; but she is very interesting character, a bit quirky, a bit off, she stays in Budapest and she makes chocolates, so for that I learnt how to make chocolates. Saira is kind of indecisive, so I feel it’s a character out of all the characters I feel will stay close to my heart. And I enjoyed making chocolates because the aroma of chocolates is always with you and while making them I ate also a lot (Smiles) but it was very interesting to know how chocolates are made and have so many different kinds of chocolates. And there’s a scene also in the film so that’s fun while I was making chocolates.

What is that one thing that you see in a script before choosing it?

I think I’ve always been like that, is that whenever I hear a new script I’m very instinctive, I think from audience point of view.  Like if I have to do this film will I like it as an audience or not, and if I won’t like my own film to watch then why would I do it.  And also that in any project we at least give three months so it’s just that one should enjoy doing it and feel if we are giving that tree months we should be excited about it each day.  Of course later comes how my character is and what all different is there to do but how much is your character in the film is important because at times it’s not that you just have to do a film just for the sake of doing it. And as eventually we start making films we change our thinking, the kind of film that attracts us changes so I really loved to perform in ‘Raabta’  and after that when I was searching for scripts I had this wish to do something different and some role that is exciting and excites me. And then when ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ came that excited me because the script is beautifully written by Nitesh Tiwari and Ashwiny Iyer’s making. I have seen her pervious film which I really loved. The way she understands small characters and the way she portrays it, the relationship of the characters even in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ is shown in a beautiful way.  So for me the girl in ‘Raabta’ is very unique and something I’ve not done.

Dinesh Vijan being the first time director so how different was it to work with him?

Yeah he’s a producer and directing for the first time but it was interesting to work with him because whenever I have met him before I use to go for some other work but he used to make me hear some other story and for this film also I had gone to meet him for some other film but suddenly he started telling me ‘Raabta’ story and he told me this story first without any script in hand and with all dialogues and he narrates it so well, so for me that thing was my first vision which I liked it. So I never doubted on how he would direct and as we started working on workshops and I only use to talk to him relating the characters. My current time character Saira, was discovered by talking on small, small detailing of the character. And when we started shooting I realized he is a very emotional director and goes only on feelings. How the scene is seen, how the marking has been done, how you are saying it, all this didn’t matter to him but when you actually feel the character and scene that’s when the take is taken and is said done. And he is someone who doesn’t restrict his actors. He is a fabulous director and someone who is sure of what he wants; he gives an actor the liberty to do what one feels like.

Sushant is known for being a hard working actor so how was it to work with him?

It was an amazing experience and like one knows the fact that he is a hard working actor even I knew before the film as a matter of fact that he is hard working.  I had seen his movies but I didn’t know him before our movieso when I met him first it was like an audition I would say, when I went to Dinesh’s office and Sushant was also there; so there was a scene which we were doing for the first time, so after 2 – 3 takes he did something different apart from the script and then I reacted to it and I did something different too. So with him the best thing is that he is an actor who reacts, which is very important if we talk about organic chemistry. So it looks real when you listen to each other and react to each other. And when an actor surprises you with something different which you haven’t done before so that gives a scene a different look.  He is very hard working and he goes in detailing of his character and I would say he is like a chameleon that really becomes his character; I have seen him being from Shiv to his flash back character. There was a gap of two months in between where we were preparing for flash back character but the difference I saw in him drastically -so I can say he is someone who goes so into the character till the time he actually become that character.

What is your upcoming project?

Upcoming film is ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ which is going to release this July and after that I haven’t officially signed anything yet, I’ve been reading and I liked one- two of them but there’s nothing that I’ve signed to announce.

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