Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

The title track of the previous release, ‘Sanam Re’, is still stuck in many heads, but meanwhile, Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam are back with another release. A love story yet again, this one seems strikingly different and promises to raise the bar. In the middle of a hectic day filled with interviews, we catch up with the duo at the T-series office for a quick chat. They speak about the film and their respective growth so far…

“You learn something with every film, from the mistakes you do and from the strength of your co-actors”
-Pulkit Samrat

“I got a lot of compliments for ‘Vicky Donor’, but people thought I could only do a certain kind of films. It was challenging to break that”
-Yami Gautam

Tell us about your respective roles in ‘Junooniyat’.

Pulkit: I am playing an army guy in the film, Captain Jahaan Bakshi, who is a very strong-headed guy, so is Yami’s character which is the interesting part of the film. Usually, opposites attract, but in this one we see similar personalities getting attracted to each other. It will be nice to see the chemistry between two people who are very strong-headed, who have their own egos and what would be the spark and clash in their relationship. Of course, I was very excited to play an army guy for the first time. It also shows the human side of an army guy, about their families and the kind of love life they would have. Because just imagine, if a guy can give his life for the love of his country, what would he do for the love of his life and that’s where the title ‘Junooniyat’ comes in.

Yami: I play this girl from Suhaani Kapoor, from Amritsar. She is this local, desi Punjabi girl who most of us would relate to. I related a lot to her because she’s one of those who loves her family the most. She is carefree, and bindaas but her core remains her love for her family. She does everything with full junooniyat. The main conflict is that she also has an army background, still her father is not okay with her being with an army guy. It’s a story that a many families from Maharashtra, Punjab and a lot of areas will relate to. After a long time, you will get to see an old school romance and drama with a modern touch.

Was it a challenge to make it strikingly different from ‘Sanam Re’ since it’s a love story with the same lead pair?

Pulkit: That was the director’s job mostly. We just worked on our characters. Mine was a very contrasting character already and so was hers. We did a lot of homework before we went on the set. I believe that the more mistakes you make before going on the set, the better you are on the set.

Do you believe in the kind of love and passion that the film speaks about?

Pulkit: I believe that love something which is extremely unconditional and pious.

Yami: I can never define love. t’s just the feeling. It’s very internal. It is actually about love and junooniyat. It is about the passion you have for someone, that you can do anything for them. It could be your family, work or just that one person. For me, it is my family and work. I am really attached to my family, I cannot be without them. I have seen youngsters get detached from their family when they stay far from them, or when they start working but I make sure to call my mother twice or thrice everyday. I am still that girl who left from Chandigarh. For me, to stay away from them, it needs to be something which is very passion driven and that’s how I see my work.

Do you analyse your career graph in terms of the offers or popularity or the learning with every film?

Pulkit: I cannot put it into words. I can never sit and think, ‘oh this is how my career is going’. You learn something with every film, from the mistakes you do and from the strength of your co-actors. It has to be work because till the time your work doesn’t feel like passion, you won’t feel like doing it. I have been lucky enough to have worked with such great co-stars so far. I have learnt so much from each one of them, and so is the case with Yami. I’ve learnt so many things from her. She’s very hard working, she pushes herself a lot, till the time she is not satisfied with something. So many places, I would feel, she’s working so hard. So, it’s an ongoing process for any actor. You just have to keep learning.
Yami: I think the only time he must have felt that I was working more hard than him is during the song shoot, of ‘Nachangey Saari Raat’ because he doesn’t have to do anything. He is an amazing dancer; it was me who had to slog myself (laughs).

Yami how do you look at it, when you started off with an unconventional film like ‘Vicky Donor’ which in a way set a high benchmark?

Yami: I knew what I was getting into when I signed my first film but I also knew that I had to do it. To be able to get a performance-oriented role is also not easy. And to start your career with a role like that was also a very unconventional choice. But what you’re seeing right now is closer to who I am, and I’m having so much fun. I always wanted to be versatile. I wanted to make sure that I could play Ashima also but I can do Suhaani also, who breaks into a dance and is mad. I love that contrast. It did take a while I think, for people, from the industry point of view or from the audience point of view to realise, ‘oh she’s like that also.’ I’ll be very honest. Of course, I got a lot of compliments for ‘Vicky Donor’, but people thought I could only do a certain kind of films. It was challenging to break that. I did that film because I wanted to do it, but this is also me. That’s why I totally enjoyed being Suhaani because that’s how I see myself. Eventually, it’s the opportunities that come to you, which play a huge role. So, I’m very happy with the roles I have right now where I’m heading from here on.

Pulkit: I think that whole box will exist if it’s in your own head. The moment you thinking I have to only do these kind of genres, people start thinking that. For me, I just do a film for the sake of doing a film. I do not even bother much about what am I individually doing in a film, it’s the entire film together that matters. If I would have thought that now I’ll only do action, or comedy, then I would have lost out on a film like ‘Junooniyat’. I might do another romantic film again after this if I like a script. So, I don’t really think much into it. And as long as work is your passion, it’ll always be fun. There won’t be any limitations.

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