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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Kiara Advani hints that her favourite costar depends on who she is currently working with
Mumbai (Maharashtra): Kiara Advani is currently riding high on her success with many leading projects under her name. The actress who has a packed schedule with back-to-back big films is currently promoting her film Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 with Kartik Aaryan. Talking to Ashish Tiwari from First India Filmy, the actress opened up about portraying ‘Reet’ in a horror comedy, her journey so far and her equation with costar Kartik Aaryan amongst others.
Vidya Balan has flawlessly portrayed the role of Monjulika. Was it a pressure to take this role forward and bring out something new to an already well-established character?
Firstly, I’d like to clarify that this film is a franchise and not a remake. So, I wasn’t stepping in someone’s shoes but bringing out an entirely new character. Because everyone has seen just a glimpse of ‘Reet’, there have been assumptions flying around as to she is Monjulika and this or that, but all I’ll say right now is what the audience can see in the trailer is not the complete story and what the complete story is, we will not show you until the film releases in theatres.
So, without giving you spoilers, I would like to say that the tandav scene and the possessed scene that you saw in the trailer, were the most exciting shoots for me. When I heard about this scene during the script reading, that is when I fixed in my mind that I wanted to do this film as it would be so fun to shoot such scenes which the viewers would find interesting.
It is a horror-comedy that all family members can sit together and watch. Because even when I watch any horror movie, I would want to watch it and go home and sleep peacefully without any scary flashbacks. I was fifteen when I first watched a horror comedy which is Bhool Bhulaiyaa. I loved the concept of the movie so much. But I had no idea I would grow up to make its sequel and act in a horror-comedy myself. So, the movie is very different from the first part but also has elements that connect the sequel to it.
Comedy is very easy to see on screen but very difficult when it comes to portraying it. So, how did you manage it in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2?
I agree that comedy is the toughest genre to act in. Making someone laugh is a tough job and some can naturally do it while many have to work on it. Comedy is all about timing and spontaneity and I learned this when I was working on ‘Good Newwz’ with Akshay Kumar and Diljit Dosanjh. I especially learned from Diljit who has great comic timing. He used to act so perfectly during the actual takes which he never did during rehearsals. We always used to question what he was doing when we rehearsed lines together. But as soon as the cameras started rolling, he would deliver the same lines in the funniest possible way that sometimes even we crack up during the take. So, I learned that comedy cannot be practised. You just have to take it seriously. If you take your role earnestly and deliver it sincerely, then the comic timing comes out perfectly. Naturally, we have Anees Bazmee sir and he is the king of comedy when it comes to direction. So, we were in good and safe hands as we knew that he will bring out the comic elements of the scenes beautifully. And also, our costars Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra and others are such incredible actors in the field of comedy that it made our job easier.
Your pairing with Kartik Aaryan comes as a breath of fresh air. So how was it working with him on the set and the entire atmosphere around?
Sets were always fun to be at as you know, the backdrop was spooky and we were working together on it for the past two years. Spending two years with the same people, working on a singular goal transformed us into this whole big family. Anees Sir always kept the atmosphere so enthusiastic so it was natural for us to come on set with positive energy to resume work. And because Kartik and I are of the same age, it was easy to gel with him. There is a lot of give and take between costars and the same was with us. We would feed off each other’s energy. So overall, it was a fun experience to work with him.
The past few releases in the theatre were very action-centric and the ones who did exceptionally well were mostly South Indian movies. For example, ‘RRR’, ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ and even ‘Sooryanvanshi’. What do you think the atmosphere of your movie will be?
I am hopeful that it will be a good one because Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is an entertaining film and it also contains action. Although the action is a bit different than the usual fights and all. The best part about it is that it is a family entertainer and everyone, right from a child to an adult can watch the movie. Also, the movie has a ton of commercial aspects which you may have noticed in the trailer. Right now, we can only hope that the movie is loved by everyone. A good family entertainer hasn’t come out for a really long time and this movie kind of fills that void.
You have evolved massively as an actor and have chosen different scripts to challenge yourself. What is your strategy behind opting for these roles?
There is no strategy as such, I believe in instinct. I just choose roles that touch me. When I read a script, if I find it and the role interesting enough and if it makes me think that I want to watch this movie, I choose it. Also, the director of the film is very important to me. As I say, the director is the captain of the ship and the films are their medium of expressing their vision. So, if you have faith in that Director, you go ahead with the film. These are the main things why I choose a script and a film.
Your fan following has been increasing ever since your debut. How do you look at your journey since Fugly?
I haven’t given this a thought but I would say that I am grateful to the people who like my work. The more love I get, the more motivated I am to do better. These expectations that people have from me, I wish to fulfil them and be the actor that they see me as.
People now praise you for your work and want to work with you. But do you ever remember the time when you were rejected by makers and what the turning point in your career was?
I think for critics, it was ‘Lust Stories’ and ‘Guilty’ where they started seeing me as an actor with potential. With the audience, of course, it was ‘Kabir Singh’ when I received this crazy amount of recognition and respect as an actor. So, I would say these are the three milestones in my career that people always point out. But if you ask me personally, I feel that in every film that I have done, I have gained something new and every film has given me a chance to learn something new about myself as a person and as an actor. Every person you meet, every film that you do, only makes you grow. So, I have got to learn many things at every stage.
There is cut-throat competition in the industry and it is not easy to keep yourself relevant in the entertainment world. How do you manage that?
I would say that your work keeps you relevant so all you have to do is work. One just has to be careful when choosing the kind of films to do. For me, I don’t think about competition much but only when I am inspired. If I love someone’s work and wish to do something good just like them, is the only time that I think about others. Men or women, I do not look at a specific gender when getting inspired, if I like their work, I try to reinvent myself to do something as good as theirs. Otherwise, I am more focused on my work.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is that I am here today. I am doing what I love to do and the only reason I have been able to do that is that I believed in myself and did not give up.
What is your biggest dream?
I think I am living my dream.
Your upcoming South Indian film, RC15 is making a lot of buzz. Would you like to say something about it?
I cannot say much about it because we are still shooting for it. I am soon leaving for Vizag for my RC15 schedule. I am going to take a break from all the promotions and go back to shoot the film. But I would say that S. Shanker sir is a legendary director who is making this relatable, relevant and important film in the most S. Shanker style. And I am working with Ram Charan again, who is a very good friend and a very good actor. I am very excited about the entire project.
You are coming up with some exciting projects with actors of your generations who are popular amongst youth today. How do you look at your chemistry with them?
All the films are very exciting and have a unique story and background to them. They are different from each other but are family entertainers. And as you said, all these costars are around my age so I think the youth is really going to love these films. But of course, we want all ages to come and watch these films. These films are going to be very special.
You are currently working with Kartik Aaryan, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan and Ram Charan and have worked with many amazing actors in the past. Who has been your favourite co-actor amongst all the people you have worked with?
Who am I working with right now? Kartik right, so he is my favourite costar. The film I am promoting is what my answer depends on. If I am promoting ‘Govinda Mera Naam’ with Vicky, he will be my favourite costar and so on. So, I am going to be very practical and say that Kartik Aaryan is my favourite costar amongst everyone.