Aahana Kumra on shooting Khuda Haafiz: Masala films, bring it on!

Updated: 13 August, 2020 08:22 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Aahana Kumra talks about shooting for her first mainstream movie Khuda Haafiz.

Aahana Kumra and Vidyut Jammwal in Khuda Haafiz
Aahana Kumra and Vidyut Jammwal in Khuda Haafiz

Aahana Kumra has no qualms admitting that she was apprehensive about playing an Arab agent in Disney+Hotstar's latest offering, Khuda Haafiz. Recounting her first meeting with director Faruk Kabir, Kumra tells us, "He was clear that this is not the cinema I am usually associated with." Known for her work in Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016) and Voot Select's Marzi, the actor is often labelled 'indie actor' — a tag that often comes up in meetings with producers. "When I was offered this role, I was told this isn't an indie film. That comment stunned me, but there is a perception that I only do independent cinema," says the actor.

"During the narration, it sunk in that this is a different universe," introspects the actor, adding that the typical Bollywood masala films were never offered to her. "People don't look at me as someone who is commercially bankable because I have never done the song-and-dance routine. There is nothing wrong in making masala films, provided it has a good story. With Khuda Haafiz, I had that satisfaction."

Walking into this world post Netflix's Betaal, Kumra admits that she suffered from a mental block. "Everyone around me was confident that I could pull it off, except me. The film had hand-to-hand combat, I didn't think I was physically strong to do the part. At one point, I almost let go of the project." The Vidyut Jammwal-starrer is a reminder that she is a shape shifting artiste who is capable of pushing herself to do more. "Faruk's faith in me pushed me to work harder. I even went through dialect training to get the Arabic twang to my Hindi."

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First Published: 13 August, 2020 07:15 IST

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