Kriti Sanon: It was all action and reaction between Diljit Dosanjh and me
Finding a sweet spot in romantic comedies, Kriti Sanon on her movie choices and working with senior actors
"I go with my gut," says Kriti Sanon who is on a high after the success of her last film Luka Chuppi. Sanon, 28, in an exclusive interview with mid-day talks about what gives her the confidence to make risky choices, changing the notion of being an unbankable star, working with Diljit Dosanjh in the cop movie Arjun Patiala and more.
Edited excerpts from the interview
How do you align your sensibilities with an over-the-top film like Arjun Patiala?
Shah Rukh [Khan] had told me [during Dilwale], 'You need to adjust yourself to the world of a film. Every movie has a different flavour and an actor needs to mould himself to that world'. Arjun Patiala is not entirely over-the-top. Every scene can become a cliché; the idea is to think differently. During a rain sequence, I am wearing a white sari and it's a banal scene. Since we were aware of that, we decided to take it a notch higher by adding some fun elements. At times, it is difficult to perform these scenes compared to something that comes naturally. As an actor, I need to realise the sur [rhythm] of the film and go with it. Bareilly Ki Barfi, Luka Chuppi and Arjun Patiala are all romantic comedies. As is Housefull 4. You seem to have settled in this genre. I enjoy it. Comedy is all about reactions. It's about feeding from each other's energies. The actor and director have to be in sync. Even when I am not cracking a joke, the audience will find it funny because of my reaction to the situation. It was all action and reaction between Diljit and me. He is a natural. We improvised several scenes during rehearsals that were included in the final cut purely because our reactions were unexpected.
You have a varied line up of films ahead—Arjun Patiala, Housefull 4, Panipat and an untitled film with Rahul Dholakia—For someone who says choosing the right script is tough, do you think you have made the right choices?
I am going with my gut and hoping that my choices are right. Eventually, how the film shapes up depends on the collaborative effort. Whenever a film does well and connects with the audience, it gives me reinstates my confidence. That helps in taking risks and experimenting.
Did the success of Bareilly Ki Barfi empower you?
When the film worked it did [empowered me]. However, when I was shooting for it, I didn't receive confident reactions from people. They were hesitant and asked, 'Choti budget ki movie hai, kar logi kya? [It's a small budget film, will you do it]'. I don't think any film is small or big because at the end of the day content works irrespective of the budget. After the success [of Bareilly Ki Barfi], I got noticed as an actor which had never happened before. People did not expect me to fit in the role of a small town girl. This changed the opportunities coming my way. I consider the film a milestone and a turning point in my career. Now, it has become trickier to choose what interests me.
Despite having a higher success ratio among your contemporary actors, there is a notion that you are not a bankable star. Has that changed?
The media always mentions 'bankable star' so it has registered in my mind, but I don't know what goes into being one. I think it changed after the success of Luka Chuppi. It's a common belief that one hit can be a fluke, but when Lukka Chuppi received great numbers at the box office it boosted my confidence. I am now in a position to take the risk and responsibility. Yes, that is a lot of pressure, but it will keep me from slacking.
Does your equation change when you are working with senior actors like in Housefull 4?
In my case, both Akshay [Kumar] sir and Shah Rukh sir are chilled out. I don't feel the difference because they made me comfortable from the get-go. Of course, with a senior actor on set you have to behave appropriately, but things alter depending on the equation. Akshay sir is someone who helped me in scenes and has no qualms about taking or giving suggestions. In between shots, he would pick up an orange and start playing catch or a game of tic-tac-toe. That is the beauty of this profession, eventually everyone
is on the same level.
What's your idea of entertainment outside of movies?
I still find watching movies entertaining [smiles]. I also like writing poems but that doesn't happen often. Otherwise, I catch up with my parents [in Delhi], or school and college friends. I also enjoy travelling in between films.
On being trolled
Recently, Kriti Sanon got flak for posting a picture with a Cheetah. When asked if she feels the need to hit back, Sanon says, "It's not about giving back to the trolls. I am an animal lover. People said that the cheetah was drugged, but if that was the case, he wouldn't be able to walk. These cheetahs are a part of the national park and have grown up there. I try to respond to trolls, but I don't take the pressure, nor do I get bothered by people's comments. I stay away from negativity."
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