The Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast
It’s Easier For People From A Filmi Background To Get Their First Film.”
On a bright sunny afternoon, I was heading to meet the new hot pataka of Tinsel Town. And as soon I reached and rang the bell, I thought I would have to wait for the gal to arrive, but who opened the door? KIARA ADVANI, herself! She looked fresh and beautiful without a single speck of makeup, in a pink singlet and purple tracks, she welcomed me in her lavishly decored house. Be it in reel or real life, she has a presence that will surely make you fall head over heels in love with her...Want to know why I am all praises about her. Read on… How was your experience working in M. S. D ho ni: An Untold Story? Could you narrate a few anecdotes? There are many anecdotes, and M.S. Dhoni was an amazing experience. I remember I had waited for a long time after my first film because I really wanted to do something that would be worth it, and be super duper excited to work on. And of course, with the second film you have to be a little careful as you don’t get too many chances. So when I got to know that Neeraj (Pandey) sir wanted to meet me for Dhoni, I was overwhelmed because I always wanted to work with him, he is a genius. Neeraj sir is very calm and doesn’t speak much. I think whatever I spoke to him was during the promotions we had than while we were shooting. Because he is just so clear with what he wants to tell you that there is never any confusion. I remember this scene and it actually is the scene that gave me the most reactions from the audience which is when Sushant (Singh Rajput) proposed to me in the film. When I reached the sets Neeraj sir said, ‘I just want you to let go uninhibitedly and just pour yourself out and cry.’ I had no prep time or time to think of how I would do the scene, I just had to do it. I literally just had to live in that moment. The scenes were light yet emotional, the
most fun part was when we shot for a song in Cape Town - that was my first time to Cape Town. We had a blast, we were just shooting there for three days but we were there for a week so we were just exploring the city, every day after we got done with work.
Were there any challenges that you faced during the shoot? Yes, we shot with a lion which was the first time for me, honestly speaking I don’t think I ever want to shoot with a lion because I literally died when I got to know that we would be shooting with one. Sushant kept telling me, ‘Listen, they don’t have our insurance or anything, so you better think about it.’ I said don’t say that, you’re ruining it even more. But Neeraj sir was very sweet so we reached on the sets, and he told me, ‘See how you feel, it’s still in the car, we haven’t brought it out as yet, let him come around and as soon as you’re comfortable, we will start shooting. We won’t roll till you are comfortable.’ that’s when I realised that all the pressure was on me. I am adventurous to a certain point, but I think this extra enthusiasm comes only on the sets. I want to do all these things, and maybe some people enjoy wild life, but I would only do that if I am on the sets or if I am asked to do that for a film. Otherwise in my regular life, I am very limited when it comes to adventure. But somehow there is another energy that comes into me when I am shooting.
That was about M.S. Dhoni, what about the film that made you the Mast gal of Bollywood? (Laughs) For Machine, we shot for over a month in Georgia, and the entire unit became one family. Machine was made on a much larger scale. So the whole experience of working with Abbas Mustan and working on such a scale was at another level. Machine was the most pampered sets I have ever been on. Everything was over the top, like you will have someone blowing a fan for every scene, be it crying or normal. You are working with three camera’s at all times. So everything was overwhelming and again, an experience which I will always cherish for sure. With the Mast Mast song, I finally got to dance, and I really wanted to dance. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to become an actor because I love dancing. When Machine happened, I knew I would finally get that opportunity with good songs. Because Abbas Mustan are known for great music in their films. And Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast is an iconic number which was remixed, the track has massively picked up. Girls actually come up to me and say, ‘I remember your red dress from the song.’ It feels so amazing when girls compliment you.
Now that people come upto you, how does it feel to be a known name and achieve the celebrity status? I don’t know if I have achieved the celebrity status as yet. But as a performer, I feel more enriched because an actor learns from every film. You take away something or the other from who you work withbe it your co-stars, technicians, you just keep learning more, and that definitely gives you more experience as an actor. Otherwise, I feel life is still the same. It feels good when people recognise you and come up to you because of your work. So many people still call me Sakshi, and that’s the film that made the audience connect with me. It was a game changer for me as well. It feels nice when they know you as your character, because then as an actor, you feel your part has registered, people have noticed it, liked it, and related to it.
Which is your favourite genre in movies ? Is there a certain genre you wish to do in the future? When I am binge watching, I always tend to watch rom-com. Also, all my favourite films have been rom-coms. As an actor, I want to explore and try different things. I don’t think many people would
If Somebody Offers Me A Rom-Com I Won’t Even Think Twice, I Would Just Say Yes.”
have thought of my first film Fugly as my first film, it was a sociopolitical film, the girl’s role was very edgy, which was completely different from me. As an actor, I am very ambitious and I want to do different kinds of films. If somebody offers me a rom-com, I won’t even think twice, I would just say ‘yes’!
Talking about exploring, if you had the opportunity to play a biopic whose life would you like to portray? I never know how to answer this question. Whenever I was asked this question, I have always said Madhubala because I don’t know enough about her. So I feel I will get to learn a lot more about her by doing the film. But I would give it some more thought.
Do you think coming from a filmi background helps in paving an easy route to success in B-town? I can’t say about achieving success. But it’s, of course easier for people from a filmi background to get their first film. Because they know the people in the industry, their parents know each other. They have grown up seeing the life and are comfortable there. It’s definitely easier for them to get a platform. It’s easier for the director and producer as the surname counts and helps in the marketing and promotions. But an actor’s success ultimately depends on the audience. Even today, the filmi kids in the industry have achieved success on their own merit. The audience is not forgiving to just give you success because you have got your first film. While it is easier for star kids to get films, success is something that only the audience can give.
What is your ideology about success then? Does success come with hard work or luck? I believe when hard work meets opportunity, that’s when luck falls into place. So do you think the industry is a fair place or people are partial in Tinsel Town? There is partiality in the industry, but then where isn’t it there? Right?
Which is that one actor you aspire to work with in the future? Why only one? I have a whole list. So from Mr. Amitabh Bachchan to of course all the Khans. And also, Ranveer Singh and Varun Dhawan are two actors that I am longing and hoping to get an opportunity to work with. Also, Ranbir Kapoor, the list is endless.
Then there must be that one movie you saw and wished to be a part of? Or would wish to be a part of the sequel? I really like Zoya Akhtar’s films. I loved Dil Dhadakne Do, and I would want to be a part of a film like that.
Which celebrity do you think has the best style statement in the industry? Male and female? I think Akshay Kumar has the best style statement in the industry, he is very cool and dapper. And a female celebrity would be Sonam Kapoor.
What according to you is more important to make a name in the industry? Good looks or acting skills? Acting skills are needed to make you last in the industry, and good looks just follow with hair and makeup. A little bit of both is great because it’s a visual medium. But definitely, acting skills is a must because if you don’t have that then you’re not going a long way. Then we also have actors like Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and again the way you look at a person is very subjective. How do you rate someone as good looking? You may find someone good looking and somebody else might not find that person good looking. But at the end of the day if you don’t have the acting skills then what’s the point of being in this line?
If you could live one actor’s life for a day? Who would you choose and why? I would want to live Priyanka Chopra’s life. I really want to know how she manages her time, the way she does. And I think it is the coolest thing to be a protagonist in an American TV show. She is a global icon as well, and the amount that she has done with UNICEF is amazing. Everything that she does, she does it so well, she is committed to every single position, opportunity, or platform that she has been given. I would love to see how her life would feel like. Machine Was The Most Pampered Sets I Have Ever Been On.”