An Engineering graduate, Delhi girl Kriti Sanon is merely hours away from making her Bollywood debut with Heropanti. While ‘Whistle Baja’ is pretty much the kind of massy start that she would have hoped for when Sajid Nadiadwala signed her for this Sabbir Khan directed film, Kriti has a lot to look forward to in Bollywood, what with all eyes on her to make her presence felt in one of the most hyped debuts this year.
What is striking indeed is your confidence in front of the camera and the screen presence.
I would credit that to my modeling experience. That grooms you to improve your personality and gain confidence. I have done quite a few ramp shows in front of live audience and also done many ad shoots. Every time you face the camera and audience, you gain confidence. Every assignment helps and I guess that helped me reach till here. I am glad I took those baby steps towards films.
Weren’t you conscious about stepping into films right from the beginning?
Not really! When I was modeling in Mumbai, it was just for me. Then I took a private acting workshop with a theater personality who used to dedicate two hours to me thrice a week. I do realize though that acting is something that cannot be learnt. Either you have it or you don’t. For Heropanti, I did a few workshops before we started shooting. Sabbir used to make sure that Tiger and I did some rehearsals together, especially when it came to some key scenes. We were especially conscious about the scenes where Tiger and I meet initially. The character graph had to be well set at the rehearsal stage itself.
Did that help?
Yes, because due to this approach, Tiger and I didn’t have any awkward moment from the first day itself. Sabbir made sure that we started shooting for those scenes first that we had rehearsed together. We always had this friendly bond due to which there was no problem at all between the two of us. The whole give and take process helped us out in a big way. Moreover, Sabbir also prepared us about the space and the surroundings with props et al. He made me visit the sets well in advance so that I get accustomed to the ‘haveli’ where I was supposed to be living since my childhood.
Guess it was all quite convenient for you, especially in your very first Hindi film.
Well, there were climate issues for sure (laughs). I remember when we were shooting in Patiala; it was really hot at 45 degrees. The scenes that we were doing were also quite intense and important in terms of interaction and characterization. It was tough to perform in such conditions but thankfully I could since all preparation had already taken place well in advance.
How much was Sajid Nadiadwala’s involvement during the film’s making?
(Smiles) Sajid always used to say that since he trusts Sabbir so much, he doesn’t need to be physically present for the shoot. Yes, he used to have a conversation with him every day on phone. In fact Sabbir also used to send him stills of what was shot during the day. That was enough to satisfy Sajid.
How satisfied are you with playing a simple middle class girl in your very first film? After all, you must have wanted to get an out and out glam launch, isn’t it?
See, the character that I am playing belongs to conservative Haryanvi Jat family, hence the way she dresses up had to be ethnic instead of being Western. Of course what she is wearing may be simple but still makes her look glam. My stylist Sonakshi took care of the fact that I had to look good while doing all the girly things despite my character having a conservative backdrop.
So how have the reactions been so far?
I remember when we had the trailer launch, I messaged Sajid thanking him for all he had done for me. After all, this was the first time I had seen my trailer on the big screen. Sajid told me that I had gone beyond his expectations. That was good enough for me (smiles).
However, your Heropanti is releasing along with superstar Rajinikanth‘s Kochadaiiyaan. Scary?
On the contrary it is twin offering for the audience since these are two very different films. There is no clashing per se since Rajinikanth sir has his own place. Moreover, both films are so different. These days audience like to watch all kind of movies as long as they are good and I am sure they would love to catch Heropanti as well as Kochadaiiyaan.