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EXCLUSIVE: Ayesha Kanga on the audition she gave for Netflix’s Class, “Didn’t think it was a good one”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Ayesha Kanga on the audition she gave for Netflix’s Class, “Didn’t think it was a good one”

Ayesha Kanga also got a chance to co-write a few portions and co-create a scene in Netflix's Class.

Looking back at 2023, actress Ayesha Kanga feels pleased to have got a chance to play the character Yashika in Netflix’s acclaimed web show Class. Created by Ashim Ahluwalia, the show is a Delhi high school drama that also stars Anjali Sivaraman, Naina Bhan, Zeyn Shaw, Chayan Chopra, Gurfateh Pirzada, Madhyama Segal, Piyush Khati, among others.

EXCLUSIVE: Ayesha Kanga on the audition she gave for Netflix’s Class, “Didn’t think it was a good one”

In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Ayesha spoke about the long process of her casting for Class. “They were casting for it maybe for a year or 9 months or so,” she said. “And I had heard about the casting through a friend of mine, who also wanted to audition for the show. They were auditioning almost every kid in India for the same (laughs). And my modelling agency had sent me for a very fishy audition. They didn’t tell me what I was auditioning for. They couldn’t tell me anything. They couldn’t send me a script. That’s very rare for an audition.”

Sharing what happened at the audition, she added, “They explained the scene to me and said that there is no script and said you can do the scene however you want. They had given guidelines on the character and that’s it.”

Ayesha didn’t have many hopes after the audition. “I didn’t think it was a good one,” she said. “And I didn’t hear from these guys for four months. I even forgot that I had given this audition. Four months later I found out that I was shortlisted for the part. Then a friend mentioned that this is the official Indian adaptation of Elite. So, my sister and I binged watched the show.”

Watching the original show had interesting consequences for Ayesha. “I already discovered that I had a new favourite character. So, I begged them to let me audition for another character, which they obviously didn’t do. I went around in circles, and I tried to locate anybody who could possibly get me auditioned for this one character I had absolutely fallen in love with. I then sent my audition and then nobody responded to me for another four months. Then I was told that I am shortlisted for both the characters. Fortunately, I got to pick. It was a lot of running around, and scheming and plotting.”

Elaborating on her character Yashika, she said, “Initially in the season, you are not supposed to like her. She is a caricature type of a character, who is pretty much put as a troupe to piss off the couple in love. It’s a look into that very annoying sort of influencer culture in the society. So, she is not supposed to be likeable and fun. But as the season goes by, you realize that she also has a heart. She also has emotions and issues, and she is also going through the first break up of her life. She is also dealing with a lot of innate mental health issues. She is also dealing with neglect from her parents. This is also when people feel a soft corner for her.”

Apart from the research the makers asked Ayesha to do, she did a lot of prep work from her side as well. “They had sent me a lot of material on influencers they wanted me to be like,” she said. “Of course, she is much younger than me, so she needed to have a lot more energy. I made a list of things that I thought Yashika would do, like her favourite songs, TV shows. She is definitely a fan of Pooh (Kareena Kapoor Khan’s character from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham). She has definitely watched all Koffee With Karan episodes at least 5 times each. She is definitely a BLACKPINK fan. Of course, we worked on her anger because she is really an angry girl.”

Interestingly, Ayesha also got to be a co-writer and create a scene of her own despite being a newcomer. “Ashim, our showrunner, was really impressed that I went to NID (National Institute of Design) because he respects the institution a lot,” she said. “In fact, another member from Class is also from NID. That institute prepares you for anything creatively. He is very collaborative as not too many people would be willing to listen to first-time actors.”

As far as writing is concerned, Ayesha felt like adding her own lines to her character. “It didn’t feel like an 18-year-old girl was speaking,” she said. “A huge part of the Gen Z is the slang that they use. I sat with Ashim, and the screenwriter and we basically changed the entire script to make it look like it was prepared by an 18-year-old. So, all of Yashika’s English dialogues were written by me.”

Similarly, she also got to create one scene. “The reason we did this scene is because another actor couldn’t show up,” said Ayesha. “So, we had that slot to fill. I was thinking what if we do this scene this way. We were discussing and we invented the scene, and we shot on the spot in 2-3 takes. It was my favourite scene.”

That’s not all though. Ayesha also contributed to the graphics where group chats are show on the screen. She is happy that youngsters noticed this and said that this is really the way they talk.

Also Read: Ayesha Kanga shines bright with Class and Vogue recognition; says, “The overwhelming love that Class received gave me the confidence boost I needed”


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