Farzi, which was released last month on Amazon Prime Video, continues to make waves thanks to its plot, storytelling, performances and humour. The lead actors like Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethipathi, Raashii Khanna, Amol Palekar, Kay Kay Menon and Bhuvan Arora of course have been talked about. But even some of the actors who had smaller parts have been noticed. One such actor is Anastasiya Ador. As Svetlana, she put up a very entertaining and memorable performance. Her conversations with Shahid Kapoor and Bhuvan Arora in the bar and later on the ship made for a hilarious watch.
EXCLUSIVE: “I didn’t tell Shahid Kapoor that I had his pictures on my wall growing up because that would have created a wrong dynamic” – Anastasiya Ador
Born and brought up in Belarus, Anastasiya Ador moved to India 11 years ago after learning Indian dance and culture at the Indian Embassy in Minsk. Since then she has appeared in films like Udta Punjab (2016), Qaidi Band (2017), Gurgaon (2017) and Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018). She also was seen in web shows like Rajkummar Rao co-starrer Bose: Dead/Alive (2017; in which she played Netaji Subas Chandra Bose’s wife), Raveena Tandon co-starrer Aranyak (2021), MX Player’s Campus Diaries (2022) etc.
In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Anastasiya Ador, currently in London, spoke about Farzi, working with Shahid Kapoor and a lot more.
How has been the response to your role in Farzi?
It has been great. People are reaching out on Instagram and Twitter and some of them are asking whether she’ll be back in the next season! I couldn’t stop laughing as I never expected the role and the experience to be this fun. Every single day, I have been flooded with messages.
Did anyone from the industry reach out?
I can’t take names but actors and directors with whom I have worked before did reach out. A lot of them didn’t expect me in the show. They were surprised. This is because I never shared that I am a part of it. Also, the show has done huge globally. Hence, not just Indian but even audiences from other countries like Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK etc have dropped messages. This shows that the reach of the show is immense.
How did you land the role?
I got it through Mukesh Chhabra. Initially, I wasn’t too excited about doing Farzi. Whatever I don’t want to play, it was there in this character! I feared that I’ll get stereotyped in such a role. But when I read about my character and read the lines, I realized that she’s the one who speaks both English and Russian. The captain, meanwhile, doesn’t know English. So, she’s the one who’s translating. It made me curious as I realized that I can play around with this aspect.
During the audition, I went with a cigarette in my hand. I don’t smoke and I don’t know why I did that! Anyway, it was funny and I enjoyed the audition. It happened right before going to the UK. I auditioned for it in early 2021. I shot for the show in September 2021.
In a recent interview, you mentioned that you had cut out and put up Shahid Kapoor’s picture on the wall as you were obsessed and in love with his character in Jab We Met (2007). Did you tell Shahid Kapoor about it?
I didn’t want to tell Shahid that I had his pictures on my wall growing up because that would have created a wrong dynamic. When there are such big actors as your co-stars, you tend to feel intimidated. Many actors I am sure will relate to what I am saying. The co-actors at times have done so much work that you wonder what you are even doing on the sets. Outside the set, Shahid is obviously a mega star. But on the set, I believe that everyone should be equal. We are all on the set for the same thing. That’s when the good stuff comes out. You don’t think ‘what will they think if I do this’. Instead, you just think about acting and creating the scene.
While shooting for Farzi, we did a lot of improvisations. The directors Raj and DK were very welcoming. The shot where I punched Shahid on the soldier and told him ‘You are a fighter’ came out spontaneously. So, no I didn’t tell Shahid but I do remember thinking how cool it is to be working with him not once or twice but thrice. It’s like the circle of life. I started my journey in films with him. Growing up, it was all about him and Shah Rukh Khan.
In the same interview, you also mentioned that you had family friends in Delhi with whom you stayed when you landed in India…
Yes. These are the people who used to organize an Indian exhibition in our city where they would sell tea, furniture, saree, jewellery etc. As a teenager, I used to work in this exhibition. I would also teach people Hindi and teach them about Indian culture. My mom was into jewellery as well and she also started working with them. They were our very good friends. I stayed with them for 9 months in North Delhi while I was studying filmmaking. Later, I moved on to my own place.
Do you have plans to get into filmmaking?
Yes. I made short films when I moved to Mumbai like Sthir and No Lift. I also directed plays. India gave me a lot of experience. I am writing a script while I am in the UK. And I got selected for this writing programme called Aluna Labs. It's led by Vanessa Kirby, a famous English actress. She has a production house which helps female directors who are moving from theatre to film to create their projects. At the end of this month, we’ll have executives coming from Netflix, British Film Institute and we can pitch our ideas to them. This lab is so beautiful as it’s helping women get into the film industry. It’s so funny because I was trying to do it in India. But then it’s difficult when you don’t have connections. I had left it there. In the UK, meanwhile, I didn’t even think of it but this happened. So, I am very much looking forward to it.
What made you move to England?
I went there for my studies. The lockdown made me realize that I had this dream of expanding internationally. I love India and it’ll never go away. But what was missing was a little bit of international recognition. I have even got an agent and I am auditioning.
When do you plan to return to India?
I have written a script based on some of my experiences in India. Some people have shown interest in it. So, hopefully, I am going to try getting it on the floors. Also, I can always come back to India whenever work calls me.
What are your future projects?
As for feature films, there are two releases, one is a Tamil film while the other one is in Hindi. The Hindi film is titled Fingers Crossed. I shot for it before moving to the UK along with Farzi. In UK, I worked in a short film called Rabbit. It is produced by 2 Czech directors, David Kreibich and Jessica Mackie Hunter.
Then I also have another short film, Check Out, directed by Fenil Seta. It is expected to soon release on Disney+ Hotstar. One of the things I really enjoyed was playing the character. Since it was based on a real story, it made it more interesting since most of the time, we only get to play fictionalized characters. It also added to the responsibility.
I also enjoyed shooting for this film just before I left the country. When I was shooting for it in South Mumbai, also my favourite part of the city, just being on those streets and walking around and also shooting outside Shah Rukh Khan’s house Mannat made me very nostalgic. Growing up, I felt that it would be crazy to even dream that I’ll be in India. But I moved here and to be there filming for various multiple projects, be it a Shahid Kapoor-starrer or a short film where I was the lead, felt great.
Also Read: Bhuvan Arora opens up on his bond with Farzi co-star Shahid Kapoor; says, “He is like an elder brother to me now”
More Pages: Farzi Box Office Collection , Farzi Movie Review
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