Ananya Panday on making her debut with Student of the Year 2: It's a masala entertainer, a 'bubble-gum' film

Seema Sinha

May 09, 2019 12:31:01 IST

Few months back Ananya Panday — the spunky newcomer who is all set to make her film debut in Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year 2 alongside Tiger Shroff and fellow debutante Tara Sutaria — said that she didn’t deserve to be on Koffee With Karan, and the daughter of senior actor Chunky Pandey still stands by what she said.

“I feel there are a lot of people out there who are very talented and hardworking and I feel that I have tried my best. I have auditioned and I am also going to be super hard working. I want to justify Karan’s and Punit’s (Director, Malhotra) faith in me. This has been my dream also, I have to be fair to myself. Since I was young this is all I wanted to do all my life and I am so grateful that I actually got the chance to do it,” says Ananya.

Ananya Panday on making her debut with Student of the Year 2: Its a masala entertainer, a bubble-gum film

Tara Sutaria, Tiger Shroff and Ananya Pandey in a still from Student of the Year 2. Screenshot from YouTube

Unlike both her co-stars, Tiger and Tara, who are a bit reserved, Ananya is chatty and extroverted. She says her nervousness stems from the fact that both her co-stars are familiar with showbiz and the limelight, whereas she is a rank newcomer. “Tara has done Disney before and Tiger has done successful films so I felt I was the only new one. I didn’t even know what facing was, what camera angles were, I was completely new and raw,” she says, adding, “But that is a good thing because I hope people like that freshness in me. When Alia was seen in the first film, people really appreciated her rawness, so I hope that would help rather than challenge me.”

Though the general notion is that the two actors debuting in the same film could feel insecure and even try to outsmart each other, Ananya says Tara and her bonded really well and she was the only person on sets who understood her feelings.

“Tiger wouldn’t know obviously because he has done few films and Punit is the director. Tara and I shared the same feelings and that was a very important bonding point for us,” says Ananya.

Ananya’s character in SOTY 2 demanded that she be feisty and she says that she could relate to it well. “I have always been like how I am in my character but I was also quite studious. I wouldn’t get into trouble. But Tiger and I am living through Student of the Year, since both of us haven’t been to college. Tara is the smart one, so you should do some GK (General Knowledge) questions with her” she laughs.

When the trailer of the film dropped, it was met with criticism for being far from reality and showcasing a "fantasy" school life, and Ananya immediately comes to the team’s defence. “We are not trying to make a documentary or realistic cinema, we have always maintained that we are making a masala entertainer, a bubble gum film and I really hope that people come in with that mindset and only then they will have a blast watching it. It was really funny when people said 'we didn't have these uniforms in school', even I didn't. It is a larger than life film and you have to take the magic which comes with it," said Ananya.

Ananya Panday in SOTY 2. Screengrab from trailer.

Ananya loves comedies and she is quite thrilled about her next film, Pati Patni Aur Woh (alongside current heart-throb Kartik Aryan, and Bhumi Pednekar). The film releases in December. “Producer Juno Chopra saw some rushes of SOTY 2 and he really liked me and that’s how I was cast. We have shot for only three days and we will shoot next in July,” says Ananya, who is still in the dark about people’s perception towards her and that's what she's anxious about. “I am finding it really hard because my first film hasn’t come out, so I don’t know what people like and what they don’t. Maybe, now in July when I shoot the second schedule of Pati, Patni..., the feeling would be different and I may have to make some changes depending upon people’s feedback,” she says.

“It is an amazing to shoot with Kartik. He is such a selfless actor. He doesn’t really bother about the other actor having more lines than him. He just wants to make the scene better. Even if he didn’t have any dialogue, he would help me with mine. I haven’t yet shot with Bhumi but I am excited to work with her,” she talks about her experience, and hastily adds, “But I am very lucky that I got my first break with Tiger because I couldn’t take it easy. I had to start big time to match up to his level so I never had a moment of rest. Even between shots he would be rehearsing, so I couldn’t just chill. I couldn’t even try (chilling) because if Tiger was rehearsing then even I had to. I am grateful that I got that experience in my first film. I have leveled up.”

Ananya understands that there are more expectations from her, “Because of my dad, and everywhere we go for promotions, I feel so proud as everyone is praising him. Even though there is pressure on me, I feel proud. I don’t want to take away anything from my father by having any negative attachments to his name. He has worked so hard to gain respect in the industry. I hope I can make it bigger and better for him,” she says, adding, “He can take a joke on himself and that is what I want to learn from him,” says Ananya.

Updated Date: May 09, 2019 12:31:01 IST

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