Kriti Sanon on starring in spoof comedy Arjun Patiala, and being Ashutosh Gowariker's female lead in Panipat
Ahead of Arjun Patiala, Kriti Sanon talks about how she prepared her reporter's role for the film, and returning to Sajid Nadiadwala with Housefull 4.
With almost an 80 percent hit score as a lead, it was Kriti Sanon’s last two films – Bareilly Ki Barfi and Luka Chuppi, both desi rom-coms, that have given a major boost to her career. And the five-film-old actress (besides two cameos and a couple of Telugu films), who began her journey with Heropanti (2014) opposite Tiger Shroff, is set to star in her newest small-town film, Arjun Patiala, a spoof comedy with Diljit Dosanjh and Varun Sharma as her co-stars.
“I enjoy comedy though it is a very difficult genre. I also like watching it. Comedy is all about reactions and the timing of it and I am told that I am getting better at it. In fact, my dialogues that have made it to the trailer (of Arjun Patiala) were all improvisation that we did while we were shooting. They’re not written,” said Sanon.
“Both, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Luka Chuppi are important milestones of my career. These films made people recognise the actor in me. Also, they had not seen me in the world like that before. I was mostly seen in a glamorous avatar. A lot of people didn’t expect me to play a small town girl, so when Bareilly Ki Barfi got the appreciation, it opened a lot more doors for me. Further, Luka Chuppi reinstated that and gave me a lot of confidence in my choices and I felt that my gut feeling was matching with the audience. Doing the numbers the film did was another plus point,” Sanon further said.
“With Housefull, it is like going back home as my debut was with Sajid’s production. But Ashu (Ashutosh) sir liked me in Heropanti, so you never know what side of your talent is getting noticed and by who. I was very happy that he saw me playing Parvatibai’s character (in Panipat) even though I am a North Indian Punjabi girl. He saw the actor in me rather than the characters I had played, which gave me lot of confidence.”
Sanon has been seen in humour-laden films earlier, too, but Arjun Patiala is of a different kind, she says. “It’s a different take on comedy. I have not seen a spoof before in our industry here. We have seen Deadpool in the west where they make fun of themselves while making the film, which is not done very often here. The attempt at comedy is fresh and Maddock Films (production house) always goes for quirkiness, whether it is the subject, the genre, and then they try and make it mainstream, which I really admire. Stree is a huge example. When I heard Arjun Patiala, I was also laughing at the fact that it is making a buddy cop film and it is also making fun of that buddy cop film while it is making the same film. While as an audience, you are wondering, ‘Arre, how can this happen, or why is this happening', we are also saying the same thing that why is this happening. That is a new take. Then, I also like the Punjabi flavour to it. ”
Sanon plays a crime reporter based in a small town in Arjun Patiala and for her research, went on to study some bloopers for the role. “Although it is a fun film, my character takes my job of crime reporting very seriously. The research I tried doing was understand how these journalists become and behave when the camera starts rolling, and the person they become when there is a cut. There are portions I am saying things to the camera and there are portions in between or before we start rolling. Also, small-town news channels have a different flavour. I started skimming through the news channels, saw the body language and funny things happening in between takes. There are many funny bloopers. I took few things from the research and I added that as improvisation in my scenes, which makes it look real,” said the actress.
When Sanon, a Delhi girl and an engineer by qualification, started out in Bollywood, she did not chart out any plan, nor did she have any expectations. She knew that it would be difficult to crack it and find a place in the huge industry but with two big hits in her kitty, she is happy with the way her career is shaping up. When asked if she still feels like an ‘outsider’, Sanon said, “I would feel very awkward initially because I didn’t know anybody but now, it’s become a little better. But I still find myself going to my phone in between the party where I don’t know what to do. Many of my peers are born and brought up here. They know each other, they have a group where they are having a regular chat, so it is difficult to break in for sure. The only way is to keep working and as you work, you get to know more people,” she says.
Though Sanon likes genres like drama and comedy, she was very keen on attempting a thriller, and her wish was fulfilled when she bagged a female-centric thriller (directed by Rahul Dholakia), in which she plays a media professional. “I have been hearing a lot of scripts of thrillers and was hoping that I end up doing at least one of those. I have been waiting for the right female-driven thriller to come my way, and this film ticked all the boxes and has all the elements of a commercial film. It’s an entertainer that has a powerful core idea and will connect with the audiences without being preachy about the subject. I am looking forward to beginning this journey in August,” she said.
Going forward, Sanon is getting very choosy with the films and roles. “I have become hungrier and a bit greedier as an actor with every movie. There’s a dearth of really good content and at this point, I don’t want to go for anything average or mediocre. Mediocrity is not working now because there is so much material available on digital platform. I get excited and drawn to characters which have lot more substance and scope. Sometimes, I get attracted to slightly complicated, damaged, broken characters which are away from me as a person. I want to explore such characters,” she concluded.
Arjun Patiala is slated to release on 26 July.
All images from Twitter.
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