Raabta actress Kriti Sanon gets candid on the much-debated topic of nepotism in Bollywood, what difference does it make if you don’t have a surname attached, her role in Bareilly Ki Barfi, why she thinks Sushant Singh Rajput is like a chameleon, why she feels it’s important to move on from an unhappy relationship and more…
How has been your journey in Bollywood till date?
It has been an amazing experience. I have got the opportunity to work with veterans and good actors so early in my career. My second film was a huge project like Dilwale, even though I don’t come from a film background. That was a big thing for me. We were like a family on the sets. During Heropanti, both Tiger and I were new, so our audience reach was limited, which increased hugely with Dilwale. It was important to me that people should recognize me, my name. If you are not from a film background, if you don’t have a surname attached then it is very important for you to make people know your name and recognize your face.
You just mentioned about having a surname attached. Does nepotism exist in Bollywood?
Nepotism exists in Bollywood. If I say it doesn’t exist then I am blind. But tell me, in which industry nepotism doesn’t exist? A businessman’s son becomes a businessman; a doctor’s son becomes a doctor and such things happen everywhere. Nepotism, of course, exists in Bollywood too and I feel if you have been brought up within the industry and have always been in front of its insiders, then if somebody is making a new film and wants a fresh face, obviously the face that is right in front of them, will come to their mind first. If you are from a film background, then you get this opportunity till your first 4-5 films. You don’t need to create your image, as not just industry insiders but common people also know you; they at least know your name. Hence your first connect with the audience happens a little easily. But after a point, your talent as an actor is the only thing that matters. There are still people who don’t come from the film background, like me, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Sushant Singh Rajput, Ayushmann Khurrana and Ranveer Singh.
How challenging were your roles in Raabta?
In my past two films, my characters were more like the girl next door. I enjoyed essaying two completely different characters, which belong to two different worlds in Raabta. That was challenging indeed.
How did you prepare for your roles?
We did not have a reference for the time period which we were trying to show in the film. I watched Apocalypto, Game of Thrones and a few more films. At that period, it was more about survival, in fact, only about survival. Emotions deeper than this did not exist at that time. Women were not given much importance at that time. They were considered only capable of reproduction. My character, even in that time, was a girl who was brought up like a boy. She was a fearless warrior princess. I have learned horse riding and a little bit of martial arts for the role.
What do you keep in mind while choosing a film?
Whenever I am listening to or reading a new script, I get very instinctive. I first think whether I would like to watch this as a film, then I consider whether I would enjoy working on it. Other factors like the character, if you are getting to do something different with it, how crucial is your role in the film, all these come later. Playing a role in a film just for being a part of that project doesn’t make sense to me. After Raabta, I loved the script of Bareilly Ki Barfi. Nitesh Tiwari has penned the script wonderfully and I loved Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s last film. Also, the character is totally different from what I do in Raabta. She is a small town tomboyish girl from UP. I went to Lucknow and mingled with some college girls. I recorded our conversation on phone and listened to it repeatedly to grasp the dialect.
A lot of link-up, breakup rumours are spread as part of a film’s promotions these days. What do you have to say on this?
We never get to know if at all such a thing is done. Who is doing it, where is the news coming from we have no idea. In fact, we sometimes think of finding out the sources of such baseless gossips. I am totally against it. I feel if your film is good, if the on-screen chemistry between the actors is good, then it makes no difference in real life. If your film is not good, no matter how many stories you create or whatever you do (to promote it) it will make no difference. The audience is very intelligent.
People these days move on very easily from relationships. What do you think?
I think we have become very busy and independent. The stability in relationships has gone missing somewhere. Your work, competition keeps you occupied and makes you move on very easily. Also, people are now independent enough to not be in an unhappy relationship. Which relationship does not have a problem? I feel if you are in an unhappy relationship, you should not be in it but you should definitely try to work it out. For me stability and loyalty matter a lot. I feel its fine to move on. You have only one life and should not spend it with someone you are not happy with. But keep in mind that you need to be stable and need to make an effort.
Dinesh Vijan is a first time director. How was the experience of working with him?
I went to meet him for some other film when he suddenly started narrating Raabta’s story to me along with the dialogues. He is an excellent narrator. He is an emotional director. He is someone who emphasizes on feelings. How the scene is looking, marking, blocking, dialogues etc do not matter a lot to him. Only when he gets the right feel then he okays the take. He does not restrict his actors at all. He is a fabulous director who is very sure of what he wants and yet gives all the liberty to his actors.
How is Sushant Singh Rajput as a co-star?
He is very hardworking and a very good actor. I didn’t know him before the film and we met during the audition. At the audition, he did an improv to which I reacted. Similarly, when I did an improv, he reacted. He gets into the skin of the character and becomes his character just like a chameleon. He is very methodical.
Which of your contemporary actresses impress you?
The girls in Dangal were amazing. Even the little girls, the way they acted, we cannot normally act in that way, they were so pure. Their actions were priceless! I admired Alia’s (Bhatt) work in Udta Punjab. She was amazing. It was very refreshing for me to see her like that.