By FATIMA PATEL
She first appeared on our screens showing her histrionics in Heropanti and has never looked back. This model turned actor is now ready with her fourth Hindi film release Bareilly Ki Barfi, where she will take on the character of rebellious Bitti.
Bareilly Ki Barfi is a quirky love triangle set in a small town which also stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkumar Rao and is directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari who is joined by Bitti or as we know her Kriti Sanon.
Kriti spoke exclusively with Asian Style about her character and the Hindi film industry.
What attracted you to the script of Bareilly Ki Barfi?
This script in itself you know the way it’s written Mukesh Tiwari and Sherry have written the script, I think it is very well written in terms of the dialogue in terms of the UP flavour and the whole screenplay of it. The whole of it and of course Bitti’s character, which is introduced in the first 5/10 minutes of the film, so I was almost sold out on that because it’s such a unique character, such a different quirky character. I have never played a small-town girl before. I’ve never played a UP girl before. She’s not just a regular girl. She has a really quirky character streak. She is someone who is very outspoken. She is very bindaas. She is the only girl in Bareilly who does break dance, but it’s Bareilly kind of break dance. She hides and she smokes and watches English movies so she is a little different and tom boyish also. So, I think it was both the script and the character that took me to the film.
Yes, as you say you’re playing a very quirky character, she smokes, and claims not to be a virgin. It’s a very well-defined character, very different to say an Ishita from Dilwale. Do you feel lucky to be given an opportunity to play a role like Bitti, who seems to be a lot more real and perhaps better defined?
Well Ishita was more of a girl next door, more of a simple girl. Her traits were not that unusual or that uncommon. Raabta’s roles for me was very different from what I have done before. They were well etched, but more on the contemporary zone compared to what I have done before. Here yes, it’s a small-town character. It’s more of a real-world kind of cinema. When you watch the film, you will see that not only Bitti but every character in the film is very relatable. You will watch them and you will feel you know someone who does these things and who was like that. Small towns are very relatable for India audiences at least, because that small town middle class kind of things that one does, you know you watch the film and you think, oh even my mum reacts like this, even my dad does things like that, so the relatability factor is definitely there. The fact that she is not a normal simple girl, but has traits of her own that etch out her character really well. Obviously, when you get a role that’s well etched out, it’s more exciting as an actor, because you know what you’re doing.
How was it working with a female director, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari? Does it help when a director is female, especially when you are doing sensitive scenes?
A lot of people have asked me this question, but I really feel that a director is a director it doesn’t matter what the gender is. You need to know the scenes really well, you need to be able to extract emotions, the correct emotions in every scene if you’re directing. I think Ashwini also for that matter knows her scenes really well. She knows the world really well. She herself is someone who is very simple, very rooted and very culturally aware, so some how she does connect with the small-town world and the characters really well and she is able to get that relatability factor in every scene. She knows what she wants out of a scene She knows the zone that she wants to play in. But she also gives you the freedom to do it your own way and then she will sort of direct you and tell you, where she doesn’t want you to go and what works for her. So, it’s been great. She herself is someone who is very sensitive in fact. I used to realise whether I had done a scene well or not by her reactions. When it was an emotional scene, she would get tears in her eyes while watching it. Sometimes if it was a funny scene she couldn’t say cut because she was laughing so hard. So, I think she was a true reflection of the emotions that were actually there in the scene.
Would you say you’re a director’s actor?
Yes, I guess. I am a Directors actor completely. I am someone who puts in a lot of thought into my character and my scenes and I do have a lot of questions. Because as an actor one should be curious. You should know what you’re doing and why you are doing it that way. There has to be a reason to it. I think Shahrukh sir once told me there is no right way of doing a scene and I completely agree with that because a scene can be approached in many different ways. So, I think for me I obviously come prepared on set and I do have my thoughts of the way I look at a scene, but eventually a film is a director’s vision and I usually like collaborating with a director and discussing scenes. In terms of what I want to do and if a director wants it differently I completely go with that.
You’ve been in the industry a few years now, are you content with how your career is shaping up?
Yes, absolutely I think not being from a film background. Having reached where I have, getting the kind of opportunities that I am I feel really blessed. I think for me it is important to be getting different kinds of roles and to be able to experiment and sort of discover myself and to keep working. That’s exactly what is happening. I think all the films I have done so far have been way different from each other and I have gotten an opportunity to work with a lot of really talented people.
Less than a day from release are you nervous at all.
Yes (laughs) Of course I am nervous. I am really excited I think once you finish shooting a film you know you have done your bit. But after that it’s up to the public. It’s like you’ve given an exam and the results are pending. So, of course there is an increase in the heartbeats. But I am happy that at least the trailer has got a great response and they are liking the songs. I think Bareilly Ki Barfi’s trailer is very true to the film, so it’s a true reflection of the world that you will see in the film. So, if someone has liked the trailer, I am kind of sure that they will like the film.