Free Press Journal

‘Bollywood happened by chance’, says Kriti Kharbanda


Kriti Kharbanda speaks to Sumit Sharma about her upcoming film and why she feels it is easier for the outsiders to survive in the film industry

Punjabi kudi Kriti Kharbanda after making a mark in South Indian cinema is now winning hearts in Bollywood as well. Kriti started her acting career in 2009, with the Telugu movie Boni. She later went on to make a debute in the Kannada film industry with the movie Chinu, and soon became the top most actress of Kannada cinema. Kriti’s Bollywood debut in Raaz Reboot with Emraan Hashmi got a lukewarm response, but audience appreciated her acting. In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, Kriti talks about her journey in Bollywood so far.

You don’t come from a film background, how difficult was it to make it in the industry?
It was not difficult for me to start my Bollywood journey. Bollywood happened to me, I didn’t try to get into this industry. It happened by chance. Survival was more of an issue. It doesn’t matter whether you are from the industry or you know anybody from the industry, it is just one’s personal thinking that you can survive with connections. I also believe in destiny, what is mine will come to me despite everything else. It is just little bit more of an effort to get to know people and to try and establish yourself to put yourself out there. But all in all it was difficult yet fruitful.

Bollywood has finally reached a point where the actress is getting enough screen space and her role is not just to add glamour. What kind of roles do you want to play?

I honestly want to play roles that are strong and where I am not just an eye candy. As much as I love being an eye candy, everyone wants to look beautiful on screen. I think I have got to this point where I am really desperate to play a role that is deeply profound or something that is really challenging. I love challenges. If it is 40 days shoot I need to feel like I am doing something new every single day.

How was it working with the Deols in Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se?
Honestly, it is very overwhelming when you work with people you have grown up watching, whether it is Sunny sir, Bobby sir or Dharmendra sir. It is very intimidating as a thought. When I went on the sets, I realised that at end I am an actor, they are actors and we are all playing characters, and there is no reason to feel intimidated. Off-screen we share a different kind of rapport, but on screen every actor is equal. That is something they have made me realize and it is not my realization. They never treated me like a newcomer. They never behaved as if I don’t belong here. Sunny sir encouraged me a lot. You think that they are seniors they will pass orders but they do conversations. That was literally an eye-opening experience for me.

In this movie you are playing a Gujarati girl. How challenging was it for you to learn Gujarati?
Ans: It’s been difficult. In the movie’ Guest in London’ I had played the role of a Gujarati girl but I didn’t have to speak in Gujarati at all. There I had a co-actor, Paresh sir who is Gujarati, but here we all are Punjabi even the director is Punjabi. I am learning Gujarati and that too Gujarati tongue twisters. I spent close to four hours to mug Gujarati tongue twisters. I had to deliver these dialogues to Asrani sir. He was very supportive. He helped me with my dialogue delivery in Gujarati.

How is your comic timing?
Comedy is a very serious business. It is not the easiest thing to do. You need to match timings with your fellow actors. You can’t go over the top. Gone are those days when everything was over the top. Now we have to make it look realistic, as relatable as possible. Comedy has worked for me. I enjoyed myself and it will reflect on screen.

Do you want to continue doing commercial films or want to explore parallel cinema?
I want to do everything, I am a very greedy person. Honestly, I don’t know why it is called parallel cinema. In the end of the day not every commercial film is a commercial success and not every parallel film doesn’t do well at the box office. Lot of parallel movies as we call them, do well at the box office. I would like to do something serious and something little different for my satisfaction rather than any other reason.