Aahana Kumra has been cast alongside Kajol in Revathy’s upcoming directorial venture, Salaam Venky. She will also be seen in the show Avrodh 2 The Siege Within. The Free Press Journal caught up with the Lipstick Under My Burkha actress for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How does it feel to work with Revathy? Could you share something about your role in Salaam Venky?
I love Revathy ma’am. She is not a human being from this earth. I am in awe of her. We would sit and talk about roles, her daughter and how her career had panned. I am a huge fan of hers. She is so clean in her direction. Working with her is a dream come true. She treats the extras also with so much love. I have been her fan since her film Muskurahat. I cannot divulge about my character or the story. The title is Salaam Venky, and I don’t know if it is being made in other languages. At the moment, we have only shot it in Hindi.
What did she think about casting you?
I had received a call from her production house, and I agreed to the offer only after hearing Revathy ma’am’s name. I didn’t even bother to ask anything more.
Clearing the Shamshera air
Aahana is not a part of director Karan Malhotra’s Shamshera. Despite that, her name appears on the film’s IMDB page as well as her own IMDB and Wikipedia page. The actress shares, “I am not doing Shamshera. Everyone has asked me this. I don’t know why they have put my name in IMDB and on my Wikipedia page. I have been telling Karan to remove it, but he is not doing so. I met Karan and told him, 'Karan, mera naam hatta dein'. I did tell him politely that he is so sweet and said, ‘Your name has appeared, so we will surely work together in future’. I am waiting for Karan to offer me a role in his next project (smiles).”
Tell us about your professional beginnings in showbiz.
I was working as the casting assistant under Shanoo Sharma (YRF). I worked for one full year casting for the film My Name Is Khan. Thereafter, I did a lot of theatre, and then I did The Blueberry Hunt. That is my first film shot in Vagamon (Kerala) with Naseeruddin (Shah) sir. Unfortunately, it was released after many years and flopped miserably.
Despite having worked with YRF, why haven’t they cast you in any of their projects so far?
Well, I was never asked by any of them to audition for any part. Honestly speaking, they did not know anything about my acting capabilities. I didn’t think of auditioning, and also, since they did not know about my acting talent, they never thought that I was fit to work in any YRF project. So it’s simple that neither Shanoo nor the makers thought about casting me. She saw me as a casting assistant; we still maintain a very cordial relationship with each other. I learned a lot from her.
India Lockdown, my film with Madhur (Bhandarkar) sir, is about to release.