Alaya F will soon be seen alongside Karan Mehta in Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, it is set to release on February 3. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actress for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
Anurag Kashyap is known to offer amazing and strong characters to women? Your thoughts?
I am playing two different characters and one of them has a TikTok personality named Ammi, which is not an actual voice and actual dialect it’s a put on sort of a character. Then another one is Ayesha. Anurag sir has written every character wonderfully.
How challenging was the film for you considering you play two very different roles in it?
Anurag sir did not want us to prep for the character, he just wanted us to come on the sets. He writes and types the dialogues on the sets. By the time we are ready on the mark, we get the dialogues and are informed about our dialect. It is so spontaneous. It has been a very different experience. I was slightly nervous and felt... will I be able to do justice to my character? I had done Jawaani Jaaneman (2020) even though this is my debut film. I was nurtured a lot on the sets of Jawaani Jaaneman and here there was no prep. I feel this film has prepared me to give my best on any film.
Are you very choosy about the roles you sign?
Not choosy as much because the entire world was in a lockdown back then. During that period, I did get innumerable offers I was excited about but because of the lockdown, producers didn't know what to do with their existing projects. However, I will never do films which don't excite me. It’s pointless to work half-heartedly. It will be unfair to the film and the team. I need to have belief in the director or even the script. Some magic happened between the second and third lockdown and I did three films in three months.
Have you faced rejections in the film industry?
Yes, of course I suffered rejections. Before Jawaani Jaaneman and Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat, when I would go for auditions, people would meet me but I did not get any films. At that time I was very confused. Then I got a film offer from Anurag sir. It's then that I got a sense of confidence. After signing this film after two months I was offered Jawaani Jaaneman. In a humble way I got this confidence as rejections made me feel it’s your loss not mine.
What are your expectations from the box office?
Now the way everyone is looking at the box office is confusing because nobody knows which film will be a hit or flop. After the pandemic, the viewing pattern has changed and spending pattern too has been changed so you never know unless a film releases. There can be surprise hits. If I start pondering about my box office numbers, then I will go crazy so I keep myself restricted to my performances. Am I proud of my performance that I have put in the film I’m doing? That’s where my involvement is restricted to when I’m doing a project.
Have you been offered something from Saif Ali Khan’s production house?
Not specifically. Saif sir will always be my favorite co-star. Jawaani Jaaneman was so special to me as it’s my first film that was released. Saif sir and I share a special warmth and this will be there even if we will meet years later. It’s always been lovely meeting him.
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