Ananya Panday will soon be seen opposite Vijay Deverakonda in Liger. Directed by Puri Jagannadh, the film is set to hit the silver screens on August 25. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actress for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
Do you feel pressurised for the outcome of Liger at the box office as currently films aren’t working at all?
I try not to take that kind of pressure. I have just started and I am very new to all this. I don’t think with Liger, a lot has been riding on me individually. My aim is to be diverse in terms of my roles and performances. I am just trying to learn as much as possible and focusing on my acting. I hope I get to work with people who I always wanted to associate with. I don’t stress about box office numbers at all.
You are under constant scrutiny on social media. How do you deal with it?
I try not to take it seriously. As a young girl, I don’t want to set out unrealistic expectations for the ones who probably look up to me. I don’t want to look perfect all the time and I try to show that side of me as much as I can on social media. During film promotions, I need to look a certain way but when I am off duty, I would love to be in my shorts. Most of the time I am in chappals and pyjamas (laughs).
I think one needs to draw a line between constructive criticism and trolling. I am very open to feedback and opinions since they are also a part and parcel of our job. I try not to take it too personally but there are days when I get too upset.
How do you prefer to work on your acting craft that helps you in growing with each film?
I have attempted something that has always challenged me as an actor. I am fortunate to have worked with people like Deepika Padukone in Gehraiyaan and now with Vijay, I get to learn so much. Even just by spending time with directors like Shakun Batra, I can borrow a few experiences. I am glad that producer Zoya Akhtar believed in me for Kho Gaye Hum Kahan as an actor at such a young age. I can’t describe my process as of now since I am still working on it. I am a complete director's actor.
Is your father Chunky Panday your best critic?
He always wanted me to do out and out masala entertainers because that’s the kind of cinema he has been strongly associated with. So, he is over the moon seeing me promoting Liger. He always tells me how important it is to gain love from the audiences which is way above everything.
Are you competitive as an actor?
I am very competitive but more of a quite competitive person. I don’t shout about it. I never make it too obvious but there’s a fire burning inside to prove myself to everybody as an actor.
Do you discuss your projects with your best friends Suhana Khan and Shanaya Kapoor?
No, I don’t discuss scripts with them as such. We talk about acting since they are also working now so we share our experiences and stories. It has been a collective dream for all of us while growing up because we all three had the same vision and desires. We all are finally able to live our dreams. Their success feels like my personal success.