‘I am glad I didn’t succeed’, says Kriti Kharbanda

Kriti Kharbanda tells Nikita Wadhawan that she is happy her debut film didn’t become a hit as she didn’t think she was equipped to handle success at 18

Delhi girl Kriti Kharbanda is all set to straddle the current rage of small-town rom-coms with her next release ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ opposite Rajkummar Rao, after making her Bollywood debut with the horror flick Raaz Reboot last year. The budding actress does admits that failure has affected her. “I may not have had luck at the box office but I have had luck in my life,” says Kriti.

Her last two film ‘Raaz: Reboot’ and ‘Guest Iin London’ failed to make any impact at the box office but she is still getting offers. Kriti is also shooting for ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’ which features 81-year-old Dharmendra along with his sons Sunny and Bobby.

How are you feeling about your on screen Shaadi?

I am happy at least it is happening on screen. Door door tak koi ladka bhi nahi hai meri life me (laughs). I will first have to date a guy, then will live with him to see if we fit, then we can talk about marriage.

You are not hesitant about a live in relationship?

No, I have no issues.

How was the experience shooting the film?

It was one of my best experiences so far as I had a great co-star and wonderful director. So for me, the two of them have made my experience memorable, and I can say that I have made friends for life. Raj and Ratna are like family to me.

Was it a learning experience working with Rajkummar Rao?

The truth is that you can’t learn acting, you can learn nuances and technicality. But you can be influenced by your co-actor you are working with, as in the end acting is reacting. And Raj made me realise how important it is to be there for your co-actor, it is something that I will take back from this film.

You started off with a very bold film ‘Raaz: Reboot’ and now we are seeing you in a very desi avatar, which role did you enjoy playing the most?

I loved playing the desi girl-next-door. This is a façade that I put up of hair and makeup, in real life I am very simple and desi at heart. For me do something like this was very interesting, it gives you some scope as an actor but not just because it was de-glam. Although my role does have some sort of middle class glamour. And the kind of feedback I am getting for my look in this film is amazing as men and women in India are very desi at heart. Being desi is pretty cool.

What connected with you about your character Arti?

Arti was a reflection of me. The biggest inspiration while doing this film was my sister. The character was an amalgamation of me and my sister. She has a very fickle mind like me but still very confident, she is like my sister – innocent and she believes that she is made for big things in life. I love these qualities about my character.

After this you wish to go back to your glam avatar?

The only thing glamour about me is makeup and designer cloths, otherwise I am a typically middle-class girl. I still have a joint account with my parents, I have always been that way and will continue to be the same girl. That also keeps me grounded and I still haven’t been used to the film star lifestyle, which is my big plus.

Do you look back and think that maybe you should have started off in a rather simple role than such a bold character?

I didn’t care. I was getting a film. Why would I say no to film with the Bhatts and a franchise like Razz that is done so well? I think the only fear I had, because people kept telling me is that I might be typecast. I proved them wrong, so I am happy

What went on in your mind when you were offered Raaz?

I was very scared and I didn’t deal with it as it meant I had to spend time thinking about, and such things are not worth my time. I figured that if it doesn’t do well then I would rather cry for six days after the release then break my head on it for six months. I am fortunate sixth day I got ‘Guest IIn London’, so god has been kind to me.

As a newcomer in Bollywood with no family connections, how has the struggle it been so far?

To know weather it has been difficult or easy there has to be a comparison. I don’t have anything to compare it to. Actors like Alia Bhatt have succeeded because they are good actors, so what if she got a Karan Johar to launch her, she deserved it. If I was an industry child I would not be ashamed to be launched by a big budget film. This is a business at the end of the day and I think the industry will back the actor who bring in money.

You seem to be affected by the box office results?

Yes it hurts after a point, the first two-three day you don’t realise what is happening. Once it is Monday, you realise what has happened. It hurts but I have become a strong person now, I have done so many films now that I have gotten used to the drill. I don’t get over excited with I get a hit either. What will I do crying over it and getting dark circles and bag under my eyes?

This is how you imagine your journey when you decided to become an actor?

I thought I was going to be a superstar by now. You don’t start off thinking what will be my second film, you start off thinking you want to be Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or Kareena Kapoor Khan. We will get there. But all good things take time, maybe I will be bigger than them.

Any film that has really affected you?

My debut film in Telugu. I already assumed that since I had a movie I was a star. Then that flopped and it bought me back to reality.

Was is difficult to act in a language you did not know?

I knew jack shit abut Telugu, but I have very good photographic memory so I remembered my lines instantly. I still remember my dialogues from my first film. That worked in my favour, I just asked for the meaning and then I took my own cues. Now I know the language very well.

How good a teacher has failure been?

It helped me retain myself considering how I was flying when I signed my first film. I thought people were going to run behind me to click my pictures, I was looking at my debut from the ‘Fashion’ movie point of view. I was in that zone. I am glad it didn’t work, I would have been a very different person if my first film was a hit. I don’t think I wouldn’t have known how to handle success at 18.

How was your first brush with stardom?

It was after my film ‘Googly’ released, which has been my biggest hit ever. I developed with a big fan following at I remember feeling that it is finally happening. I actually told a fan who wanted to click a picture with me that I was not Kriti. I was in a mall and I was scared that if he clicks a picture with me then people with turn around and look at me. The boy comes back and with my picture on his phone and proved it to me that I was Kriti. So I relented and did click a picture with him.

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