For a spunky actor like Kriti Kharbanda, who has made a career out of starring in small budget films, a project like 14 Phere is more than just a film. It is more of a memorable journey with a script thrown in! Streaming on Zee5 and directed by Devanshu Kumar, Kriti is excited about her latest outing with good friend, Vikrant Massey. We get Kriti to sit for chat about the movie, working with Vikrant, auditioning for roles, and more.
How did 14 Phere fall into your lap?
14 Phere was supposed to go on the floors in March-end last year. But unfortunately, that was when the pandemic hit and we had to stall the shoot. When I met the director, he was clear about one thing: Me auditioning for a part. He told me that it was not as if he thought I couldn’t play the role, but he was looking for certain nuances that he wanted to explore in the film. I was nervous initially, but then I agreed. Once I auditioned, I was floored by the character, even though I didn’t know what the rest of the film was about. You know there are films, which have a multiple star cast, but sometimes the film does not work for you. I have been a part of such films, but with this one I was sure that things would work in my favour!
You are a popular actor now, people know what you can do on screen. Do you still go for auditions?
Honestly, when a director asks me to audition, I know he/she is serious about the work and knows exactly what he/she is looking for! I have auditioned for so many years and I have worked in so many languages that it comes quite naturally to me. I have never shied away from it. As an actor, this is one way of convincing the director that you are the best choice for the role. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But that is all part of our job! Also, if you have done similar roles then they will not ask for an audition. But it is only when they expect you to do something that you have never done before, that is when they test your mettle. It is like a cherry on top for an actor, because the director will try to push the envelope and explore your talent in a manner that you have not been able to earlier. I don’t look at it as an insult. In fact, I look at it as an opportunity to explore what I am about to get into, with a certain project. It actually helps an actor make a more informed decision!
But there are certain actors who make an ego issue out of going for auditions...
I have never really come across anyone like that. Actors are way more mature now, than they were a couple of decades ago. Maybe then things were different and auditions were a rare thing. The current crop of actors in Bollywood are more practical and sensitive. They want to get to know the director’s vision before they sign a project. For someone who is doing something in a new genre, a shadow of doubt in the director’s mind is inevitable. The audition will dispel all such doubts. Some people also create this glorified notion about certain actors and say they wouldn’t come for an audition. But, personally, I feel it does not make any sense to get that kind of an idea floating about you in the industry.
How was it working with Vikrant Massey in 14 Phere?
We hit it off from the word go! There was no awkwardness and we became really good friends during the shoot. And I think that is what has also reflected on the screen. He is so wonderful to work with, it’s unbelievable. After watching the film people have told me that Aditi (Kriti's character in the movie) and Sanjay (Vikrant's character in the movie) have this crackling chemistry. They haven’t said Vikrant and Kriti, they actually only talked about our characters. So, I guess the chemistry seems to have worked out well.
14 Phere is yet another film on marriage. Do you think marriage as a concept is kind of overdone in recent Hindi films/web series?
Not at all. I don’t think we can ever have enough of it actually. Have you ever been invited to two weddings, which are the same in feel and emotions? No, right? Similarly, no two films on weddings are the same either... In India, weddings are a recurrent theme. For example, what you will see in Shaadi Pe Zaroor Aana, you will not see in 14 Phere. Look at Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Vivaah and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. They are iconic films with wedding as a theme. Yet, they are so different from each other in emotion and in treatment. The wedding is just a backdrop, the setting; the stories are totally different. You will never think of one film, while watching the other.
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