Wamiqa Gabbi is currently seen as Niloufer in Jubilee. Helmed by Vikramaditya Motwane, it also stars Aditi Rao Hydari and Aparshakti Khurana. It began streaming on an OTT platform from April 7. The Free Press Journal caught up with Wamiqa for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How do you take all the appreciation coming your way for playing Niloufer in Jubilee?
I am so lucky to have gotten a part like Niloufer in Jubilee. I never realised while shooting for it or even thought about how I would pull it off. I am glad that it all turned out very well. It was beautiful to play Niloufer and to explore her life. For any character, the challenge is to understand it. When I read the whole script, I found Niloufer very bold, ambitious and fun. I understood that she is a hustler.
My preparation behind this role was why Niloufer is like this and this was my only challenge. This is why I am an actor. I have to understand other human beings and accept them the way they are. I always fall in love with the characters I play.
How do you react when people say that you bring back the charm of the golden era to the screen?
A lot of people did give me compliments. In the current times, where people want to look aesthetically perfect in every possible way, I personally want to fall in love with the character. I am attracted to people who are raw. Recently, around two years ago, my whole perspective on life has changed. My love for nature and animals have increased.
It is our industry that is just obsessed with women’s faces, for that matter, any face. They all want their lips and cheeks to be perfect. I want to keep myself away from everything.
How did you prepare for Niloufer?
I definitely watched a lot of videos and songs from the 1940s and 1950s so that I am able to do it rightfully when I have to be on camera for the in-film songs in Jubilee. I needed to understand her and make her as relatable as possible. I only had to take care of the difference between then and today.
How does it feel when you see directors like Vishal Bhardwaj and Vikramaditya Motwane investing in you as an artiste?
I feel very lucky that they and their characters have chosen me. There was a time when I felt that maybe I wasn’t meant to be an actor. I wasn’t happy with the work I was offered and in 2019, I wanted to quit. I think I started getting all of it when I stopped craving for it. I didn’t even manifest it, I just fell in love with other things in life, my dog, my relationships with friends and family, etc. My life got a new meaning.
All your roles till date have been mentally draining. What are your thoughts?
Well, aren’t we all like that? We all have problems in life. Like how we have highs and lows in real life, all my characters have it too. I am fortunate that my roles do not just show the good side because that’s not the truth. I am happy that people are seeing my characters going through all kinds of phases in life. It really affects me but that’s why I am an actor.