Be it socially-relevant movies or family dramas, actress Aahana Kumra has carved a place of her own in Bollywood and on the OTT. And, after playing a pilot in India Lockdown, she will be seen as a journalist in her new movie, Salaam Venky. The movie is directed by Revathy and stars Kajol and Vishal Jethwa in lead roles. A popular face on the OTT, the actress in an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal gets candid about enjoying the digital world, teaming up with Revathy for Salaam Venky, her latest release, India Lockdown, and more. Excerpts:
Your latest release, India Lockdown, is doing fairly well digitally. Was it tough to shoot during the pandemic?
We shot the film between the first and the second lockdown. It was a 26-day schedule. I play a pilot in the film but didn’t require any technical training. I represent urban India. It was a different story as to what happens to working people at home.
The only brief I got from Madhur is that he doesn’t want that typical Aahana Kumra. Also, my physicality kind of resonated with the character. My look and styling too are different in the film than usual.
You get to be directed by maverick Revathy in Salaam Venky. How was your camaraderie with her?
She is just like one of us, very friendly, pally, and rare. It is difficult to find someone like her. She is protective of everyone on the sets. The reason why this incredible cast has come together for the film is because of her. I am so fortunate to be a part of this film. I am so overbored with thrillers and propaganda films, I want to be a part of light-hearted films... Films which have repeat value, which you can watch with your family.
Being a popular face on OTT, how do you feel that thrillers and crime are overdone?
I feel people need to tell all kinds of stories, but if there would be only audiences for thrillers then how are we going to evolve in other genres? But currently, most of the shows have 15-20 actors and they show each of their subplots. In a way, they are masala entertainers.
Do you believe that OTT is roadblocking the way to the big screen for actors?
I don’t think so. Today, no one knows what is working and what is not. But I strongly believe that if the story is good then people will come to theatres. Recently, Uunchaai worked and it doesn’t have any action or so, it’s a simple story of friendship and family.
Salaam Venky is your second association with Rajeev Khandelwal after Marzi…
We had one scene and it is so nice to work with him again. I so wish that there will be a season 2 of Marzi but it is unlikely. It was a great show and, sadly, it didn’t get season 2. I love his energy and would like to work with him again. I had to safeguard myself when I was working with him since there were so many girls behind me with the hope to meet Rajeev through me.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )