With a glint in her eyes, Kriti Sanon stepped into Bollywood in 2014, starring in her Hindi debut film Heropanti. Five years later and just five Hindi films old, the Bareilly Ki Barfi actress is already making wise decisions in the unpredictable Bollywood industry that is known to be harsher towards the outsiders.
The actress, who was last seen in the commercial success Lukka Chuppi, has four films coming up, namely Arjun Patiala, Panipat, Housefull 4 and one untitled in which she is gearing up to play a radio jockey. The outsider, who is now making waves in the industry, will be next seen flaunting her humorous side in the spoof comedy film Arjun Patiala.
Excerpts from the interview:
With four films coming up this year, you seem to have a packed schedule.
I am trying my best to not get typecast, as that’s something every actor has to face. I am glad that I am getting to play a mixed bag of characters from different backgrounds. I had shot for Arjun Patiala long ago but the release date wasn’t in my hands. I have been busy with shooting back-to-back films last year, which is a great feeling.
Since films can influence youth in a positive or a negative way, how responsible are you in terms of choosing scripts?
If I were doing a role that may seem demeaning towards women, or show women in poor light, I still would not mind playing the character, but only if somewhere in the film, the audience is shown that such behaviour shouldn’t be condoned. The moral of the story should be pointed out. So, I feel, I will be responsible that I don’t convey an overall wrong message through a film.
It is clearly a male-dominated industry, and a debate stirred up when your name was not mentioned in the headline of an article about Lukka Chuppi and was touted as Kartik Aaryan film. What do you have to say about it?
Yes, this kind of discrimination does exist and that’s the fact but I don’t think the credit was not given to me at all. It was a problem with the mention because sometimes people forget to mention the female actress in the headline and the film sounds like a male protagonist film. I feel that it’s high time that the laziness of not mentioning the actress in headline needs to go away. That needs to change, and I am glad the conversation has started finally.
You are a feminist and you have stood up for anything that’s wrong, how do you look at all the men being accused in the #Me Too movement getting a clean chit? You have worked with Sajid Khan who is also been accused in Me Too movement.
I am not someone to comment on it. Legally, it is not my place but I am glad that in general, at least, a conversation has started again. Unfortunately, with these kinds of cases, it is more like ‘he said-she said’ and with no proof of these things, it does get difficult to figure out or say with full confidence who is right or wrong. The only thing, I hope, the #Me Too has got is a bit of fear in the industry which is much needed. People are not scared anymore; it takes a lot of guts though. That fear, I am hoping, is going to stay.
How was your experience with Sajid and would you be okay working with him again?
My experience was very good. We all worked together, and it will make a good film. Fortunately, I have personally not experienced or encountered any such thing in my entire career. I have not been on that side to say much.
You are one of the flawless looking actresses we have but dose it bother you when people look at you as a glamorous heroine rather than an actor?
I like being both; I am greedy that way. I want to be an actor and a star also, so I will have to do all kinds of roles. I have done modelling before, so glamour was already part of my life and I was used to it. My first two films showed me in a glamorous way. It was important for me to put that image aside and get the actor bit out and that was barely offered.
Of course, Bareilly Ki Barfi worked well for you. So do you think that movie was a game-changer for you?
I think it did change things for me. People saw the actor in me from Bareilly Ki Barfi. Before that, people did not expect me to fit into that world as a de-glam actor or play a small-town character. When I got appreciated, that’s when things changed. More doors opened up and people did start seeing me as an actor rather than just a heroine. I do consider it as a milestone, for sure.
With the success of Lukka Chuppi and Bareilly Ki Barfi, are you being considered as a bankable actor?
I don’t get into it. I am passionate about the work I am doing, and I am happy when people see me as a bankable actor and when people started offering me films that are a lot on my shoulder or characters that do require a lot of performance. It not only excites me as an actor but it also makes me feel responsible. In the last few months, I have been offered close to 10 female-centric films. So, I feel happy that I am being approached for such films because they feel I can pull off a film on my shoulders.
We don’t make too many spoof comedies from Bollywood. What made you choose Arjun Patiala, and how good are you at comedy?
I like funny people; I like people with a good sense of humour. I am more of a situational comedy person. Comedy is very much needed in our times. There is so much stress, and everybody is so serious and trolling. With whatever’s happening around, comedy is really needed.
As far as spoof comedies are concerned, we don’t make such films. It’s a different take on comedy. I have loved spoof movies and it’s not been done here. It is hard to laugh at oneself, and it is a very difficult genre. You have to get the timing right. I am glad that I have attempted it.