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Sushant and I really care about each other, says Kriti Sanon

The actress does not clarify on the dating rumours, but admits to sharing a ‘fun’ equation with her Raabta co-actor in an interview to Cinestaan.

Mayur Lookhar

Having made a successful debut with Heropanti (2014), Kriti Sanon struck gold in her next Dilwale (2015), where she shared screen space with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. She’s even done couple of films in the South. After playing couple of standard roles, Sanon will next been seen in Raabta, a reincarnation saga, where she’d be seeing playing two contrasting roles. Sanon has developed a special Raabta (connection) with her co-star Sushant Singh Rajput during the making of the film. This bond has triggered plenty of speculation around their relationship being more than just friendship. Sanon though has learned to take things in her stride. 

The Delhi girl spoke to a few journalists on Wednesday, sharing her thoughts on the film, her equation with Rajput, how she had nothing to lose from doing Diwale (2015), why she doesn’t mind men using cheesy one liners and more. 


When two former engineering students get together, do they they tend to have nerdy conversations?

(Laughs) Not at all. It depends if both are nerdy. Here there was only one nerd - (Sushant). I don’t remember B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology).  He loves reading physics and maths. He’s not completed his B.Tech and I keep teasing him about it. That’s why he keeps having these (nerdy) conversations. I am someone who studied when I had to, but I have a short term memory. So, I forget everything.

Was Sushant trying to be like a professor and a student too? 

He is more intelligent, more into physics and maths. He loved it more than I love it. He tried to strike a nerdy conversations but I tend to ignore it. 

Speaking of Raabta, it appears that this could be another film that is inspired by the legend of Mirza-Sahiban. There is huge young audience today who may not privy to the legend, so in the current scenario how do you make such stories more relevant, more appealing to the current audience and their sensibilities? 

Raabta is not related to Mirza-Sahiban love story at all. The (past) characters are completely different, it is set in different time. The era that has been shown has not been explored in Hindi cinema at all. Often our period films are based around kings and queens, but here it is a time much before that. It is very raw, rugged and tribal in nature. So, when I was trying to get a reference, we didn’t have one. I watched films like Apocalypto (2005), a tribal film, Braveheart (1995), which was very raw and rugged. Raabta will be a visual treat for the audience as it is something that they haven’t seen before. Raabta is very fresh and intriguing. That (period) time though is something we take you to for about 30 minutes, so just to make you part of this different world, show you the connect of the different world with today’s time.
For someone born to a Chartered Accountant father and professor mother, how did Kriti Sanon take to acting, and were your parents comfortable with your career choice? 

It was very gradual for me and so it didn’t comes as a shock for them. I had started modelling when I was doing my B.Tech. My father was a bit skeptical, but eventually he used to be the one most excited seeing my TV commercials or print ads. As I was dreaming of becoming an actor, they were aware of that dream. I started loving the process of shooting. I enjoyed the little bit of acting that TV commercials required. I was always into dancing, but I’d never indulged into dramatics or theatre. I wanted to move to Mumbai and give it a a try. I had refused two job offers. They were still very supportive of my decision. My parents always encouraged us to follow our dreams. However, I had a little deal with them. I agreed to give my GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and get a good score, it remains valid for five years. I moved to Mumbai, when I was trying for two films. I had shot for one schedule of my Telugu fiilm, 1: Nenokkadine (2014). Then there was a two-month gap where I signed Heropanti (2014). That was also the time where I gave my GMAT, I got a score of 7, which was considered pretty good. Now, that score doesn’t matter. It’s been more than five years.

From Heropanti (2014) and Dilwale (2015), can we say that Raabta is going to be the film where we can expect to see Kriti Sanon, the actress? 

You are pressurising me now. Honestly, I feel Heropanti also had enough for me to do.

But Heropanti and Dilwale were perhaps more formula films with the male protagonists taking the centre stage.

I wouldn’t call them formula films. It is very strange that I chose Heropanti as my debut not only because of the story and the platform that I was getting, but also the fact that I had a character that had few shades to her. There was scope for me to perform in the film, which I did to my capabilities at that point of time. Having not done theatre, I was more raw then. I was more like a baby who was still finding her mark on the sets. I did what I could best at that point. Thankfully, I got accepted by the audience, not just for my looks, but people also commented on how I performed as an actor. Dilwale was an ensemble. I got to learn a lot. Ishita as a character was more like a girl next door. Also, in an ensemble film, there’s only so much you can do as an actor. True that Raabta has much more scope for me to perform, considering that it has two different characters, a first for me. I’m really hoping that it will resonate with what I have done.

When you do a film like Dilwale, all the attention is on the stars - Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Unfortunately, the film didn’t do all that well. However, irrespective of the fact that the film did well or not, can we say that for you there was nothing to lose from that film? 

May be, yes. Firstly, doing well is more subjective. Are you saying that it didn't do well commercially or it didn’t do well compared to people’s expectations? 

I would say both. Besides, even director Rohit Shetty admitted that the film didn’t do well because the original story was changed.

May be it didn’t work as well as he’d expected. Personally, I think the film did well, especially overseas. Considering, I was the only newbie in the film, there was not so much of pressure on my shoulders. I had a different kind of pressure of working with experienced actors. For me, it was important to stand and make my presence felt. I was acting with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol for the first time. Initially, I was very nervous to be in front of them. Psychologically, I had the pressure of people noticing or feeling that any scene went down because of my performance. I had to ensure that I’m not the weak link. 

North Indian girls are on the rise in South Cinema. I’ve always been fascinated as to how they take to the language.

I will give little bit of credit to the fact that I have done B.Tech, that I could work under pressure. So, I could memorise the dialogues. Obviously, you can’t just memorize and talk without knowing what you are saying. I used to call this one assistant director and ask him each and every word. A lot of people used to perceive that all I have to say is one, two, three, four. It was more difficult because there I had to really concentrate on dialogues. The one advantage there is that as an actor you can’t improvise if you don’t know the language. Sometimes, if the other actor improvises then you are in trouble. 

I haven’t seen your few South Indian films. Was there a voice-over artist for you?

Yeah, I didn’t dub. No matter what I do, I will not sound so authentic when I speak the language. It doesn’t sound right. It’s almost like a firang (foreigner) talking in Hindi. 

As seen from the trailer, Sushant’s character Shiv is a cheesy character. While your character approves that, would Kriti Sanon approve such a character in real life? 

Shiv has got a very good sense of humour. He says all these cheesy lines, but they are funny. I personally feel that humour is a very important part of a personality. If a guy can me laugh, no matter how cheesy his line is, I would react to it. 

You had said at the trailer launch of Raabta that Sushant is like that in real life too. If yes, then what used to be your reaction when he came up with the cheesy lines? 

He is. At times, his one liners are almost like Shiv. It’s a funny, it has this quirky humour. Earlier, when he said these one-two cheesy lines,  I told him that he’s actually like Shiv. He would merely say that 'no I’m just getting into method acting, I’m getting into the character'. He continued to do so after the whole film got over. I told him then that it is high time that you get out of this character. 

What qualities should a man have to woo you? 

Firstly, personality is something that I look for especially when you don’t know the person. Good sense humour and honesty. I don’t like fake people. I appreciate real people, genuineness. 

Off screen, what’s the kind of equation you share with Sushant Singh Rajput? 

It’s a fun equation. We do care about each other a lot. When I was doing action sequences, he knows that I clumsy. He used to look out for me - wondering whether I am wearing the harness the right way or if I am landing the right way. We are caring and sweet to each other. We can have conversations, but at the same time we are strongly opinionated people. We do have out tiffs, arguments - neither of us agrees to being wrong. So, we even fight when we give interviews.

There have been constant rumours of Sushant and you dating. How do you two handle it? 

Initially, it came as surprise. The first few articles were more about Budapest. One article spoke about a concert which neither of us went to. We were blaming each other whether any one of us went to the concert without informing the other. In between, it became little annoying when we both started reacting on separate platforms. It gets annoying when one starts involving families then it gets a little annoying. We’ve just taken it with a little bit of laughter. We take it more like daily soap. 

The two of you watched the Indian Premier League 2017 final in Hyderabad together. Did Sushant Singh Rajput turn you into Mahendra Singh Dhoni and a Rising Pune Supergiant fan? 

I was supporting Pune mainly for Dhoni. Yeah, I was seated next to the reel life Dhoni. He was going to box me if I didn’t support Dhoni. I haven’t been a cricket fan, but I’ve always felt that Dhoni has this goodness, honesty on his face, it is very rare. You may not know him but you really feel that he’s a really good guy.

You’ll next be seen in Bareilly Ki Barfi, that’s penned by Nitesh Tiwari. Can you talk a bit about that? 

Bareilly Ki Barfi is very quirky film. I can’t put it into one genre. It has got little bit of romance, lot of comedy. It has this amazing characters. Ashwiny Iyer shows relationships between characters very beautifully. I got to work with fantastic actors, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. My parents in the film are Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa. I had many moments in front of them where I couldn’t control my laughter. The poor guys had to give retakes because of that. 

I’m playing a deglam character. She is tomboyish, she hides and smokes, probably the only girl in Bareilly who does break dance, but it will be in Bareilly style.

Your sister is pretty active on social media. She is equally gorgeous. Does Nupur plan to follow suit? 

I think everyone should themselves decide what they want to do. Nupur has been very passionate about singing. She’s trained in classical singing for three-four years. She’s figuring out whether she likes acting or not. 

And if she decides to join acting, then she has a mentor in you.

I have always believed that you should have your own path, follow your own mind. Just because I’m an actor, that shouldn’t be the reason for her to act. She needs to love acting first.