Article Hindi

I would not mind playing a female Hulk, says Disha Patani


The actress spoke about being an introvert in a media-savvy industry, her fondness for 'romantic thrillers', and the Brooke Shields inspiration for her look in Mohit Suri's Malang.

File photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

It might not be a picture that comes to mind when you say Disha Patani, but the actress was absolutely certain in her reply. Speaking about a dream role she would love to play, Patani beamed, "Wonder Woman, or Hulk! I don't mind being a female Hulk. The pink one." 

It might be a while before the actress has to take over from Mark Ruffalo. Marvel has not yet come so far as to cast Indian artistes in lead roles.

Right now, though, Patani herself is busy with the promotions for Mohit Suri's Malang. The film sees her cast with Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor and Kunal Kemmu.

Speaking of Suri, Patani said, "It is hard, but [the best part of] working with Mohit Suri is that he gives everything to you on a platter. We will do readings, but he is very open to ideas. He knows women really well, something about him. He shows the realness of the character more than anything." 

It was at Suri's suggestion that Disha Patani explored the style and characteristics of a hippie in Goa, as the trailer implies. She said, "Actually, it is all him. I have never been to a rave party in my life. For the first time, while shooting for the film, I met people who had been to a rave party. These were actual hippies who had been to such parties. I was mesmerized by these people and how the culture works. It is all Mohit sir, he knew how the world works." 

One of the references, the actress revealed, was Brooke Shields's look from The Blue Lagoon (1980). "He [Mohit Suri] suggested The Blue Lagoon as a reference. Very real, earthy looking. Looking very good, but in her own way."

Malang is an action thriller, a genre the actress revealed she is personally fond of. "After a long time, the genre of romantic thriller is coming, so they were happy," she said. "I enjoy action. I enjoy thrillers. I like comedy-action as well. So, I want to do something I would like to watch. If I don't like to watch a certain genre of film, I would not like to do it." 

While the trailer has caught the eye with its very stylish action sequences, and Patani's bikini look has gone viral, the actress insisted she hates to watch herself on the screen. An introvert, she said she becomes too 'self-conscious' and only watches her own films once on the big screen.

"I hate watching myself on screen," Patani said. "When I was watching the trailer also, I felt so self-conscious. All my films, I watch only once or twice. I can't watch them more than that."

Asked about the contradiction between her personality and her career, the actress confessed that it is more difficult because she does not attend a lot of parties. "I guess I am a bit shy," she said. "I might not come across like that on social media, but I am a shy person. I get awkward at social places. I like being in my house, doing gymnastics, dancing. Rarely, when I have to, then I go [to parties]. Sometimes, you can't say no. But for enjoyment, I never do."

And how does this self-consciousness cope with the intense scrutiny and growing band of followers who hound her on social media, particularly on Instagram?

"Instagram is the only thing I do," she said, laughing. "This is the only way I can get away from my small life. Luckily, introverts don't really think so much. As a kid I was bullied a lot. I was a thin, tall tomboy. People would call me 'Jaadu'. So I was into my own small world. It helps me now that it doesn't matter what people say, I don't let it go to my head."

Despite these inhibitions, Patani's rise into the Rs100 crore club, backed by films like Baaghi 2 (2018) and Bharat (2019), is undeniable. Speaking about acting with Salman Khan, she said, "I was very happy because I love dancing. I always wanted to do that one 'Bollywood' song, and I got to do it with a big star like Salman sir. Then, Vaibhavi Merchant is one of my favourite choreographers. I am honoured [to work with Salman Khan. Sometimes I feel that I am not from here, and don't go out and stuff like that. But I am still getting work. So, I thanking god."

The actress will get another chance to work with Khan in the upcoming film, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. Answering a question about whether it is intimidating to work with such a big star, she said, "It is for sure. But he is so good with his comic timing. He keeps suggesting things, and you have to be quick with it. Comedy is really tough, and another level of difficulty. He was always there guiding me and telling me stuff."

For now, though, the actress has the more enjoyable task of basking in her popularity. Patani will be seen in Malang, alongside Aditya Roy Kapur and Anil Kapoor, when the film is released on 7 February.