Interview Punjabi

It was my dream to be in Punjabi films, says Himanshi Parashar of her role in Babbar


In an exclusive conversation, Parashar talks about her journey into acting through modelling and making a name for herself in Punjabi cinema.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Himanshi Parashar came to acting through modelling. She won the Femina Miss India Uttar Pradesh title in 2018, which led to advertising campaigns and modelling assignments. Having done street and stage plays from a young age, she was keen to move on to acting. And soon the opportunity came knocking.

Her latest film, the Punjabi-language Babbar (2022), was released recently. Written and directed by Amar Hundal, the action film stars singer-actor Amrit Maan, Yograj Singh, Raj Singh Jhinjar, Raghveer Boli and Pardeep Cheema. Parashar plays the love interest of Gamma, a character played by Jhinjar.

In an exclusive conversation with Cinestaan.com, Himanshi Parashar spoke of her work and the experience of shooting for Babbar.

On stepping into the world of cinema, she said, “I am more into acting than modelling, but my career started through modelling. I participated in Miss India when I was in college. That was the turning point of my life. I came to Mumbai and we were signed by Times Talent and that’s how I started getting modelling projects. But I told them I was more interested in acting because I had been doing theatre plays and street plays since the sixth standard. So I started auditioning for roles.”

Her first role was in an independent film that, sadly, has not been released so far. However, subsequent projects introduced her to Punjabi cinema. “I did a movie, an independent movie which has not been released yet. After that I did a web-series with Balaji [Telefilms]. But after that I did the music video ‘Download' by The Landers in Punjab. That was the second project in my life. For that, I came to Chandigarh for the first time and really liked the atmosphere, the people, the shooting experience. I literally requested my agency to pitch me more in Punjab although I didn’t know the language, I connected more to that place and wanted to work there more. Slowly I started learning the language and shifted to Punjab.”

She worked in the popular Punjabi TV show Maavan Thandiyan Chaavan. Although she did not quite know how to speak the language, she is a quick learner and picked it up soon, “Whatever Punjabi I know is because of that TV show," she said. "I randomly came to Chandigarh to meet some directors and producers. I met Rajan Batra sir and Sahib Kohli sir, the director of Maavan Thandiyan Chaavan. They saw me and asked if I knew the language [Punjabi]. I said I don’t know it but can try, so I gave the audition and the next day I was shortlisted.”

It was this series that led to her being cast in Babbar in a way, “When I came for the Maavan Thandiyan Chaavan look test to Punjab, I gave an audition for Manje Bistre 3, which is when I met Amar Hundal sir for the first time. My [Punjabi] language was not very good at the time. So he told me that Himanshi, your look is fine, your expressions are fine, but I don’t think your language is up to the mark, so you have to work on it. But he liked the look, so we did two music videos while I was shooting for the show. When he got to know that I have gained a command of the language, he did an audition and that’s when he cast me for Babbar.”

Raj Singh Jhinjar and Himanshi Parashar in a scene from Babbar (2022)

Commenting on the experience of working on the action film, she said, “It was amazing. I have worked on so many sets, but this was the most comfortable and happening set I have been at. The team was all men. There was literally no woman on set, not even the fashion designer. I was the only girl, but I was so comfortable. The people were such gentlemen, it was amazing.”

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Although Babbar is an action film with limited roles for women, Parashar is excited about her role in the film, “I have seen Warning (2021), so when I thought that Sir [Amar Hundal] was doing a different film, I thought it would be more of the same genre, but when I heard the story, I realized that there is a variation. There is something new to it — the emotions, the action, the thrill, the love angle. The love angle was not there in Warning. I liked that the most and also that I had a love song in the movie, that really excited me.”

A sequel of Babbar is in the works and Parashar looks forward to working in more Punjabi films in the future, “It was my dream to be in Punjabi films, so I’m going to concentrate on that,” she said.