Actress Kiara Advani says she puts herself in place of the audience to choose her scripts. By Team Viva
It is not very often that an actor, who is obsessed with a film and loves it to the core gets to act in its remake. Actor Kiara Advani has done just that. She had watched the Vijay Devarakonda-starring film, Arjun Reddy many times as she “had completely fallen in love with the screenplay and its cast. I never knew I would be doing its remake in future. I was completely bowled over by the way director, Siddharth (Vanga) delivered the emotion with such honesty and purity. I was blown away.” Fortune favoured her when she was cast in its remake, Kabir Singh as the female lead, Preethi.
She said that the minute she got to know that a remake of the Telugu film was being planned, she instinctively felt that she would get the female lead, “I was ready in an instant. Also, since it is my first love story and has such intensity and passion, I was drawn towards it. Something like this hasn’t been seen in a long time.”
The actress, who is known for her ‘perfect climax’ role in Karan Johar’s sequence of Lust Stories, said that her choice is determined by the kind of intensity that a character has and something that the audience could approve of. “When I hear a narration, I listen to it like I am a part of the audience. I put myself in their place and think whether they would like it or not? I wonder whether as an audience, I would want to watch such a film. It is a very instinctive decision and straight from the heart. Also, I believe films are a director’s media, so if I find someone I have been longing to work with and then I definitely go for it,” said she.
For someone, who did not flinch even once while enacting the role of a woman who is sexually unsatisfied with her husband, how challenging would a character like Preethi be in a film that focusses on the male protagonist?
“For my role in Lust Stories, Karan (Johar) asked me to do it in a manner that it appeared natural. He showed me how to do everything, except that particular scene. It had to be uninhibited. He didn’t want me to laugh as the scene had to be funny but without laughter. Since there was also Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’s theme tune playing in the background. I had actually googled people using vibrators a night before the scene was shot. It became special because I received so much appreciation for it,” said she.
However, she said that Megha’s character was challenging because it was in your face, “she was smart and bold.” Preethi’s character, on the contrary, was challenging because it’s “subtle.”
She added, “Sometimes when you have proper dialogues and scenes, it is easier to present them. But expressing or conveying an emotion without having to say a dialogue could be challenging, and this was the hardest thing about Preethi’s character. There is a lot to express. She is simple yet strong. And this balance had to be internalised. I never judged her but completely empathised with her when I was watching the original. On that level, it was easy to relate to her but there were still many differences between her character and the way I function.”
The two are not the same. She said, “We are quite different in the ways we express and react. I am more expressive and quite animated when I talk. But Preethi has got a lot of thairaav (relaxation), and is more internalised. If one compares her to Kabir, she is more responsive, whereas Kabir is very reactive. But I feel, that is the beauty of both of them and probably something that draws them towards each other. These things about them actually layers the story and makes it so interesting.”
It is her “proper and deep understanding of her characters” that she enables her to portray them naturally whether it is her role as Sakshi, who doesn’t recognise MS Dhoni when she saw him for the first time or Preethi.
While the film explores alcoholism and self-destruction among the young generation in the name of love which takes one back to the ‘Devdas’ syndrome who sacrificed his life longing for his beloved Paro. One wonders whether it is the same syndrome afflicting Kabir Singh aka Shahid Kapoor in the film. Talking about her take on modern love, romance and relationships, she said, “No matter what century you live in or the lifestyles we choose, love is love. You always want that one person at the end of the day with whom you can talk to about everything under the sun. It’s a pure feeling which can only be felt. So, I think even Kabir is the same. They are just like any other couple in love who are not able to meet.”
In this “Tinder age,” as she calls it, she said, “I have never used the app. But even though people use it and they even find partners, love remains the same. There is no different definition for it. It’s just a new way of doing it. Earlier, there were flowers and chocolates to express it. I remember in school, people used to pass each other love letters and chocolates. It was also a way of expression of love. Times change, love doesn’t.”
Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Writer: Team Viva
Courtesy: The Pioneer