It takes a lot for an actor to come from a non-film background and prove his/her mettle in the industry. Carving a niche in a short period of five years, Kriti Sanon has proved that she has both talent and tenacity along with a spirit of adventure. That explains why the professional engineer chucked a secure career to plunge into a creative yet challenging vocation. The Delhi girl debuted with the hit Heropanti. After consistent steps in mainstream cinema, her recent outings Bareilly Ki Barfi and Luka Chuppi have validated her prowess on the screen and the box-office. Even as the actress looks forward to a promising future, she reviews her exciting journey…
How has the journey been so far?
Dream like. Cut back to six years, I didn’t even know that I wanted to become an actor. I was completing my B.Tech when I just moved to Mumbai to try my luck in films. When it all worked with Heropanti, I realised I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work with a bunch of talented people. That is the only possible way of growing, as a person and as an actor. That has been my one motive when I do any film. I want to learn and grow with every film. Otherwise, you tend to become stagnant. These five years have been probably the best years of my life so far.
What makes you say that?
Whether it’s Heropanti, Dilwali, Raabta, Bareilly Ki Barfi or Luka Chuppi, I got the opportunity to learn so much. We actors are blessed. We get to play different characters. Thereby, we live so many lives. We meet people who’re intelligent, talented and have varied viewpoints. All this broadens your own perspective. You also get to learn so many skills.
I was scared of going underwater. But I had to learn scuba diving for Raabta. Eventually, I got over the fear. I also learnt sword fighting and horse riding. We’re blessed that we get to learn these things and also get paid for it. In the past few years, I got the opportunity to break the perception that my initial years had created about me as an actor. The perception was of me belonging to a glamorous genre. I broke the mould with Bareilly Ki Barfi, which opened a few more doors. I’m glad people liked my new avatar. Then with Luka Chuppi I got even more love. So, it’s been a great journey. But it is just the beginning. There is so much hunger and restlessness in me as an actor.
What kind of roles would excite you as an actor?
Maybe, I’d like to play a broken character or a grey character, someone damaged, complicated and quirky. I also want to try my hand at thrillers. I want to keep doing something that surprises the audience and me as well. There are so many things about yourself that you’re unaware of, which you explore while attempting new characters.
Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up?
No. But yes of course, no matter how long or brief your struggle is, you do come across a time when you feel low and start doubting yourself. You feel unsure of what you’re doing and wonder whether you’ll achieve anything. Especially, when you don’t come from a film background, when you don’t have someone backing you and guiding you through the way.
How was life in Mumbai initially?
When I moved from Delhi to Mumbai I was a bit lost. Firstly, I had never stayed away from my parents. Mumbai can get to you because it is such a busy city and everyone is moving at such a fast pace. You feel lonely if you don’t know people. Also, the kind of offers I wanted were not coming my way. The offers that were coming, confused me because they were from big production houses. But there wasn’t enough to do in the film or it was an ensemble cast. That’s when you must calm yourself down. I was fortunate that I had a few people around me including my family, who believed in me. It’s important to have that one person, who picks you up and keeps you motivated. But there were days when I’d pick up the phone and cry to my mom because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know how to go about it. There are many who come to this city with dreams. Some are so talented but don’t know how to break through. I had those moments too but I stayed positive. There was no turning back.
Describe the moment you signed Heropanti.
I remember that moment visually, like it’s in the movies. I was giving an audition, which was conducted on a huge scale. It was properly shot on camera with hair, make-up and costume. The casting director wanted to gauge my chemistry with Tiger Shroff. It was the first time I was meeting Tiger. We did one scene from the film. When we finished, I was told we’d be meeting Sajid Nadiadwala sir soon. On the way, I was told that I was about to sign the film. I was not even prepared for it. I called my parents from the car. When I entered my manager’s office, she welcomed me with a box of chocolates. I signed the film and we did the mooh meetha ritual. It took long to sink in. The good things in my life have happened unexpectedly, in one single moment.
What’s the next year going to be like?
This year is important for me. I have four releases, one of which, Luka Chuppi, has already released. Thankfully, it was received very well. I have three more to go. Arjun Patiala is going to release in July. I’m shooting the last song for Housefull 4. Interestingly, I am on a Nadiadwala set on the day of my five-year completion in the industry. I started my journey with him. Panipat is releasing end of this year. It’s my first period film. I’m playing a Marathi character for the first time. I got to work with Ashutosh Gowariker sir, which is something people look forward to. What he creates is magic. I am also in talks for a few projects, which I can’t talk about yet. Bareilly Ki Barfi and Luka Chuppi have made me more confident about my choices. I’m not scared to attempt different things. I hope to surprise my audience.