She may be just two films old, but Kriti Sanon exudes the confidence of an industry veteran. She is exuberant, positive, passionate, hard-working and believes that there is no shortcut to success. In an interview with Bombay Times, the leggy lass talks about hits and misses, link-ups and how Bollywood treats ‘outsiders’ like her. Excerpts…When I debuted with ‘Heropanti’, my problems and pressures were different from Tiger’s. Many people assumed that I didn’t have the pressure to perform because nobody knew me, but it was my first film. I could have been easily written off. When you don’t have a film background, people don’t even know that you exist. It takes a while to make the initial contact with the audience, but even then, they don’t accept you completely. But when you are a star kid, they know you by name. Also, getting a foothold in the industry can be difficult for an outsider. That’s where star kids have an upper hand. They have grown up here and everyone knows them; they can easily meet the people they want to. However, after a certain point, it doesn’t matter where you come from. What matters is how talented and hard-working you are. There are many star kids who haven’t done well in the industry and rank newcomers who have done amazingly well. You need to believe in your dreams. A lot of people will discourage you on the way, but stay focussed. You have to give it your best and leave the rest to destiny.
Being from another city make the struggle harder?
I was staying away from home for the first time. It can get a little frustrating as you have no one around. Fortunately, I had my father staying with me for about six months in the beginning. There were days when I felt so low that I cried, but I kept myself busy with work-outs and acting workshops. That’s the best time to groom yourself and hone your talent. If the wait turns out to be longer than you expect, you might be tempted to take up something that might not be good for you. I have declined projects made under big banners because I didn’t have much to do in them.
You had to opt out of ‘Lucknow Central’, which features Farhan Akhtar. What went wrong there?
It was slated to start by October end and my schedule was to end in December. I had even slotted my dates accordingly. However, it got pushed to January. We tried to work the dates out, but couldn’t.
Did ‘Raabta’ make you feel at home because both Sushant (Singh Rajput) and you are outsiders and have had your share of struggles?
With every film, the crew has to be like family and share the passion. That was the case with my first film and ‘Dilwale’ as well. I have a different connect with Sushant — apart from not having a film background, he is also half an engineer like me. Also, we are both from Delhi and foodies.
‘Dilwale’ was more of a Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol film. Why would a newcomer opt for it as her second project?
I am instinctive. ‘Dilwale’ was too big an opportunity for me as I was working with SRK and Kajol after doing just one film. How many people get to do that? I have grown up watching their films. I have learnt so much by just watching them. In between the shots, Shah Rukh sir would tell us how he approaches a scene. So, it was a totally different experience. Also, ‘Heropanti’ wasn’t that big a film in terms of the audience reach. ‘Dilwale’ has increased my audience reach; I have gained in every way possible. After that, I was craving to perform because there is not much scope to perform in an ensemble cast. That’s when I heard the story of ‘Raabta’.
Alia Bhatt was the original choice for ‘Raabta’. Did it feel bad that the film came to you after it was declined by another actress?
Not at all, I am not that sort of a person. Whatever happens, happens for the better. I was meant to do ‘Raabta’. Every film has its destiny and it’s the film that chooses you.
You were recently in news for wearing a `2000 note dress…
I can’t believe that picture went viral. It was bizarre; I was shocked to see that people thought it to be true. Isn’t it obvious that it’s fake? Am I demented to do that? Firstly, I won’t get that many `2000 notes. Or, I will have to take photocopies of the currency and stick it all over my dress. But frankly, I don’t have so much time. I have realised that I can’t take things seriously and need to filter my eyes, ears and mouth. I can’t let everything out there affect me, which is also a reason why some actors are not on social media. I read stuff about others, which I know isn’t true. I think it’s part and parcel of the profession. More than us, it’s our families that get affected.I have started laughing it off and that’s the best way. In the beginning, you don’t know what to do. Then you react when it crosses the limit. However, you eventually realise that there is no point reacting. Rumours are part of the industry. It’s my third film and first rumour, which is okay (laughs). Sushant and I are good friends and had a blast shooting together. I don’t have too many friends in the industry, so I am befriending those with whom I am working.Do you believe that link-up rumours help keep newcomers in the news?
Some people do believe that any publicity is good publicly, but I don’t. I would never want to be in news for rumours. Actors don’t have to be linked in real life for the chemistry to be translated on screen.When did Sushant tell you about his break-up because it happened around the same time as your shoot?I got to know when everyone got to know.