Quirky starlet

Quirky starlet

Kiara Advani tells Nishika V that she's on the right path, but has a long, long way to go

Kiara Advani

After a struggle (which she does not consider as one) of five long years since her debut in the 2014 Fugly, Kiara Advani is suddenly going places. Though she
feels that every film she has done (which includes Telugu films Bharat Ane Nenu and Vinaya Vidheya Rama and the Netflix episodic Lust Stories in which she was directed by Karan Johar) has been a turning point for her in diverse ways, her fortunes actually took a rapid upswing with Kabir Singh, 2019’s surprise blockbuster.

A song cameo in Kalank, Machine and M S Dhoni: The Untold Story are her other movies. As Kiara puts it, “Whether successful or not, with each film I evolved as an actor and person, and learnt about people, this industry and the relationships here. In 2014, if you had asked me what I would want five years into my career, I would have wanted everything I have now. So I know I am on the right path, but have to go a long, long way.”

Comic timing

Kiara is now in a happy space, with no stress as there is no calculation. Her latest film, Good Newwz, which she rightly feels is already a hit because of the love it is getting from all after its trailer floored the nation, finds her play a character very much like herself.

“This is my first comedy, and I play Monica, a vibrant, outgoing and colourful Punjabi girl who is extremely quirky, child-like and mad,” chirps the radiantly happy actress. “Monica accepts everything that happens, so like me, you will never see her stressed.”

She goes on, “I was the youngest on the sets, working with legends who had proved themselves at comedy, so I almost had butterflies in my stomach when we began. But I learnt so much. I could not control my admiration as Akshay (Kumar) sir, Kareena (Kapoor Khan) and Diljit (Dosanjh) were so spontaneous. I had to react spontaneously too. and try and match them as they were taking the scenes somewhere else.”

We ask how she feels about coming full circle so fast — her debut film had been co-produced by Akshay Kumar, and now she is cast with him here, and also romantically paired in Laxmmi Bomb. “I have just gone with the flow,” she replies. “There was no pre-planning where I sat and calculated, whatever I took up was instinctive, straight from the heart and because I wanted to be a part of it. I am so happy that people I wanted to work with are offering me exciting roles. As for Akshay-sir, there is so much to learn from him — his craft, his professionalism, and how he brings so much life onto the sets. So I am grateful for these opportunities.”

Another “unreal” feeling came when she met Kareena Kapoor Khan, her idol from childhood, whose characters and dances she emulated as a child. “I was both nervous and excited, but she was so wonderfully chilled-out and easygoing. She has an aura, but no airs.”

The prep

As for playing a pregnant woman again (after the climax of Kabir Singh), the tummy suit that she wore was actually heavy. “I think every woman has a maternal instinct and that, combined with the suit, automatically changed my body language and made me feel tired quite often,” she says. “The Kabir Singh scene became a prep.”

Kiara, however, admits that she was “both laughing and crying” when given a narration of Good Newwz, and had to go into that zone of mixed feelings of anger, happiness and hope when she enacted that long sequence in Kabir Singh. “I would break down with the emotions and tell the team to wait as I could not speak my lines. It was very cathartic,” she says. As for Good Newwz, Kiara hopes that the mental block that many women and others have about IVF and other scientific methods of having children will be eliminated by this “unique and relatable film for the family as everybody wants to have a child, but many unfortunately are not able to.”

Kiara is now doing Bhool Bhulaiya 2, Laxmmi Bomb and Indu Ki Jawani. “In all these, there are funny elements, so Good Newwz has laid the foundation for comedy within me.”. She is also doing Shershaah, a biopic with Sidharth Malhotra. She would love to do the central part in a biopic herself. Does she have anyone specific in mind? “Madhubala, of course,” she says.



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