“I can’t be having a moral conversation about something that is fictional”, Kiara Advani on Kabir Singh

The Good Newwz [2019] actress admits to being uncomfortable with certain scenes in Kabir Singh [2019], but without it the film would have ended at the interval

By Mayur Lookhar

Dharma Productions Good Newwz [2019] brings together the old and the new. Alright, not ‘old’ in true sense but the comedy film sees experienced actors Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor share screen space with generation next actors Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani.  Advani, being the youngest of the lot, is visibly excited.

Dressed in a pink blazer suit, Advani looks more like a collegian.  From the time she entered in the room to the group interactive getting over, Advani sported a smile on her face.  And why not?  it’s a good phase in her young career. Fresh off the success of Kabir Singh [2019] Advani is elated to be working with marquee actors like Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor.  Good Newwz [2019] hits the screens on 27 December.

The limited time didn’t permit a more comprehensive interaction, but from sharing her thoughts on her Good Newwz co-stars to defending the criticism against Kabir Singh, Advani spoke straight from the heart.

Excerpts.

Kiara, a first bubbly, boisterous Sikhni character for you.  

[breaks in]

Yes, first time that I am doing a comedy film.  First time, I am playing a vibrant, outgoing Punjabi character. Like you said Sikhni, very colourful, quirky and childlike. There is a lot of madness to her, which shows in the trailer.  The way Monica [her character] sees life is full of colour.  You’ll never see her upset or stressed.

How was it coming a full circle because you started with an Akshay Kumar co-production to now working with him in Good Newwz and Laxxmi Bomb?

My journey it’s been all about going with the flow. I’ve never pre planned, I’ve never calculated any decision. Everything has been very instinctive.  Be it my first film or now, they’ve been straight from the heart. I heard a script, if I liked it, I wanted to be a part of it.  The one I really wanted, the people I wanted to work, they are also offering me films.  Life has a come full journey from Akshay sir launching me [through Fugly (2014)] to now acting with him in not one but two films.   

How was it to work with the likes of Akshay Kumar, Diljit Dosanjh who are good at comedy?

For me it was huge opportunity to just share the same frame and learn so much from them.  I am the junior most on the sets. I am the youngest.  A first comedy film, that too with people who are good in this zone. There were butterflies in my stomach.  I learnt so much from them that I feel that going forward – there is Indu Ki Jawani, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,  Laxxmi Bomb, all these films have comedy, so I feel Good Newwz was that foundation for me where I learnt the art of comedy.

Akshay Kumar had earlier mentioned that he first saw Kareena Kapoor as a child played with her and then later, he would act with her.  Is there any particular memory from your childhood of a Kareena Kapoor film that you can share?

I think all her characters. I’ve grown up watching her films.  I’ve enacted iconic dialogues from her film in front of the mirror.  I’ve danced to her tracks in family functions.  So, when I got to work with her, it is unreal.

Were you a little nervous while meeting your idol?

I was both nervous and excited. But she is such a wonderful human being, so chilled out that she makes you feel comfortable around her. She is down to earth. She is so grounded.  She has this aura of being Kareena Kapoor but she is so unfazed by it. That’s the best thing. When you are with her, it is so easy.

Did it help to have a Sikh Diljit Dosanjh working alongside you in a film about Punjabi characters?

I would learn a lot from him.   Sometimes, I’d ask him to read my lines to help me get the accent, [pronunciation]. During the rehearsals, he wouldn’t give you the performance that he would give you in the take. He likes to be spontaneous.  He’s probably given 50 % in the rehearsals.  So, you don’t know what is coming in the take.  Before a shoot, he would ask the director, is this rehearsal or a take?  

You reportedly mentioned about finding certain scenes uncomfortable in Kabir Singh [2019].

Still from Kabir Singh [2019]

What I had said was that there are certain scenes in the film that are meant to make you feel uncomfortable.  Like the interval scene, which had impacted so many women, many questioned how dare he slapped her. Yes, we want you to ask that question, just as you feel that way, it was the director’s vision to make you feel uncomfortable. And then for the character [Kabir Singh] to go through a downfall. He has wronged. Similarly, it made me feel uncomfortable, as an audience if I watch it.   As an actor, and as a person, you will always have two different point of view. You can not put my thoughts on my character’s thoughts.  On a personal thought, I may never agree with certain things.  If I am playing a murderer, I will never murder anybody in real life, but if that is my character, then I can’t be having a moral conversation about something that is fictional.  That is how I looked at Kabir Singh. I never thought he was a hero, I saw him as flawed character, who goes through journey.  He is just a man who was deeply madly in love with someone.

But did you have any questions while reading the script, especially the scene where he slaps Priti (Advani)?

If he didn’t slap her then the movie would have finished at the interval.  

In terms of growth as an actress, which was that one film that changed you as an actress? 

I think all of them. Just because a film has done exceedingly well.  Lust Stories [2017] was one film where the people really noticed the performer in me.  But I’ve learned from each film.

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