Kiara Advani started 2020 on a high note with her web film Guilty garnering her a lot of praise and rave reviews. Calling it a special film, she admits, “It made me push myself and take the best risk with a character like Nanki”. While things would have been up and going for her, the pandemic brought everything to a standstill. However, the 28-year-old prefers to look at the brighter side and is happy that she had two more releases — Laxmii and Indoo Ki Jawaani — and she’s has already started shooting for her next, Jug Jugg Jeeyo. Looking back, she tells us how 2020 has taught us that “the show must go on”.
With two releases on the web and one theatrical, you’ve been on a professional high. How would you sum up 2020?
2020 has been a year of risks and many learnings. Professionally, for me, I began it with the release of Guilty, which was also the first film that I was headlining and for the first time portraying a character that we’ve never seen before by a lead actor. It will always be a special film for me because it made me push myself and take the best risk with a character like Nanki. Then both Laxmmi and Indoo Ki Jawani were a challenge given the release amid the pandemic. Indoo Ki Jawani had already recovered its cost and made a profit with digital and satellite sales even before the film released. But as a team, we wanted to support the cinemas by releasing it in theatres. I’m happy my performance was also widely appreciated for the film.
Now that you are busy with Jug Jugg Jeeyo along with Varun Dhawan, Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor, how is it like to be shooting for a fresh film during the pandemic?
Initially, no one thought this phase would last so long, but now, this is the new normal. As they say, the show must go on. I signed for nine new brands during the pandemic and began shooting in these circumstances from July itself. At first, it seemed impossible to think of shooting for a feature film in 2020, but with everyone adapting to the new rules, creating a bubble and shooting with every possible precaution, we decided to go ahead. To be honest, I feel we’ve already adapted to this situation, yet there are days I feel nervous when we shoot with a crowd or new people coming into the bubble because as actors, while everyone else still has their mask and protective gear on, we don’t, and are most vulnerable during a shot. However, our production team, our own personal teams and my director Raj (Mehta) have made it so comfortable, we’re blessed.
So, would you, in that sense, say you’re ending 2020 on a good note being on a film set?
Of course! I’m happy I’m ending this year working on my film Jug Jugg Jeeyo with such a supportive and positive atmosphere on set. Nothing better being back on set. It has been challenging but so fulfilling.
You’ve completed six years in Bollywood this year and the last two years have been great work wise with multiple releases (Kalank, Kabir Singh, Good Newwz in 2019). Do you want to pace things up from here?
After six years of working in this industry and seeing many ups and downs, I feel humbled to be working with some of the best directors and actors. It’s been a slow and steady and an upward journey till now. I hope I never slow down this pace. I am really grateful for the wonderful scripts that are coming my way. And I am really looking forward to 2021 and start shooting for all the films that I have signed.
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The author tweets @monikarawal
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