After impressing audiences at various film festivals ‘Kennedy’ is all set to be screened at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023. How does it feel?
Oh, it feels amazing. To have a film that’s going to go to so many festivals, it’s something that I never imagined. And we have Melbourne next. And then I know that we have a bunch more that are going to come throughout the year. So, it’s very, very exciting.
What kind of reactions have you been getting from the audience?
I have been getting great reactions. When you walk out of a film festival screening, it’s a lot different because at festivals, that’s what it is – you’re celebrating filmmaking. You’re celebrating the film. And it’s about the director and the cast and the entirety of the film. So, it’s a different type of feel when it’s a film being shown at a festival. The reactions are always very lovely. And you get to meet everyone. If your film gets screened at a theatre, everybody just walks in. And you don’t know until you get online. So, the feedback has been really nice. And I am happy that people like my character and they like my part. And, you know, they like ‘Kennedy’.
What was your first reaction when you were approached for the role of Charlie? What was the most fun part of playing Charlie on screen?
So, when I was first approached for this role, I was asked to audition for it. Anurag Kashyap called me and he said, ‘Hey, I have this part. Do you want to do it? But I want you to audition for it.’ And, of course, I said, ‘Absolutely!’ At that moment, I was just very happy that he called. I was so surprised and so honored. And then when I went into the office, he had his entire office sitting in on the audition. And everybody was working on the film. And it was very nerve-wracking and scary. I was very nervous because I haven’t given an audition for someone of this caliber ever in my life. I just really wanted to do a good job. And hopefully they were going to accept my audition. And he did. And it was amazing.
And to play Charlie is great because even though she’s very highly stylised and glamorous, there’s so much more to her during the film and why she’s a part of it and how her character is. There’s a lot of layers to her. Even though she is beautiful and glamorous, there’s a lot of pain there.
Did you relate to your character Charlie in any way?
Absolutely! I think there might be many people in the entertainment industry that might feel like that. It is that no matter what’s going on in our lives and in our personal surroundings, when you’re working, you have to put a smile on your face and act like everything is fine and act like nothing hurts you and act like the words that are being used against you are not hurtful. We put a smile on our faces and we walk out the door and we try to be the best version of what people think that we should be. I think that part was really relatable, even though she has some not so nice things happening with her, she still has this laugh and she smiles and she looks beautiful. And she hides behind her smile and she hides behind this facade that she creates on the exterior.
You have a shared screen space with Rahul Bhatt in the film. He’s one of the finest, underrated actors in the industry. How was it working with him?
Oh, it was wonderful working with him. I wish I had more days working with him on the film. He was very focused and he was very into whatever it is that he was doing. And I learned a lot by just watching him and listening to Anurag sir. And he’s just genuinely such a nice person. And we really, really got along very well.
With psychological and crime thrillers crowding up the OTT space, where do you see Kennedy? How do you think the film will be received in India?
Well, I do believe that there are not enough of these types of films coming out. I think as a provider on any OTT platform, you can just never have enough of these types of films. And as a consumer myself, I am always looking for the next interesting film or series. So I think that Kennedy will definitely be one of those films that people will enjoy watching on any of these platforms and consume the content for what it is and just enjoy it.
With actresses venturing into action and spy thrillers, would you also like to explore these genres more?
I love it. So I always say that if I can do films in genres that I actually love watching, I think that that’s always great. So, yes, of course, the answer is yes, I would love to. And a couple of my upcoming projects are in this zone already. So I hope people enjoy that, especially after ‘Kennedy’. And I live up to hopefully the Charlie standard and the Kennedy standard that Anurag has definitely set for me now.
You have grown leaps and bounds in the industry as an actor, as a performer. How do you look back at your journey so far?
I think that my journey so far has been incredible in every single way, the good, the bad, the ugly and all the amazing work that I have gotten to do over the last 11 years. And it literally only gets better. And I am extremely thankful even when everything doesn’t seem right or normal. There’s always that ray of sunshine and I have Bollywood to thank for that.