She might be only one film old in Bollywood with Margarita With A Straw but this year, three of her films Fan, Jagga Jasoos and Baar Baar Dekho are set to hit the screens. Gupta tells Sangeeta Yadav that her aim now is to become a superstar which can only happen after giving a blockbuster hit
- You are playing one of Aryan’s (Shah Rukh Khan’s) love interests in Fan. Tell us more about it?
It was outstanding. SRK is one of the biggest superstars after Rajesh Khanna. He reciprocates love, warmth and generosity. He is the only co-actor who has told me‘lines kar lete hain yaar.’ He is humble and as excited for work as he was 20 years ago. He has no airs. After working with him, I realised that no matter what life throws at you, what really makes you is your attitude which should not be corrupted.
- Is there anything that you will take back from this film?
For an actor, apart from acting, one has to be a good technician who can understand and do detailed analysis of the character and scene. SRK is a great technician. He never loses focus. Director Maneesh Sharma and I were in a dilemma about how to deliver a dialogue. Shah Rukh came up with basic changes and it all fell into place in a jiffy.
- How is Maneesh as a director?
He is one of the most sorted newage directors. He made our life simple through his clear vision. He is very specific about how he wants thing to shape up. He has also written the story of Fan, developing an eight-year-old idea.
- Any challenges?
The most painful experience I had while working on Fan was when the hairdresser curled my straight hair. Thought it gave me a completely different look, I had a really tough time getting those perfect curls.
- You played a blind lesbian girl in Margarita With A Straw. Do you think that film brought you stardom?
MWAS is a good film but it’s not a film that gives you a star. You need a superhit for that and that’s my motto right now. I hope to become a superstar one day and big enough and loved enough so that people are ready to put in money on projects I am a part of. People around you take you seriously only if you are a star. People will value your time and effort much more and be willing to invest as well it you are a star. Unfortunate, but that’s how the industry works.
- You have worked with Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif in Jagga Jasoos and Sidharth Malhotra in Baar Baar Dekho. Were you nervous?
I have never been starstruck or intimidated by popular actors or working with them. I am nobody’s fan. I don’t look at them as stars. They are like any other person popular for their work.
- How did you bag all these films?
I auditioned for every film and it’s the best way to lock the starcast because only then can you tell if an actor is really suited for the part. That’s the practice in the West. No matter how big the star is, she has to give a screen test. That’s the reason why we get to see credible casting directors who are very good at their job. Because of them, people like me, an outsider with have no Bollywood connection, get an opportunity in the industry. There is scope for you even if you don’t know anybody. You get films based on your talent. This was not the case earlier.
- How do you prepare yourself for a role?
A thumb rule that Naseeruddin Shah told us at FTII was to read the script 200 times. That doesn’t happen but I make sure that I read it at least 25 times and a good script has everything that you need to know about the character. I study and approach the characters differently. We do workshops, rehearse and improvise on the set.
(The article also got published in The Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/im-nobodys-fan.html).