Kriti Sanon on ‘Bareilly…’: “Bitti is more outspoken than I am…”

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‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ is Kriti Sanon’s second offering of 2017. It’s set in Bareilly, which is in Uttar Pradesh. Directed by the talented Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari who made her debut with the award-winning ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ (2015), the film sees Sanon share the screen with Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao for the first time.

The trailers and songs of the film have been captivating audiences, as have Sanon’s moves. BizAsiaLive.com caught up with the actress before the film’s release.

How much did you relate to your character, Bitti?
She’s born and brought up in a very different kind of an environment and, obviously, a very different place to me. I come from Delhi which much more urban and she belongs to the small town of Bareilly. As a character, she’s very tomboyish. She’s also more outspoken than I would say I am. I have some filters on but she doesn’t have any on (laughs). Her body language and also the way she speaks… it’s all very different to mine because she is a UP girl. But I do think I relate to her mind a lot. I relate to her thinking. She may belong to a small town but she’s very liberated and broadminded in her head. She’s someone who puts logic to everything and doesn’t just follow the rules and norms that are made for girls by society and what we’re told when we’re growing up. She lives life on her own rules and own terms. She also follows her heart and that’s something I completely relate to.

Did you find you had to prepare much for the role?
Yes. For every role you do, there’s always some prep that goes into it. For this movie, I’m playing a small town UP girl for the first time. I had never ever picked up any dialect in my previous films. I went to Lucknow a week before we started shooting and I saw Bitti’s house and the lanes where she lives. I went to visit a college and met around twenty girls who came out and spoke to me very sweetly for about 1-2 hours. I told them I would record their conversation which they were OK with. They started opening up in front of me… talking about their boyfriend and everything that happens around them. When I came back, I was listening to that conversation for a week to pick up the way they speak, their manner and their dialect. I think sometimes when you’re spending too much time with a friend, you start talking like them so I was trying to apply that. I think it’s something that really helped me. Otherwise, for me it was important to adapt a body language that wasn’t very girly because Bitti is a tomboy – a little carefree and not bothered about what she’s wearing.

What was it like working with Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao?
It was amazing. I think both of them are very talented, spontaneous and collaborative as actors. When we on set, they were both in their characters always while shooting. We used to do readings, improvise and add our own things. We used to react to each other and when you have good actors opposite you, I think your performance becomes better and you start reacting to them and it becomes more real. They’re both very easy to work with and very chilled out.

The film also stars Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa as your parents. What was the experience of working with them?
I had a blast shooting with them. They’re theatre actors and they’re so good. They feed off each other so well and have such a different approach to every scene. With them, every scene became lively. Naturally, their reactions are so funny and so apt that again, as an actor, you start reacting to them. It’s not difficult to work with them because they help you in a way. In front of them I really had to control my laughter while shooting. There were so many moments that were so funny that I used to start laughing in between the take and we had to do it again.

How do you think the story of ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ will appeal to the audiences?
I think it’s a very different and slice-of-life script. It’s not something where you’ll have to apply your brain and really sit and think through it. It’s an easy breezy kind of a film which will entertain you a lot. It’ll make you laugh. It’s got a lot of punches and relatability. I think that’s a big USP of the film because each and every character has been written in that way. Ashwiny herself is very simple and rooted so she brings out the relatability factor in every scene and with every character. You would feel like you know these people. That’s something I feel the audiences really will like.

‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ releases this Friday.

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