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Exclusive Interview: How Raabta chose Kriti Sanon

By Armin S. Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017 05:01: AM

When we saw her in Heropanti and subsequently, Dilwale, we wished she had more meaty roles coming up. And now, with Raabta, it sure looks like she does. Action, romance, drama, and two completely different worlds, we instantly felt a connection or shall I say, a raabta, with Raabta. Here`s our exclusive chat with Kriti Sanon, who knew there was something about this film from the first time she heard about it.

 

You indicated that you already felt like you had a “raabta” with the film Raabta. Can you explain that?
 

Well, you know, firstly, it is really strange, a very long time back, even before I had signed Heropanti, I had met Dinesh (director) for something else. He had narrated just the idea of this film that he was working on, where this girl and boy meet in a chocolate shop and they feel this strange connect instantly. He had just narrated me that one scene. He told me it was something he was working on and asked me how I liked it. I said it was nice.
 

Two years later, I met him again for something else and he started randomly narrating Raabta’s script. While he was doing that, I said, “wait a minute, is this the same script that you told me about really long back.” He didn’t remember that he had told me about the idea. I was one of the first people he shared this idea with, he told me.  And then, in that meeting, without realizing he was narrating Raabta, he narrated the whole script in his hand, with full dialogues. I was totally with him. I went back home and that script stayed with me for two days.
 

So I messaged him and said, “I loved that script you told me about. Why aren’t you making that?” By that time, he wasn’t sure he would make it, whether he would direct it or not. Sushant was on board already – about six months or a year before I came on board. It all just clicked and it all just happened like it was meant to be.
 

We had a meeting. He also called Sushant there – which was a surprise for me because I wasn’t expecting him to be there. He gave us a scene. We had never met each other before but the scene just was so organic, that by the end of it, we were completing each other’s sentences. Sushant was improvising, I did something slightly different – so we responded to each other. The kind of organic chemistry he needed for this film was strangely visible between me and Sushant.  And he would use that in this film beautifully.
 

When I look back at all these incidents, I knew it was meant to be. And I do believe that the films choose you.

 

 

You talked about this natural flow. I want to talk about him as a co-star. We’ve heard about Sushant highlighting his scripts.

(Laughs).

 

 

How do you two collaborate on a scene? Do you do that? How does it work?


Totally. I think it is all about collaboration. Even though he does he has his own method and preparation before any character. But that is something one should do. He gets into each and every small detail about his character. When he comes on set, he doesn’t lose his spontaneity. That’s the most beautiful thing as an actor. It is about collaboration, about making the scene alive, about making it better. It’s about reacting each other. Not so much about what I’m doing as an actor but rather what we are doing as actors.


A lot of times, on set, we have improvised and did something which was not on paper, which made it real and natural. It was more about listening to each other and reacting. That made the scenes more organic and real.

 

 

You also have two different worlds, despite some people suggesting the film seems to be a repeat of others. I don’t see that – I see completely different worlds. But how do you, as an actor, switch back and forth between these two worlds?
 

Firstly, thank you so much for realizing that it is a completely different world. The comparisons that have been made are quite baseless. You are one of the few people who realized that the worlds are so different from anything that has been seen before, especially in Indian cinema.
 

But what has helped us especially, was that we did have a two month gap between the current time and the flashback in terms of shooting. We got out of the current time zone, and we had two months to focus on the flashback time. This was the time that we had no reference for. We had not seen anything like this in Indian cinema before.
 

Whenever we see another era, we see the Mughals. We see times that were more royal. There was a way of talking, a way of dressing up. But we were dealing with a time where we had no reference point. This was more raw, almost tribal. We had to be on the same page. There was costume and look trials that happened for two, three days. We could see a little bit of the world and as the characters when the look was decided. There was a lot of conversation and workshops on the way we would talk, that we would sound different. It becomes easy to speak Hindi and sound like today. But to break that pattern and have a different tone was important. The body language had to change. We had to learn some skills to get into the zone.
 

I had to learn horse-riding for example, and I had to look convincing doing that. That doesn’t come in a few months. It takes years of practice to look like a pro. So I got to cantering and actually, when I was on the horse, and practiced with the particular horse, because it is important to catch the rhythm and bond with the horse – thankfully, it happened in one take. We learnt some mixed martial arts and some hand combat, for me. I had some weapons training but not extensive, but enough so that I looked like a warrior. She would have to look stronger – even the way she walks and stands must be different.



 

Talking about action sequences, what were some additional challenges on top of the action, given the locations and the costumes?
 

In terms of the action sequences, the fact that we were shooting in a national park in Mauritius, it wasn’t really a running friendly, action friendly space. There were lots of trees, lots of stones. You could get badly hurt. When you are running, you need the ground to be good for running. There were so many stones, even if the crew took out the bigger stones, there were lots of stones we could trip on. I actually did trip on one.
 

There was this one sequence where I fell in the chase – because as part of my costume, I had a veil on. And when you’re wearing a veil on your face – beyond a point, you have no vision. You have to look down to look down. You can only see what is in front of you. So it is hard trying to run fast while wearing that veil. So I fell, because I couldn’t see. I got very badly hurt. In an environment with waterfalls and so many rocks, branches, stones…also the clothes we were wearing, like what I was wearing…was not very action-friendly.  Because the bottom was pretty open, and it would get stuck at times, when I was running. The shoes, in that time, you can’t have proper shoes. So basically, what we did was, get normal shoes and cover it with cloth. They were big shoes.
 

I also have long hair – personally, for action, you want to tie your hair usually. But when you’re shooting, you have to look pretty and have to play your part. We needed to have braids on our hair and after a while, it starts pulling on your head.


 

And we can’t have action without music. You have a fantastic soundtrack to go along with the film. What is your favourite song?
 

Well, one of my favourite tracks from the film is “Main Tera Boyfriend” because it is this groovy dance number. We got to dance a lot and we got a chance to look sexy. I hope you guys like it.


 

And finally, Kriti, one thing/one person/one presence in your life you feel you have a raabta with?
 

There are so many people in my life, like very close friends, who you don’t talk to on a daily basis. Obviously, family I can’t really count with this, because everyone has a raabta with their family. I have two college friends that when I want to talk to somebody, they are always there. They have not changed at all. I am still the same person with them.
 

Otherwise, I do feel, even with Sabbir sir (the director of Heropanti), I know that he will always be there for me. I know I can always call him up for anything and things like that. I bother Sabbir sir whenever you want. There are a lot of people around me, apart my family, I feel a raabta with. 

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