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Nargis Fakhri: "I’m not here to make friends"

By Armin S. Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 01:36: PM

When she started off her career in the Hindi film industry, she was paired up with Ranbir Kapoor. He was touted to be the next superstar and pretty much became a superstar after the film. Nargis Fakhri was also noticed amongst the noise of Rockstar. But she truly showed how dedicated of an actor she is with Madras Café, which earned her rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. We saw her spunk in “Dhating Naach”, matching her feet with Shahid Kapoor (which we know is no small task). Now, we get to see her in Main Tera Hero, with Varun Dhawan and Ileana D’Cruz, as she tries her hand at comedy. Here’s what Nargis had to say about her fabulous and versatile journey so far. 

Being somebody from the "outside", now on the inside of the film fraternity, how has your perception changed? 

I'm not really on the "inside" so I can't answer this question. My perception is still the same. For me the industry is just about work and nothing else. That is all I am focusing on. I’m not here to make friends. 


With each film you have grown and shown versatility: Rockstar, Madras Cafe, and your "item number" re "Dhating Naach". What influences your choices? 

I think my work has chosen me. Plus, I have a great team that filters things and we sit and talk about what would be best. So in the end, I have relied upon my agents to help in the final decision. I think we are all on the same page and they know my personality and sort of know what I like and dislike at this point so we all work really well together. When a script comes my way and I connect to it and I feel I can do justice to it, I jump at it . Such scripts are very hard to find though (smiles).


You said in an interview that you're a different person in that you are not looking for a big banner or a big director. So is it script?

It is definitely script for me. I have to hear it or read it and feel it. I want to feel connected to the story and the character. It helps me understand what I am doing and if I can relate my life to the story somehow, that is even better. When a script comes my way, I think to myself- if I was the audience, would I want to hear this story and be a part of this journey.


You have also worked with a diverse range of actors and directors, even with the upcoming Main Tera Hero. What do you take away from each actor?

Each actor was a unique individual and I learned a little bit from all of them. I think I take away more from the directors I have worked with rather than the actors. I have had the chance to work with three very different directorial styles. Each director was very different in their vision and how they wanted to execute it. It was interesting to see the various styles of direction, and I had to learn to get accustomed. It is all a part of my education here


You're trying your hand at comedy, which many state is the most difficult genre to crack. What are some of the challenges you faced?

Comic timing, large cast, hectic scenes, where I didn’t have dialogues but participation and expression was necessary . Some jokes I didn’t understand so I needed further explanation on why someone would think this was funny…Or like a scene we did that was very awkward and I was unable to understand what I was supposed to do or feel because I have not encountered a scenario like that in real life. It was fun and challenging.


It is also your first time working with another female co-actor. What is the work experience like? 

It was wonderful. Everyone keeps talking about cat fights, but we got along. I think it is very important to be secure in your space and not let insecurities come in the way of your work relationships. 


David Dhawan is an institution for comedy. In my opinion, he infuses intelligence with the run of the mill jokes. What is your take on his kind of cinema? 

Well, I have not grown up on his films, so my perspective is very different. It’s funny but over the top funny. Everything is larger than life. I am very lucky that I got to work with him so early on in my career. There were times when I didn’t understand the jokes and it took me some time. Plus I had to learn how to project his kind of comedy in a scene.  It is not as easy as people make it out to be. Some people might say comedy is frivolous but it very hard to make people laugh. He has managed to nail that style.


What have you learnt from David Dhawan? 

I have learned that you can make a film really, really fast when you see it in your head! He is sooooo fast. He knows what he needs from you and he tells you and you do it and there, it’s done. He also allows you to try new things, so he gives you freedom as well if you have an idea. I really like that he talks to his actors and allows us to improvise or change and add something while shooting. 


Now Varun Dhawan is a total package, per many ladies. Is he the total package in your opinion?

I think he is going to be a super duper star, or at least - I am rooting for him. From what I know of him and the time spent hanging out, he not only has the full package to be a super top actor, but I feel he has more than that. He has depth, he has soul, he has warmth inside of him. He is still young and hopefully doesn't change. He has that understanding about Bollywood and he has grown up in a family that eats, breathes and sleeps films, but he has a realness to him. He isn’t caught up in some delusion. 


We hear you had a "bro code"? 

Bro code (chuckles) - no bro code. He just calls me Bro. I’m just one of the guys for Varun. We got along really well and had a great time shooting.


A message for your Canadian fans. 

OH MY GOSH I LOVE CANADA!!!! And I hope to come visit soon. And it’s so awesome that I have Canadian fans!!!  Really, I would have never expected that. But I really appreciate all of you! 



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