MUMBAI— She is trying to choose the right mix of roles and films, and is also cashing in on the fact that her film “Bareilly Ki Barfi” changed the perception of her from a glam, urban girl to someone who could be convincing as a small-town youngster. On the eve of the release of her newest film, “Luka Chhupi,” Kriti Sanon elaborated on her choices and career at a meet at Mumbai’s Sun’N’Sand.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: What changed after “Bareilly Ki Barfi” besides this perception you mention?

A: The opportunities changed. People had formed a set image of me after just two films, “Heropanti” and “Dilwale” – I don’t know how they can do this! – but someone had the vision of a different me and staked their money on me, and the film worked. No one had imagined me like that, and when a film like “Bareilly Ki Barfi” does well, it opens doors. Now, I am a girl from Mathura in “Luka Chhupi” and from Ferozepur in “Arjun Patiala.”

Q: How do you choose your films now?

A: I think that films choose you. I just go with my gut feeling.

Q: You are also doing “Panipat.”

A: Yes, and again it’s great to know that Ashutosh (Gowariker)-sir said that I was his first choice. So I, a Delhi girl, am playing Parvatibai, Sadashivrao’s wife, who accompanied her husband all through the third battle of Panipat. Not so much is actually known about her life. But Ashutosh-sir has created her character very beautifully with some fictional touches about how she was, and what was her love story. He has created a strong and independent woman who is relatable for audiences today. Then I had to also learn Marathi, which became quite tongue-twisting sometimes!

Q: What kinds of roles give you sleepless nights?

A: I think that every character has its own challenge. There has been no role yet that gave me sleepless nights or scared me. But to be a person from a completely different era, to learn horse-riding, and action sequences with sword-fighting, were all exciting. When I did those action sequences, it made me feel powerful in a strange way. And the horse-riding I had done even in “Raabta” helped.

Q: Who are on your wish-list of directors?

A: It depends. Sometimes, I go for scripts, sometimes for great characters. Sometimes, I will see people attached to a film, like Imtiaz Ali, Aanand L. Rai, Bhansali-sir or Anurag Basu-sir are directors from whom I can gain something.

Q: What is your own take on living-in, which is the base of “Luka Chhupi?”

A: Today, especially after meeting so many people from all walks of life and in this industry, I do not judge it. When two people get engaged, they often show their best side to each other, and the bad things are hidden. And some people are not sure if they are ready for marriage. In such cases, living-in is a good option. My parents will never agree to it, but I have to ever go against their wishes, it would be if I saw a possibility of marriage, and not just for fun.

I have lived a protected life, and we have middle-class values. I heard about living-in when in college, and it was a big deal and a total no-no. But then, among my relatives, the thinking was on those lines, rigid, narrow and restricted to black and white! In fact, when I became a model and then an actress, their assumption was that models and actresses can never get married!

Q: Like “Bareilly…,” this film has a strong ensemble cast.

A: Yes, and I give full marks to Laxman Utekar, my director and a veteran cinematographer, for his control over so many actors and actresses, so that the film and script do not go out of control, because everyone is so brilliant. The characters are fascinating – there is the brother who is not married, a bhabhi who wants a sister-in-law so that she gets help in doing the household work, then Pankaj (Tripathi)-ji’s character who is after girls – any girl!

Q: You are also doing another comedy in “Housefull 4.”

A: And I think it is going to be the funniest “Housefull” ever. The comedy is not only of a different kind but also set in two eras as it is about reincarnation. We had fun playing games and having meals together, and Akshay (Kumar)-sir is so restless that he would not sit still! If nothing, he would organize something or even play ‘Catch-Catch’ and keep us all totally entertained. All of us felt really low on wrapping up the film, and we were like, “The party’s over!”

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