'Sometimes I wonder why people are staring at me'
With two back to back duds in Aisha and Blood Money, it looked like actress Amrita Puri would soon return to writing for theatre and advertising.
But she's made of sterner stuff.
Amrita will soon be seen in Kai Po Che, the film adapted from a novel by Chetan Bhagat called The 3 Mistakes of my Life.
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, it stars Sushant Singh, Raj Kumar Yadav and Amit Sadh.
Amrita speaks to Patcy N about why she has just worked in three films in three years, her part in Kai Po Che, and partying with the cast and crew of the film.
How has life changed after Aisha and Blood Money?
It has been a gradual change. I now feel that I have made my mark. People are recognising me for my work. People in the industry know me more than they did before and I am much surer of myself and what I want.
Do people recognise you on the street now?
Yeah, they actually do. I forget sometimes and I wonder why people are staring at me. When they come to me and say we have seen you in Aisha and Blood Money, that's when I realise.
It feels nice since it's been three years since Aisha and still people remember me and tell me I have done a good job.
Image: Amrita Puria nd Raju Kumar Yadav in Kai Po Che
'I don't want to be busy for the sake of being busy'
You have acted in very few movies, just three in three years.
I only do a film if I really like it or if I feel like it is going to make a difference to my career or if the film is exciting for me. That's why you have seen less of me.
I don't want to be busy for the sake of being busy. I want to believe in what I do.
What made you believe in Kai Po Che?
I liked everything about the film: the story, the movie, the music, the co-actors involved in it, Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor, director).
This movie is a story about three guys. How much of a role do you have?
You are right, it is a story of three guys. But I believe that every character has space in the movie. If it is a good space, you can perform as an actor and your presence is felt.
A lot of people -- before they watched Aisha -- questioned my role in it, and whether I should have done that as my debut. But when they saw the film, that question stopped. I think this will be a similar situation.
Image: Amrita Puri and Sushant Singh in Kai Po Che
'Everyone was treating each other like equals'
Did you party with the team of Kai Po Che?
We did not have that much time for partying, and we were in Gujarat where things shut early. But we would go to each other's rooms. There was a stage where we didn't even knock on each other's doors. All our rooms were next to each other so we just walked in. We would have lunch and dinner together.
Niharika, who was the designer on the film, her room was an adda. We would all gather in her room.
When we did not have a shoot the next day, we would party. Gattu would say 'Chalo party karte hai.' Gattu knows how to work hard and party harder. We would all get together in one room and party.
Image: Amrita Puri
'Abhishek Kapoor has a very fine craft'
How much do you like Chetan Bhagat's writing?
I have just read his 3 Mistakes of My Life and I feel that he knows how to cater to everyone and that's why he is so famous.
He writes in a genre that everyone would love to read, and (his books) are made into mainstream commercial films that everyone would love to watch.
How was it working with Abhishek Kapoor?
It was really fantastic. In his second movie he got a National Award (Rock On!!). I learnt a lot from him. He has a very fine craft where he can help you fine tune your performance and add something to it and take it to the next level.
Image: Amrita Puri
'An emotional scene in an auto rickshaw was the most difficult scene'
The other three guys -- Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav and Amit Sadh -- are comparatively new in the industry....
Raj has done lots of work; he has done six films before this.
But still, when you sign a movie you want a known face. Weren't you apprehensive signing the film?
If you look at the banner that I am working for, it is from the makers of Rang De Basanti, UTV, from the writer and director of Rock On !!. And then there is Chetan Bhagat's story. So that answers it all.
What was the most difficult part of shooting this movie?
There is a scene in the movie that is shot in a moving auto rickshaw; it was a very emotional scene and my character breaks down in that scene. I can't say more about the scene but it was the most difficult scene.
Gattu was in another auto along with the cameraman and they were handling traffic. It was day time, it was hot, it was crowded, no one can do your touch up (make-up). You are on the highway and they have to clear the road and therefore we couldn't do many takes...
Image: Amrita Puri
'I think Sushant's role is the best'
Is the whole movie shot in Gujarat?
No. The movie was shot in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and then the team went to Pune, Daman and Diu, and then to Jaipur. I wasn't part of those two schedules. We have shot in Vashi at D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
What is your character like?
My character is Vidya, Sushant's (Singh) sister and Raj Kumar's (Yadav) love interest.
The story is about these three boys but her story is interlinked with them, and the romance runs parallel to the drama. My character actually lightens up the scenes and brings colour.
Who among the three boys will actually take the cake according to you?
All the three are very talented and have done a fantastic job. It is really tough to say who will shine more. It depends on who the audience will connect with. But I think Sushant because his role is the best.
You don't have any movie coming up after this?
No, like I told you, I do have scripts coming in and I am reading scripts right now, but haven't signed anything yet.
Image: Amrita Puri