'As fun and funny as it is shooting, it's as scary when you watch it.'
Kiara Advani went through her share of struggle before she landed the biggest hit in her career so far, Kabir Singh.
"I would go for auditions, things would not work out. I would push my managers to get me certain meetings, they would not work out. It was what some of us call the struggle side of it, but it's all a part of the journey," Kiara reveals to Neha Dhupia on the chat show, No Filter with Neha.
On being blessed with a healthy metabolism and her weird food combinations
I am blessed with putting on and losing (weight) equally fast.
So I know I can go back to my old weight.
My dinner is still bhindi, kaddu and salmon.
It's not like I do it to be fit, I genuinely like it.
I love home food. I love sabzi.
From all the proteins, my favourite is fish.
I think it's a very odd mix; I don't think anybody eats bhindi with salmon, even my mum is like what is this meal you're eating.
On hunger management
My only vice in life is this that I have this thing where if I have planned to eat at a particular time, or if I want to eat a particular thing -- and it's very simple things -- if I can't get it, something else happens.
My dad always tells me, please carry a box of nuts or something because you need to keep munching on something because it's probably because your BP drops and you don't know who you become but we don't like this version.
My mom is like, your true colours comes out when you haven't eaten and she's like a person will know your colours if you show them only when you haven't eaten.
On her biggest phobia
p class="rbig">I have a major bird phobia.
I'll start crying.
I could never do that Masakali song that Sonam Kapoor did.
If anybody told me this is what I have to do in a movie, I would leave the film. I would totally leave the film.
On her ideal man
Her boyfriend should have the wit of: Jennifer Lawrence, I think she's really funny.
Looks: Hrithik Roshan
Discipline: Akshay Kumar
Stamina: I think, for his age and like the amount that he's doing, I mean he's the first actor who started shooting so, maybe Akshay Sir.
Money: The Ambanis!
Talent: Thinking of Farhan Akhtar and Ayushmaan.
On shooting Lust Stories with Karan Johar
You're really lucky when you work with Karan because he acts out the whole thing.
He would do a scene and he would just be like, now you'll do it.
He would do every single person's performance -- mine, Vicky's, yours.
He'd tell each of us what to do, which is very interesting. At least for me, he literally held my hand through that.
Most of the homework, I would say was happening simultaneously on set.
We're having conversations with him and just see him do it.
But of course, because it was this vibrator scene, I had really no experience with this device.
I needed to google it.
Thanks to some films like Ugly Truth, I was aware of how an insinuation scene like this would look.
And then I was like, you know what I have to do this, this is it.
One, two, three and action and let's just like pretend and act it out, the best we can.
We didn't do too many takes because I don't think a scene like that, it's really exhausting.
It's like doing fake yoga breathing or something.
But I was fully pretending.
On how she changes perfumes for every role she plays
It started with Kabir Singh.
I think I heard another actor talk about doing this... I am feeling bad that I don't remember who this actor was.
But I think that's where the idea came.
I remember there was a perfume which my co-actors and everyone on set, whether it was my director, DOP, my co-actors for Kabir Singh, they would all talk about this particular perfume I was using while we were shooting. They would associate that scent with Preeti.
So when I went onto Good Newwz, I started using something else. I was like now I associate this with this.
You know like certain smells or music take you back to a time and I realised that it's a great way when you're shuffling between films.
It's like this is who am I today, okay, this is the perfume.
On Kabir Singh and the controversies it created
I realise this only because of Kabir Singh. There are certain characters, today what people know me, even after a certain body of work, they can't get over certain character that you've played.
They feel like this is you. It becomes larger than life.
That's what happened with Preeti.
I was happy when Guilty came out and Good Newwz came out and people were like okay, wow, she's a versatile actress and you know, I've got critical acclaim.
But with Kabir, I was very nervous before the film release because I was aware that section of backlash would come because we saw it happen with the first film.
So we knew it would happen.
We didn't expect the extent of it because of course, with the Hindi film industry, it's a larger audience and the way the film reached out to people, I don't think we realise that with so much love, the topic would become prime time news as well.
So that was a bit challenging.
But I felt like there was also so much love that, I hope it doesn't sound wrong of me to say that, it balanced out the brickbats that came with it.
I feel I have never in my career had every single person from my fraternity message me and tell me what a fantastic job I had done.
I remember you coming out of our screening, like crying and hugging me and everyone was like you know, it was like you only see Preeti's outburst in that last scene. And, for me that scene justified everything.
For me, that scene showed her strength.
She wasn't just going to just go back to the man she loved.
She decided to raise a child on her own, she left him, she left the man her parents forced her to marry.
I just felt she was not the woman that other people saw her to be till that interval and I felt unfortunately for those people who had the comments of misogyny and all of that.
Of course, that is a part of the character but that's something that was always known to the audience, when you see it in the promos also.
You know that this is a man with anger management issues, that's the character narrative, that's what he took. But I felt in the second half, you see such a downfall in his journey that it completely justified everything else for me.
Unfortunately, some people just made the slap, the whole movie about one slap. It was not about one slap.
That's not something that I stand for.
And, that's not something that I would ever stand for. That's not something Preeti stood for either.
Because she left him. She's like, no way, you have ruined whatever we've had. She doesn't go back to him. He comes looking for her and even in that moment, she doesn't want to see his face.
They have a confrontation and that's the climax scene.
I think it was 20 minutes long, where everything is discussed, argued and I guess, love is love at the end of the day.
They come back together.
There's a reason why till today, I get so many messages about the film.
I know it's a character and whoever knows me will always have Preeti associated in their mind, when they think of me.
On her struggling days in the industry
It wasn't like I was this overnight star after my first film.
Even now, a lot of people think M S Dhoni was my first film.
But I feel even now, after having many successful films, that feeling of you don't know what's going to happen next, that uncertainty, I think it goes with the profession.
It's an occupational hazard.
I think everyone, no matter how successful you are or how new you are in the industry, anything can happen.
So I still have that sense of that drive and that wanting to still prove myself.
I feel that comes from the fact that my first film didn't do so well and that was a time which was very difficult.
I mean there would be days when I'd be at home.
I didn't know what more to do.
I would go for auditions, things would not work out.
I would push my managers to get me certain meetings, they would not work out.
It was what some of us call the struggle side of it, but it's all a part of the journey.
Today, when you look back, you know what all you've been through.
I think that again was a time of my life when I felt like if I don't believe in myself, nobody else will.
So, just don't stop. Don't give up. If I can do it, you can do it.
On loving Kareena Kapoor
I love her!
She's just amazing.
On set, whenever like Mickey (Contractor) would get the mirror and I would be like, 'Bebo are you thinking, 'How dare you?
And she'd be like 'Just shut up now.'
She'd be like 'Oh God.'
The thing is you spend any amount of time with her and it's not just me, my entire crew, my entourage, everyone starts talking like her.
Like five minutes with Kareena Kapoor, and it's a Kareena Kapoor show after that for everybody else.
Everyone is talking like her, her lingo just lingers on.
She's just got that aura. She's wow.
On her upcoming films
Laxmmi Bomb will release first, then Indoo Ki Jawani, then Shershah.
They're very, very different and special movies for me.
Laxmmi Bomb is super, super, entertaining.
It's a horror-comedy, my first.
I've never done a horror film before and as fun and funny as it is shooting, it's as scary when you watch it.
There's Indoo Ki Jawani which I'm both nervous and excited because as the title suggests it's Indoo Ki Jawani and there's a lot of me in the film.
Then there's Shershah which on a Kargil War hero. I think it's a beautiful story. I'm really really excited for people to see it.