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'I am a very funny girl'

By MOHNISH SINGH
November 22, 2019 09:58 IST

'I crack the best jokes in the world!'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Kriti Kharbanda/Instagram

Making an audience laugh is not an easy task.

Kriti Kharbanda knows that only too well, and says, "I survived only because I think I am a very funny girl."

But Anees Bazmee's Pagalpanti will be a rib-tickling comedy, and its cast promises it's going to be so good it may spin a series.

But don't go looking for logic in the film.

"If they are trying to find logic in Housefull 4 and Pagalpanti, I feel sorry for them," Kriti tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh.

Co-stars Arshad Warsi and Pulkit Samrat join Kriti and reveal what they think as well.

Kriti, how do you approach comedy?

Kriti Kharbanda: I get very scared. 

Comedy is a very difficult genre.

I survived only because I think I am a very funny girl.

I crack the best jokes in the world!

I know I can entertain people. I'm very confident of that.

But when you have to do it in front of the camera, the approach is different.

When I say a dialogue, the only person I need to impress on set is my director.

I have to follow his comedy timing.

I felt it would be very easy, as I was already doing Housefull 4, so I just had to take that comedy forward.

But the comedy is so different in Pagalpanti.

It is comparing Housefull with Welcome -- there is no comparison between the two but they are comical in their own sense.

So that became a very big challenge for me.

Plus, my character Jhanvi is the hardest I have played in my life, including my career down south.

She can irritate you very easily and get annoying. It's very caricaturish.

My director told me she has to behave stupid, but not look stupid.

So it was a very thin line.

If I didn't say the line 'Humare yahan toh blast hote hi rehte hain' with conviction, it will not sound genuine.

IMAGE: Kriti in Housefull 4.

Do you feel upset when people troll and try to find logic in such movies?

Kriti Kharbanda: They are not sane people. Why should I lose sleep over them?

I mean if they are trying to find logic in Housefull 4 and Pagalpanti, I feel sorry for them.

They need help.

Arshad Warsi: They expect a Mughal-e-Azam feel from a movie like Housefull 4 (laughs).

How did you manage the action scenes in Housefull 4?

Kriti Kharbanda: I definitely want to explore action because a lot of people don't expect it from me.

When I gave my first shot of sword fighting, (action director) Sham Kaushalji told me that he had had no expectations from me.

'You are a chota packet bada dhamaka,' he said.

He told everyone, including Akshay Kumar and Sajid sir, that I had done very well.

So I trained for two more days and did the solo sequence. I could do it because there were people who said that, yes, she can do it.

A lot of people feel I cannot do it because I am petite.

But I have beaten the hell out of many during my time!

The first boy, who fell in love with me, did so because I slapped him.

He had dared me to slap him and I just gave him a tight one.

I was 15 then.

IMAGE: Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat and John Abraham in Pagalpanti.

Arshad, you have been a part of several successful comic franchises like Munnabhai, Dhamaal and Golmaal. What attracted you in Pagalpanti?

Arshad Warsi: When I hear a script and know who is directing it, I get a feel of which zone it will be in.

This is the first time I am working with Anees Bazmee, but I know his reputation.

I know how smart he is with his writing and the crew he has gathered, like Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, John Abraham, Kriti Kharbanda and Pulkit Samrat.

I knew them, but I did not know how good they were. I got to know that later.

It is a damn good team!

I have a feeling this film will do well and spin a series because people like to see good characters.

Good characters make series, not films.

You cannot make a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge 2. Even though it was a very good film, the characters were normal. There were two people in love.

But you can make the next part of Munnabhai because you liked the characters.

Most of the characters in Pagalpanti are like that of Golmaal. You will fall in love with them.

Most of your comedies have done well.

Arshad Warsi: There are many which I have said no to even though I knew they would do well. But they did not appeal to me.

Like which?

Arshad Warsi: Grand Masti and Great Grand Masti.

I am not comfortable with sex comedies.

 

IMAGE: Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Pulkit Samrat, John Abraham and Arshad Warsi in Pagalpanti.

Do you ever feel like doing more solo hero films?

No, I don't give a damn.

Somebody had asked me the same question in an interview 15 years ago, and I had said the same thing.

Amitabh Bachchan has one or two solo films, the rest are all either two-hero or three-hero films.

You must do good films with good people. That's what really matters.

Otherwise, it is just your ego that is feeding off you.

Arshad, when are you planning to write a film?

Arshad Warsi: I would like to write, but honestly, I don't think I am good enough to write.

I can improvise a script.

It takes a certain sensibility and a very evolved mind to cater to our Indian audience.

Like to see a Housefull, why would you want logic?

But you understand there are people who look for logic, so how do you cater to that?

It's a different mindset which I don't think I am good at.

Didn't you learn writing from Mahesh Bhatt when you assisted him on Thikana?

Arshad: That was a long time ago and it was a job that I did.

One thing I did learn from him is that he used to give his actors complete freedom to do what they wanted.

I have never seen that in any of the directors.

He is the only one who would tell an actor to perform as per his comfort level. They can decide for themselves, like how their bodies should move.

Arshad, have you never been offered a Housefull film?

Arshad Warsi: No yaar, they don't take good actors (laughs).

Actually, what happens is that once the thing is set, it is hard to get a new actor on board.

As I said, once you like the characters, it becomes problematic to introduce new ones.

Kriti Kharbanda: It is very hard to include new characters in a film that has established its characters.

Like, there can never be another Circuit. You cannot accept anyone else in that character, right?

It's the same with the Housefull franchise.

What is the update on the next installment of the Munnabhai franchise?

Arshad Warsi: If I ask Raju Hirani, he never says no. He will say, 'Yes, we will do it 100 percent.' And I know he will.

There are good thoughts, brilliant stuff, but the second half is not working.

IMAGE: Kriti, Pulkit and Anil in Pagalpanti.

Pulkit, you are going in a comic zone again after the Fukrey movies.

Pulkit Samrat: I have been lucky to be able to do Fukrey and then to be a part of Pagalpanti because both are very different.

The Fukrey franchise is a slice-of-life comedy, whereas Pagalpanti is a typical Anees Bazmee comedy, where you do not have any logic.

But there is still a story that engages you, and the characters are very interesting.

Because I have done the Fukrey films, I had the strength to do the Pagalpanti type of comedies.

I took it on as a learning experience.

IMAGE: Kriti and Pulkit promote Pagalpanti.

What kind of offers do you mostly get?

Arshad Warsi: A couple of them are so dark and depressing I don't want to do them.

I do what makes me happy.

As an actor, you want to do something outrageous. I have a script, which is outrageous and I will be doing it for Amazon Prime.

I hate to do anything that does not entertain people.

MOHNISH SINGH
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