Remember the popular music band Aryan's song 'Aankhon Mein' which had a teenage Shahid Kapoor trying his best to woo his crush? If not, it's time to jog down your memory a bit-
That cute, chirpy girl is none other than Hrishita Bhatt! She later went on to do films like 'Asoka', 'Dil Vil Pyaar', 'Ab Tak Chhappan', 'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho' and many more. For those missing her on the big screen here's some good news! The actress has a release lined up for this Friday- 'Junooniyat' starring Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam in leading roles.
Recently we caught up with Hrishita for a quick chat where she got candid about why she is so choosy about her roles, regional cinema, box office numbers and much more.
Excerpts from the conversation-
1. On Why She Gave Her Nod To 'Junooniyat'
A. A. Well, 'Junooniyat' happened for two reasons. I wanted to work with Vivek Agnihotri for a long time. He is a very dear friend. I have immense respect for him. We were trying to figure out a good film and he was thinking what should I do. Later he offered a role in 'Junooniyat'. I told him, "Don't make me do any more guest appearances. I am tired of doing it." But he convinced me for this film saying that I have a very special role. Sometimes as an actor you have to have that kind of faith and trust in your director. 'Junooniyat' is a typical romantic story where I come in as a catalyst and I actually propel it further. I kind of bring out the essence and flavour of the love story. My character Mishti is a Bengali widow in the film. For me to be a part of this film was important and at the same time different because it's a romantic film and cute, at the same time differently brought about.
2. On Working With Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam
A. Oh lovely! I think both of them are very sweet. I and Yami got along quite well the first time we met on sets. I know it's a rare thing that happens. (laughs)
3. On How She Chooses Her Films
A. Frankly 'Junooniyat' was one of the guest appearances for me. But even if it's a guest appearance I need to know how important is that role in the film otherwise there is no point in doing it. Unless I have to do a favour for a director I would do it for sure and there are no thoughts about it. But at the same time when it comes to a role, for me it's a challenge to play different roles. As an actor I have also believed to challenge myself whether I did a few films. I love to be a part of some good cinema which is why I would chose films which the audience likes watching and not just one tiny section. I would even do world cinema because I love cinema as a language and as a medium. It just has to keep me excited.
4. On Regional Films Doing Well These Days
A. See more than doing well, I think it's not always just the business of a film. Even in Bollywood if you see only good films have done well. No matter they might say XYZ films have become hits but that's not so. Films that have an unique flavour to them, are well made and presented will do well business wise. What you promote and market is a separate story. But at the same time business is different. As far as regional films are concerned I think they genuinely do well. They have a novelty and different script. The audience is also smart these days which is the best part. Which is why I think most films work if they are well made with thought and keeping in mind the likes of the audience.
5. On Box Office Numbers
A. When I will become a producer I will tell you. Till then I don't want to know. (laughs)
6. On What Draws Her To A Film- A Good Script Or A Good Director
A. Both. A good script can go wrong with a bad director and vice versa. First you obviously go through a script and then you see who is the captain of the ship.
7. On The Recent 'Udta Punjab' Controversy And Censorship
A. Abhishek (Chaubey) is a friend. I believe as a fraternity coming from the film industry I will support my friends. I think cinema is a language and a free medium. We have a freedom of expression. This is not something which is made of his or her thinking or the writer's thinking. It's a fact being portrayed on screen. I agree with the censor when it comes to any kind of language or visuals which are not accepted because there will be apprehensions. We live in a society where we would like to be a little more conservative. But at the same time I think freedom of expression should not be stopped. I am sure every film has its own unique language and I feel that shouldn't have so many issues about what and why.
8. On Her Upcoming International Film
A. It's a film called 'Flames' that has been selected at few international film festivals and has done some good rounds. I even bagged the 'Best Actress' award at the Australian Film Festival. I don't know when the makers will release it here. It's a bold and woman-centric film.
9. On Dealing With Success And Failures
A. I think failures are the best. They make you start again. Success is fun. You take it in your stride. I think the balance is beautiful.
10. On Reality Shows
A. I have trained in Kathak since the age of 7. I am pursuing it on stage also. But that keeps me going anyways whether I do films or not. I would love to judge a dance-based reality show if at all I have to or be in any kind of good show. But frankly I think each dance has his or her own body language. I don't believe in competition. I know these shows give lot of exposure but at the same time it has to be something which probably I would love to do. I love to do just something very different. I am not a part of this reality bit at all.
11. On Plans Of Going Behind The Camera
A. I don't know. I have no idea. You know it's a tough job. I would first love to explore more in acting and then maybe get into direction. See, you can produce a film and act but you cannot direct and act. That's the toughest thing that you can do. So it's very important at this point of time that when I take that step I have to remain completely focused on that.