She may be just three years old in Bollywood, but Kriti Sanon already has an impressive portfolio — be it in terms of banners, co-stars or performances. And she is all set to mark another first in her next outing, Bareilly Ki Barfi‘. Departing from her usual glamorous roles, she’ll be seen as a simple, yet strong-willed small-town girl in the movie, which is being produced by Junglee Films and BR Studios, directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and written by Nitesh Tiwari (who has helmed the blockbuster, Dangal). The film, she says, made her realise that as a country, we are still obsessed with the stereotypes associated with a ‘sanskari ladki’. In a candid chat , Kriti talks about India’s fixation with the idea of marriage, plans of her own shaadi and why she does not fear link-ups. Excerpts…
We have seen you flaunt your glamourous avatar on screen in your previous films. In comparison, Bitti, your character in Bareilly Ki Barfi, is a simple small-town girl, who is not high on glamour, but a bindaas babe who is high on life…
Well, in real life, even I don’t like putting on too much make-up. Bitti is tomboyish and least bothered about the way she dresses. In the film, I wear pullovers, pyjamas and half jackets. It was so relaxing that I could almost sleep in those clothes. My hairstyle was also supposed to look natural. So yes, Bitti is not as glamorous as my previous characters.
Though it’s your first outing as a small-town girl, you look quite comfortable in the songs and teasers…
I am just trying to better myself with every film. Good characters help you prove your mettle. Bitti is in a different zone altogether — she is free-spirited, bindaas and different. She lives life on her own terms. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing her and that probably reflects on screen.
Bitti seems to be refreshingly different; she doesn’t conform to stereotypes. Do you think that our films are often responsible for creating such stereotypes?
The whole stereotype — the idea people have about women, be it in small towns or metros — needs to be redefined. I had visited Lucknow a week before I started shooting for Bareilly Ki Barfi. There, I met quite a few girls who were outspoken — they opened up about their boyfriends and even how they would beat up eve-teasers. So, the whole notion that small-town girls are demure, needs to change. In fact, most of them are strong-willed and determined. Bitti is also moohphat, liberal and ahead of her time. She is not someone who abides by the rules of society. It’s high time we changed our definition of ‘acchi ladki’. In India, girls are told what to do and what not to do. In an arranged marriage scenario, grils are asked all kinds of questions, but these rules don’t apply to men.
As a society, we lay a lot of emphasis on marriage. When it comes to girls, even age becomes a huge point of discussion…
Yes, Indians are obsessed with age and marriage. I believe in the institution of marriage, but it’s not true that your happiness depends on being married at a particular age. Also, your life doesn’t end if you don’t get married. If you decide to spend your life with someone, it has to be for the right reasons. In a lot of homes in India, when the girl crosses 24-25 years of age, there is tremendous pressure on her to tie the knot. The desire to get married should come from within.
So, has the thought of marriage crossed your mind? Also, are you okay with the idea of an arranged marriage?
My journey as an actor has just started and I am not even thinking about marriage. Talking about arranged marriage, well, I don’t think I can marry a guy I don’t know. On the other hand, I can’t wait to fall in love with someone all my life. So, if you want to settle down, I guess arranged marriage is not a bad option. But as I said, it’s important for me to know the person before getting married.
What would your ideal partner, or let’s say, dream man, be like?
Like Bitti, I would like a man who accepts me the way I am. I don’t think any guy should try to change his partner or girlfriend. A good marriage should have no conditions attached to it.
You have acted with Tiger Shroff, Varun Dhawan, Sushant Singh Rajput and now, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. Who do you share the best rapport with?
It is unfair to compare my co-actors as I have a great rapport with all of them. They are all very talented. As far as Bareilly Ki Barfi is concerned, there was no breaking-the-ice moment with either Ayushmann or Rajkummar. We were comfortable with each other right from day one, when we met for readings. Post pack-up, we would dance to Govinda songs. Everybody was like a family.
In Bollywood, you have played romantic parts in all your movies till now. So, are you romantic in real life as well? When was the last time you went on a date?
I am a romantic at heart. I think most girls are. I love watching romcoms, love stories and I am a diehard Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge fan. However, it has been some time since I went on a proper date. I am the kind of girl who prefers enjoying a meal at home, watching a film in my pyjamas, or walking around the beach instead of going on an expensive date. That way, I am not a high-maintenance girlfriend.
But your dinner and movie outings with your co-actors, especially Sushant Singh Rajput, is always talked about…
Gone are the days when enjoying a movie or dinner with a co-star would be called a date. There is nothing wrong in being friends with your co-actors and if that involves dinners or movies, why not? It’s sad if I stop socialising with a friend, just because people are cooking up stories. I am not answerable to anyone. I would still hang out with my male friends and people can assume anything they like. As for Sushant, I don’t have control over what people talk about us. I have already spoken enough about it.
While you probably don’t bother about link-ups, you recently reacted strongly to Priyanka Chopra being trolled for wearing a knee-length dress while meeting our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Israel. How affected do you get by trolls on social media?
These days, everybody has an opinion on everything. In most cases, it is better to ignore it. However, I was really irked by the comments on Priyanka Chopra’s dress because I feel strongly about feminism and equality. I feel bad when women are judged on stupid things like the way they dress.
Sushant denies recommending Kriti Sanon for ‘Chanda Mama Door Ke’