How did you feel when Maneesh read you the script of Band Baaja Baaraat?I love romcoms. Ever since I became an actress, which was not very long ago, I wanted to do a romantic comedy but I don’t see such films being made in our country like something I can fall in love with. I fell in love with this script as soon as it was narrated to me. When Maneesh narrated the script to me I did not realize how those three/three and half hours passed. I was completely engrossed because Maneesh’s narration was lovely. This script completely took over me when I read it, and this is very rare in a Hindi film. Band Baaja Baaraat is a romcom, it is a love story but with a lot of ‘desi-pan’ to it... coz your characters are so grounded that you relate to it and become completely part of the film. That is what is so lovely about the movie and script.
Tell us about your character, Shruti Kakkar.
Shruti could be a girl from any Indian city - Delhi, Bangalore, Nagpur, Mumbai. She wants to do a lot in life. She has many goals, is very ambitious and she is a very principled and well brought up kid from a loving close family. She is somebody who can talk to her parents about anything under the sun… about boys and about her problems just anything and everything. she will always do the right things, she is very gutsy and very endearing and she is very cool and that’s what I love about her. She has guts and it’s very enjoyable to see her… I was always smiling reading about her in the script.
Tell us about Maneesh Sharma.
I met Maneesh for the first time during my auditions for RNBDJ - he was playing table tennis and was sweating when I first saw him! He was the Associate Director. We became friends that very day we got along that day itself, because I was very scared of Adi initially, Maneesh was the medium between us. So we became friends. Maneesh is one of the five people I know in Bombay ever since I have been here. I know few people and he is one of them. This is his first film and it’s so lovely to work with a friend in a movie. It was lovely working with Maneesh. I didn’t have to pretend anytime. I could just go up and tell him “dude mujhe samajh nahi aa rahaa hai” or say I don’t agree with this. So there was no pretense. When we were on set of course we were director and actor but here was a comfort level, which I have never shared in my life that has helped me a lot to play Shruti.
Tell us about Ranveer’s character Bittoo.
Bitto is everything that Shruti is not… if Shruti would put a margin on an A4 sheet then Bittoo would not even posses a notebook… if Shruti was running to catch the bus in time then Bittoo would be just sleeping at home till twelve missing his classes but when they come together it’s like a jigsaw puzzle. When they come together it seems all right… all the friction they have generates spark and that spark is so attractive to watch.
What do you feel about an unusual professional field like wedding planning? Till sometime ago the professions parents wanted their kids to enter into was doctors, lawyers or engineers. Apart from that there was nothing and going into anything else meant that because they couldn’t do anything else the kid is doing this... but with Shruti, in this film she always wanted to be a wedding planner and her parents were always supportive of what she wanted to do. I think things are changing in our society and parents are allowing their kids to do what they want to do. Avenues are opening up much more and there is scope for other professions now other creative professions - wedding planning, advertising, marketing… it’s all opening up. You see that in this film but you don’t see it in Hindi cinema but you see it here. And it’s not spelled out but u can get a sense of it. Shruti stands for that generation, that youth. She wants to be a wedding planner. Log jaante bhi nahi hai wedding planners kya hota hai. In India this is a service only provided to the high society with a high budget. What is interesting is that in this movie we have shown how these people with this service take over middle class society and small weddings. There is a dialogue in the film “maame chaache milke shaadiyaan karaan lete hain.” But here we show how the kids get into Gobindpuri and Janakpuri and plan weddings there.
A lot has been send about Ranveer and Anushka’s chemistry. Comments?
It is a huge misconception that chemistry comes from actors. Chemistry comes from characters and from the script… when the script is so well written as this one was. If you are a decent actor and honest to your job and have a decent understanding of your character then you just do your thing honestly. I have done my thing and Ranveer has done his things… its just worked out so well me and Ranveer. We were not discussing what should we do so that the chemistry works even Maneesh never discussed this, we simply came together and performed and there you have Bittoo and Shruti!
Your overall experience of working in the movie.
I think when I was in school and when I took part in a play or dance group, and when the year ends you have this sinking feeling that your experience has ended and you are not going to get anything or you feel this is over and you have to move on from the experience and that’s how I feel about this movie today and that is because not only because I was working with people I was happy to work with but because I was working on this film and this script and I feel very fortunate that at the beginning of my career I am offered such a film and a script and I really want to thank Aditya Chopra, Maneesh and genuinely also Ranveer.