A Promising Start: Kiara Advani

KIARA ADVANI GETS CANDID ON HER FETISH FOR THE SILVER SCREEN & LIVING HER DREAM

Utterly feminine and extremely elegant, Kiara Advani is one of the most promising new faces in the film industry. Barely a few movies old, the charming and charismatic style icon is already being touted as the future of cinema. A diva in her own right, the versatile star feels fortunate to have some powerful films lined up in her kitty this year. After her Bollywood debut with Fugly directed by Kabir Sadanand opposite Mohit Marwah, she gained popularity and appreciation for her spectacular performance as Sakshi in M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story based on the life of cricketer MS Dhoni. She was also seen in the film Machine directed by Abbas Mustan opposite Mustafa. She’s also making inroads into Tollywood and the South Indian film industry with a couple of big names this year. Kiara opens up on how she plans to hold the fort in the glam world in an exclusive interview with RITZ.

Text by: Namita Gupta

Photography: Taras Taraporvala

Make Up: Swarnalekha Gupta (Makeup by Lekha)

Hair Stylist: Parshotam Hans (Pompy)

Styling: Sanam Ratansi

What was the turning point when you decided to enter the glam industry and why?

While in my growing up years, there was never an iota of a doubt in my heart that this is where I belonged. Like a lot of people growing up in the 90’s meant being in awe of actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Karishma Kapoor to name a few. I would typically be aping their dance moves within the four walls of my room, standing in front of the mirror. Thankfully, my parents were always supportive. The only deal they made with me was that I will first complete my education and then I could continue to pursue my passion in full fledged manner. So I continued managing academics and indulged myself in making my craft better.

Any experience or something memorable you would like to share from the movie shoot of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story and the feedback you received after the release?

To be honest, it was dream come true to work with Neeraj Pandey. I admire his body of work immensely. The best part about shooting was that as actors he completely left us to our own creative discretion. He wanted us to bring our own essence into the characters and not dictate how it should be played. Though I was showered with appreciation post the release of the film, my favourite would probably have to be from my co actor, Sushant Singh Rajput. There’s a scene in the film where he is proposing to me over a phone call. The scene had been shot separately and only upon watching the whole film did we see each other’s part. He texted me saying that had he seen my performance in that particular role first hand, he would have been able to perform even better. As an actor you are only as good as your co actor so this was a huge compliment in itself. Another moment of appreciation I can recount is of the aced filmmaker Raju Hirani, who appreciated my work and loved my performance. Besides my many fans who have loved my work so far.

How was your experience working in Machine and Fugly?

I owe my basic schooling about film making and acting to Fugly. It was my first time facing the camera for a movie hence it was the best platform to learn about even the most basic activities that goes on, on a film set. Though the movie was not a huge hit at the box office, it was a personal success for me and it also made realise that the ups and downs are a part of the industry. In a way it helped me to become stronger and toughened me preparing me to take on more challenges. Working with the director duo, Abbas Mastan was an incredible experience. They are not just great filmmakers but also humble human beings I have crossed paths with. I have always been passionate about dancing and in my film Machine I got a chance to have my own dance number and that too on Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast, one of the most popular songs of the 90’s. So it goes without saying that both the movies are close to my heart.

How did the shoot for Bharat Ane Nenu go and when is the film releasing? Anything that you can share on your role or the storyline and your experience acting with Mahesh Babu?

Bharat Ane Nenu directed by Siva Koratala is my first outing in the Telegu industry. I am extremely humbled at being given such a huge opportunity for my first foray in Tollywood. Working with Mahesh Babu Sir and the whole team is nothing short of an honour. It is due to release on April 27, 2018. Initially I had my apprehensions about the language because it’s completely new for me. But the whole team is so encouraging that it has been easier for me to accept the challenge. I had to put in hard work to make sure that I didn’t use a prompter and got the accent and tonality of the language right. Mahesh plays a chief minister and I’m his love interest in the film. He is a very humble person in real life. I’m eagerly awaiting the film’s release and the audience’s reaction towards the performance.

You’re also on board another Tollywood project with Boyapati Sreenu opposite Ram Charan. When does the shoot commence?

It’s a huge honour for me to have just signed the film with Boyapati Sreenu opposite Ram Charan. I am looking forward to starting the shoot soon. The south-Indian industry has been very welcoming to me and that by itself is a humbling experience.

Also tell us about Love and Lust with Karan Johar and Prabhudeva’s next?

The character I play in Love and Lust by Karan Johar is by far my personal favourite in the short career span I have had till now. I’ll be seen in a different light by the audience so I will not talk too much about it and I hope I manage to give them a good surprise, while keeping upto the expectations of my fans.

Who are your favourite stars down South and what kind of roles excite you?

There are quite a few, but I recently watched Arjun Reddy and Vijay Deverakonda, who are both outstanding actors and I loved their performance in the movie. I am spending more time watching various movies and our regional industries are flourishing with the best of the stories and storytellers. Right now in the space I am in, the roles that are coming my way are extremely exciting. I can only hope to continue to work with enriching co stars and movie makers.

You have bagged some prestigious banners from among the many stars struggling to find a footing. Any more directors on your wish list?

I feel that cinema is a director’s medium and I am extremely grateful for the kind of directors I have already worked with and who were kind enough to have chosen me. I always had a wish list of directors I wanted to work with and by God’s grace I have managed to work with a few of them such as Neeraj Pandey, Karan Johar and Abbas Mastan. There are more I would love to work with and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m thankful that my career has begun on a good note and I see a very steady graph from here.

What are your fitness and beauty secrets?

I love kickboxing and I’ve resumed my training for kathak every morning. I prefer functional training and believe whether you are an actor or not, fitness should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle. My three go to’s are drinking a lot of water, a sun block and making sure to wipe off every inch of make up before going to bed.

What’s your personal style statement?

The clothes are always an extension of my personality. I always tend to pick my clothes depending on how I feel at that moment and of course the basic rule for me is that it should be comfortable.

What are your other passions besides acting?

I actually love to paint when I have the time off. I am also passionate about dancing, swimming and I’m also a fairly good bathroom singer (she laughs).

What’s in store for 2018 for you and what are your future plans ahead?

My first Telugu film Bharat Ane Nenu with Mahesh Babu that releases in April 2018 will be a huge moment for me. I am extremely excited and eagerly waiting to start working on my second film in the Telugu industry as well. I hope to continue learning, working on more projects and growing through these opportunities.

RAPID FIRE

What’s in your handbag?

My glares, a bottle of water and fruits.

One thing you can’t do without?

Unfortunately my cell phone

Your current car?

BMW

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Doing many more films and entertaining the audience.

The worst pick up line used on you?

Sadly No ones used a pick up line on me.

The best compliment you’ve received so far?

When my directors appreciate my work, it gives me the biggest high, because that means I’ve brought alive their story and vision.

What’s your dream man like?

Loyal, self made and must have a great sense of humour!

What do you think of award nights?

Great for those who win and fun to perform at!

If not cinema, what would you have been?

Can’t imagine myself as anything else, but an actor, as this has been my long cherished dream ever since my childhood days.

Your biggest learning in the short time that you have been in the glam world?

Talent, determination and hard work speak volumes.