When Yami Gautam told us she wants to do costume films like Mughal-ae-azam and Jodha Akbar
Vicky donor was received very well…
I am overwhelmed with the response that I got for the film. People have been walking up to me and complimenting me everywhere I go. Also, critics writing good about your performance and talent matters a lot.
Were you apprehensive about making a debut in a male driven subject which has always been a taboo?
I had complete faith in Shoojit as I knew about his body of work. So I had no hesitations at all when I signed Vicky Donor. Though the subject is not spoken about commonly, it is the reality of today and we need to come to accept it sometime.
Any memorable public reaction that you can share
Yes. This happened when I went to my hometown Chandigarh for the first time after the release. I was sitting at this salon and a group of youngsters approached me after they recognised me. And they were insisting that I am a Bengali, and not ready to believe that I am not. It actually took some convincing from my side.
People have suddenly started taking note of your ads after the movie. So have the ad offers gone up?
I have gone a level up as ads have turned into endorsements (laughs). Suddenly brands want me to be their ambassador. But I am being very careful about choosing my ads as I don’t want to represent (what I don’t believe in), which is true in the case of my Bollywood projects as well. I believe in spacing up things and going slow.
Do you feel that Ayushman has received more attention after Vicky donor
Honestly, I feel there is no comparison. The film had a male dominated script. So Ayushman had a lot of more screen space and sides to his character than mine. Even during the promotions, I had to respect the marketing strategies that highlighted only Ayushman. I have no star background and I am not a Mumbai girl. So, I believe that this was the best debut I could have had.
How’s your chemistry with Ayushman
We were fantastic as co-actors and shared a very good rapport with each other on the sets. I think that has come across on the screen.
Who among the leading ladies of Bollywood inspires you?
I think Vidya Balan’s film journey has been very interesting. It really takes a lot of courage to face failures and emerge as one of the best actors of the country.
What kind of cinema do you wish to do?
I want to do costume drama like Mughal-ae–azam, Jodha Akbar. I have some affinity towards the genre. Apart from that, I would like to do all kinds of films as I don’t want to get fixed in a particular frame. In that context, my debut film says a lot about me willing to experiment.
We heard you’ve finalised a South film.
Yes, I am doing Gauravam with director Radhamohan who is a big name. But regional cinema is not new for me. Earlier I have done a Telegu flick- Nuvella with director Ramoji Rao which was a hit. I had commited to Radhamohan sir before I did Vicky and the project is extremely prestigious and my role is very performance oriented
Don’t you feel after the success of Vicky Donor that your second should have been a Bollywood?
I have always prioritised content. Language is secondary for me. I am sure my work in Hindi won’t get hampered because of this.
Being from Punjab, how do you manage the South accent?
I think I am a super girl (laughs). But seriously, it all depends on how seriously you take your career. If you know what you’re doing is right, have the conviction for it and are willing to put in hard work then nothing can come in your way.
(The interview was first published in Times of India. Photo credits: Facebook profile @YamiGautam)