Kiara Advani: ‘You can watch Bhool Bhulaiya 2, go home and sleep!’

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Kiara Advani in Bhool Bhulaiya 2. Photo: Trailer Video Grab.

Kiara Advani, real name Alia, changed it at Salman Khan’s instance for obvious reasons. The actress, distantly related to both Ashok Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey, made her debut in Fugly, a 2015 non-starter, and later did a few more films in Hindi and also down South.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016) found Kiara playing the role of Dhoni’s wife, but the 100-crore business of this film did not help her professionally. It took Kabir Singh and Good Newwz (both 2019) to suddenly see Kiara shoot into the echelon that mattered. And then, in 2021 came Shershaah, one of the less-than-handful of OTT film releases that is unanimously considered a hit.

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We meet up with the actress at the produT-Series office, for a tete-a-tete as her new film, Bhool Bhulaiya 2, nears release. The perky actress says that the horror comedy is a great blend of those respective elements and is a “family entertainer”. “I get spooked very easily, though I do not believe in the supernatural at all!” she laughs at her own contradiction. “I have never been spooked, but get scared to think of the possibility! But that said, you can watch this film and still go home and sleep!”

She feels that humor in such a film always balances the spook factor, and anyway the story, completely new from the earlier now-cult 2007 movie, is of a joint family. “So there are relationships, comedy, romance, suspense and thrills and fun, and yet there is a family atmosphere! Everyone will identify with the different characters and their inter-relationships,” she tells you.

She adds that the script itself was an engaging read. “Comedy is serious business! And making people laugh is the toughest genre for any actor to crack! But we had a great advantage—the king of comedy among writer-directors, Anees Bazmee-sir!”

She elaborates, “Even as a human being, Anees-sir has a very funny sense of humor. He is so spontaneous! In every scene, there was so much improvisation. He would constantly give ideas, and the mahoul (atmosphere) would be so entertaining that we would all be on our toes. So we were in the best hands!” she smiles.

The sequence where she is possessed was her most challenging one, and choreographer Chinni Prakash deserves most of the credit for its execution, she says. Grinning broadly, she reveals, “I did a lot of rehearsals for it. Though it is actually a twist, I found it so entertaining, enjoyable and exciting that I told Anees-sir during the narration that irrespective of the way the rest of my role pans out, I will do the film for it alone!”

The advantage of a franchise, she says, is that people have already loved the original. “Anees-sir is dealing with a  completely different story here, and he has chosen what to retain from the previous film—the name Manjulika for the spirit, Rajpal Yadav, the title-track and the iconic theme song, Ami Je Tomar,” says Kiara.

As for her co-stars, she found Tabu a “Wonderful, giving actor who was so generous and grounded. She is a wonderful human being too. She plays my bhabhi (sister-in-law) and I have very interesting emotional, fun as well as spooky scenes with her.”

And as Kartik and she are from the same generation, it was easy to be friends and have a rapport. “And there is probably no genre than comedy where give-and-take is so important, and we actors must feed off each other!” she says. “Kartik and I know each other from the time we struggled, had flops and then had turnarounds.”

She goes on, “As characters, we are complete opposites in the film. My character does not believe in ghosts, but he is terrified of them, He is carefree and free-spirited and travels everywhere. I am daddy’s little girl, Ms Goody Two Shoes, who never gets out of the house. As you know, in most friendships, opposites attract.”

How different was it working with Tabu, Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan (both in Good Newwz and Akshay again in Laxmmi) vis-à-vis working with her young co-stars like Kartik and Sidharth Malhotra whom are like friends?

“I think one can learn from all your co-actors, seniors, newcomers or contemporaries!” she declares. “As for Akshay-sir, Tabu ma’am and Kareena ma’am, we can learn a lot from how they conduct themselves, and from their grounded professionalism. During a film, we sit together, eat together and be together. No one rushes to the vanity van and there is so much of warmth. Anees sir and Tabu ma’am were also like treasuries of anecdotes, narrating so many fond memories of their times. Our generation too will make memories, but it so lovely to hear them speak about how they remember them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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