I don’t want to be the weak link in ‘Dilwale’, says Kriti Sanon

That’s the only pressure Kriti Sanon reveals she has, before her second film — a star-studded multi-starrer — hits theatres…
Kriti Sanon
In many ways, the second film of your career is more important than the first to prove that one is not a flash in the pan. However, Kriti Sanon doesn’t have to worry. There are plenty of big stars in the film to ensure that the film is a mega success. Besides, she is already being considered for many other big projects, and being wooed by top studios. Here, close to the release of Dilwale, she tells us about the choices she made…

You left Singh is Bliing to be a part of Dilwale. As a newcomer, how important is your second film?
Honestly, every film is important. That’s how your career graph gets shaped. The second film is crucial because after your first film works, the audience expects more from you which you have to deliver. Coming from a non-filmi background, people have not really seen me much. I don’t know how many people have seen Heropanti, although it was a big hit. The second film always needs to be one notch higher than the first. About Singh is Bliing, the film was getting pushed and by the time, they locked in the schedule, I had already signed Dilwale and could not accommodate that. Hence, I had to leave the film.

Dilwale is many notches higher than your debut film…
(Laughs) I actually feel blessed to get this opportunity so early in my career. I don’t know if I will get to work with so many experienced actors with a big director after this. You don’t get such a film too often in your career and when it’s the second film, it’s already a big plus.

Watch: Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Janam Janam’ song from Dilwale in immersive 360 degrees!

What after Dilwale? Feel the pressure?
(Cuts in, laughing) No, no, aise toh I’ll die if I keep taking such pressure. Not everything needs to be a notch higher, but it needs to be different from what you’ve done before.

Tell me about signing Dilwale.
In my head, I knew that I was going in for a short narration of a film being directed by Rohit Shetty with Shah Rukh Sir and Kajol in it and me opposite Varun. Everyone was cast, but Kajol ma’am wasn’t confirmed till then. When I heard the narration, I found it to be a lot of fun, but the best part was I didn’t find it to be only a fun comedy like Rohit’s other movies. It had a lot of romance, drama, and a proper story line about these four people, which got me intrigued.

You don’t have a reason to be nervous about this one, right?
It is definitely little less than what I felt during Heropanti. I think I will be nervous all my life before all my films’ releases. You put in so much of hard work… and for Dilwale, we worked for around a year and finally, when it’s coming out, one definitely ought to be a little anxious about it. There are so many heavyweights in the film that the only thing I have in mind is I don’t want to be the weak link in the film. That’s something I had in my head while performing also. I didn’t want any scene to become less impactful because of me. I am very inexperienced, it is just my second film and I’m still learning a lot. So I wanted my performance to at least match up to their level. That pressure is a different kind of pressure, but it’s always there.

You and SRK have a lot in common. Both of you are from Delhi and have no prior film connection. Comment.
With Shah Rukh sir, you literally don’t need any similarities to bond. That’s the kind of personality he has. No matter who you are, where you come from or what kind of a person you are, he makes you a friend in seconds. That’s a quality that he has and he just makes you feel more comfortable when he speaks to you. Whether it’s me who he didn’t know at all, or Varun who was an AD on My Name Is Khan, or the character artists on the sets, he makes everybody feel so comfortable. My sister had come to visit me on the sets for a few days and he instantly bonded with her, too. There’s no difference in his behaviour.

Having SRK-Kajol in one film, did you ever fear being overshadowed?
I don’t think I ever compared myself to SRK-Kajol. I’m too new to do that. You cannot really compare yourself to legends like that. For Shah Rukh sir and Kajol ma’m, the best quality is that they know they don’t have to prove themselves anymore. They have done that for years now. Whether it’s a scene or the promotions, it was actually he who made sure we get the focus. At the ‘Gerua’ launch, it was his idea that we dance to his and Kajol’s previous tracks. We loved that and we enjoyed it. I think that’s why it never occurs to us that he will get all the limelight. He treats us like his babies.

Tell me about facing the camera with SRK.
I just never wanted him to give retakes because of me. But he had to obviously give a little bit of them. (Smiles) The first time I met him was when he came on the sets in Goa to visit us. And I went absolutely quiet. So, Rohit sir kept teasing me saying kitna bolti hai tu har time, aaj bilkul chup ho gayi hai. And SRK was like, “ Nahin nahin” and put his arm around me. I felt like pinching myself. Then he started telling us stories of his times, his friends, all the masti they used to do. He has a lot of stories because of the several experiences he’s been a part of. We were listening to that and then towards the end of it, I opened up a bit. Before I shot with him, I met him a lot of times. We had conversations, chilled in his room, so I think I had become comfortable enough to the extent that I could say anything to him.

Who are you more scared of, SRK or Kajol?
I think Kajol ma’m. I was really scared of her in the beginning. Also, I hadn’t met her at all. I met her on the sets when we were shooting our first scene together. It wasn’t even a fun scene, it was more of an emotional, serious scene. But then as we progressed, things become very normal. SRK says things in masti which eases the mood. Like every time she had to stand next to me, she had to wear heels. She is a great actor. She would tell me, ‘You can do it this way’ and the scene would turn out really well.