“People have a mindset that if a strong woman swears, it’ll sound nice”: The cast of Fukrey Returns at their candid best

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With just days to go for the release of Fukrey Returns, the cast and crew of the film is obviously excited as is the fan-base who loved the first part. We recently bumped into the main ensemble of the movie, including Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, and Manjot, to inquire their feelings leading up to the day of release, and ended up conversing on a range of topics from their experiences on set and their journey in the film industry to dealing with stereotypes and building on their strengths. This is the cast of Fukrey at their candid best. Here are some excerpts from the interview:


 

Pulkit Samrat: On why Fukrey Returns is a proper sequel

“Firstly, in our industry we’ve not been witness to a lot of sequels. We’ve been witness to a lot of series, where a film comes out with a totally different setup and just the original cast retained. Maybe, one of the cast members also changes. We tend to forget the difference between a sequel that takes the first film forward and a series on the same theme as the first film. A series can be similar characters, similar kind of environment, but in a different setup. In a sequel though, the story moves forward, and that’s what we’ve done in this film. This is a sequel in its truest sense, where we’ve moved forward from where we left Fukrey.”

How they’ve taken they’ve taken the story forward while retaining the essence of the original

“We continue exactly from where we left Fukrey. Bholi (Richa) is out of prison. She returns with vengeance on her mind. So, when you work on a sequel, there’s obviously a lot of expectations due to the success of the first film. All those peripheral things start taking shape. But if you just concentrate on the core, I think you’re sorted, and that’s what Mrig (the film’s Director, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba) has done so well. He’s retained everything from the core of the first film that everybody loved while also picking up the story from where the first one ended. Also, for me, it was as simple as coming on the set as Honey (his character), and reacting the situations that the Director and writer have written because the base they created is very strong. And if the base is correct, your job as an actor is always easier.”

 

Varun Sharma: The best compliment he received for Fukrey

“I had received a beautiful message on social media some time ago, where a 16-year girl told me that her father used to be very ill, which had taken him to an extremely serious, dreary zone. On day, the girl had shown her father Fukrey, and after two months after constantly being sick and disgruntled, her father had finally laughed heartily. Looking at her father laughing and being happy after so long brought tears to the girl’s eyes, and she thanked me profusely for making her father happy. For me, that was the best compliment I received; it was a goosebump moment.”

On being typecast solely as a comic actor

“It’s a big deal for any actor to just be regularly cast, leave alone typecast (laughs vociferously). To be part of big films or just good films in a year, is a task for any actor. To get typecast comes much later. So, I’m not worried about that. Till I’m getting cast regularly, I’ll be happy.”

(Also Watch: 5 hilarious Fukrey Returns commercials)

Richa Chadha: On why being perceived as a strong woman is also a baggage

“Always being seen as a strong woman is also a problem because it comes with a lot of baggage for an actress. Tomorrow, if I want to play someone who’s weak or timid, filmmakers find it difficult to shake of my image from their heads, or to let go the image of certain characters I;ve played, like that of Bholi Punjaban. I’ll still do it but experimentation becomes a little difficult. Like this one time, I had gone to promote another film, and they were asking me to recite dialogues as Bholi. People have some sort of mindset, where they think that if this woman swears, it’ll sound nice.”

On how she broke free from the image of playing a mother in Gangs of Wasseypur, her breakthrough role

“It didn’t really have to put in much effort to shed that image. All I need to do was wear a sexy skirt, walk about in it, and show everyone how I look and how Nawazuddin (who played her son in Gangs) looks and there’s no way I could ever look like his mother in real-life. That made people realize that I’d have to go back to my mother’s time, to actually look like Nawaz’s mom.”

 

Ali Fazal: On how his part in the second film is much bigger and better than the first

“My character gradually faded in the first part; it was such a boring character. Agreed it was a nice balance to the other comical characters and you could call him as the one with the brains, but I still felt very halfhearted with how my role ended up. I’m saying that just as an actor because I did enjoy doing the movie, and I enjoyed doing the second part even more. It’s just that in the first part, I felt my character wasn’t as fleshed out as the others. In fact, Mrig and I also had a chat about it six months after the film was done, stating that he really wished he had used me more. But that’s fine, it was just the way the script was. It’s a comedy film and every actor wants to justify himself, but sometimes, you’ve just got to take a back step, and tell yourself that you’re not needed right now, so just shut your mouth because it’s okay.”

(Also Check Out: Cast of Fukrey Returns predict your future)

Manjot: On the challenges of being a Sardar in Bollywood

“It’s no doubt a bit difficult for Sikh actors to land roles in Bollywood with the same frequency as other actors do. But I’m glad that roles are now being written keeping Sikh actors in mind. Initially, they just used to be comic caricatures, where they would appear with some ‘balle…balle’ background music, but instead of making the audience laugh, they would be laughed at. Now though, we’re getting more-substantial roles in mainstream cinema, and I hope the trend grows. I just hope that filmmakers’ minds toward Sardar actors keep changing. Even today, a big production house won’t launch a Sardar. No Sardar ever had a godfather in the industry. Whoever made their mark here, made it on their own. People still ask me about my future in the industry and if I’ll ever cut my beard or hair, and it feels bad, After all, why should I be differentiated just because of my turban? That barrier needs to be broken. Things are changing now with the likes of Diljit Dosanjh also making his mark in Bolylwood after Punjabi cinema, so, I hope the change keeps happening.”

 

Fukrey Returns is co-produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under their Excel Entertainment banner. It’s set to release on 8th December 2017.

Image Source: Excel Entertainment



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