After a long wait, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai finally released across platforms, largely digital and theatrical release in several countries, but not in India. Do you think the digital medium takes away from the charm of a movie like this, which is larger-than-life?
Frankly, it is a blessing to even have a release during a time like this. Be it on OTT, cinema halls or television, I just hope the film reaches as many people as possible. The times are grim, and I hope the film leaves people entertained. Personally, I have enjoyed watching Salman-starrers on the big screen. My dad loves watching films, and he would take us to watch movies in theatres every Saturday. So, the weekend was meant for watching films even if we were repeating a film. One of my early memories of watching a Salman-starrer is Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! I also enjoyed watching Wanted. I have seen the film multiple times.
In your earlier interviews, you had said that working with someone like Salman Khan was too intimidating. After Bharat, this is the second time you have collaborated with him. How was it this time around?
I feel it is always a bit intimidating when you are working with such an experienced actor. This time it was a little better for sure. He was very chilled out and would make everyone laugh. He’s very easy-going and humble and there’s a lot to learn from him. This is the first time I am doing a comedy part. As an actor, I am always prepared, but comedy is all about the situation and on-the-spot improvisation. I haven’t done this before and it was a little hard for me. What also helped is that Prabhudeva sir, being an actor himself, would perform the scenes and show me, and that would help me understand what he wanted in a particular shot.
Interestingly, your father is a part of the police force. What does he think of Bollywood’s portrayal of cops on screen?
My dad enjoyed watching Dabangg. He was entertained seeing reel cops dance and fight on screen, amongst other things. In fact, he doesn’t miss a chance to watch a Bollywood cop film every time it releases.
While your father is a part of the police force, your sister works with the Indian Armed Forces. How was it like to grow up in a family like this?
(Laughs!) While growing up, we had to study a lot. I wanted to be an air force pilot, however, things didn’t work in that direction for me. Ours was quite a strict household, but this helped me be independent right from the beginning. My sister and I would play sports. While I used to play basketball, she would literally play every sport (laughs!). The introduction of sports in your curriculum while growing up helps you deal better with success and defeat. There are a lot of lessons you learn as a kid while playing sports. Our father made sure that we weren’t lagging behind in anything. From fixing a broken car to giving it a push in the middle of the road — he used to encourage us to do our
Given the kind of upbringing you’ve had, did that toughen you up to live the independent life you are living in Mumbai today and deal with the pressures that come with being in showbiz?
I was 18 when I shifted to Mumbai. Initially, I was modelling and living alone in an apartment. My past experiences helped me deal with success and failures on my own, as I didn’t have people around me to share my highs or lows. I could easily cope up with the situations. In the lockdown, when people took to doing household chores, I could manage it well, because in the beginning, when I lived alone, I would clean my own house, do the laundry, go for auditions, then come back and cook. In this pandemic, we’ve learnt that we don’t need much help from outside. It’s also taught us that we need to be strong from the inside (emotionally) and take charge of things. I think, in the course of this journey through the pandemic, a lot of people learnt to be independent and started liking their own company, which I don’t think they enjoyed as much in the past.