Many might remember Kashmira Irani as the nurse who became the first victim of the terrorist group in Ali Abbas Zafar’s 2017 blockbuster Tiger Zinda Hai. The actor, who’s been a part of the industry for over a decade, however, has more screen time and a major role in Ali’s latest offering – Bharat, which releases on June 5. Kashmira plays Salman Khan’s sister, and she is happy that she got to call him “Bhai” in person.
From TV shows like Amber Dhara and Seven to musicals like Zangoora, Kashmira has tried all mediums. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, she talks about Bharat, the audience feedback and why she still considers herself a learner.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. How excited are you for Bharat?
Bharat is on my mind right now. It is a family drama and I am playing Salman’s sister. I am part of this big family. Bharat is the story of one man and his journey and how we all fit in his life.
I am really eager to see people’s reactions and really hoping for the best. I had a great time working on this film. Let’s see where it takes me.
Q. Bharat revolves around the Partition. Where does your role fit in?
We are showing different phases and eras, which is very interesting. You can’t live those times today, but with cinema, you can go through those emotions, which makes it really magical. That is the best part about our profession.
My character also has a graph. This is what excited me the most about my part. I have never done something like this before.
Q. How did you come onboard? This is your second film with Ali Abbas Zafar after Tiger Zinda Hai.
I just got a call from Mukesh’s team and they said we want to screen test you. I had enjoyed working with Ali in Tiger. So I was really kicked about it. I screen-tested for this part and finally got it. It just all happened.
I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of working with the entire team again. On Tiger, I had such a blast. Then you have an ensemble cast of some really beautiful actors who you can learn so much from, just by being around them.
Q. How was it working with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif this time?
I didn’t get a chance to share screen space with Salman and Katrina or even bump into them in Tiger because by the time they came, I was dead! But this film compensated for all of it. I got to spend great time with them. It’s like you are living your dream. You have watched these people and hoped that one day, this is going to happen with me and today, you are in that position of actually working with them. It is like a dream come true.
You learn so much with just the way Salman is on set. He’s been working for so many years but he still has that excitement and passion for cinema. That really inspired me. I will never let that passion die in me. I want to feel like this is my first shot every day.
Katrina is extremely hard working. That was very inspiring, just to see her work so hard and be at it.
Q. You are also getting to call Salman “bhai” in the film. How did you feel?
(Laughs) I feel privileged to officially call him ‘bhai’ in the film. Not many people have that privilege. I felt I was the chosen one.
Q. What does one learn from working on the larger-than-life films of Ali Abbas Zafar?
I learned no project is big or small. You should have the same passion towards each project. Television mostly is melodramatic, which again is a genre.
Zangoora was larger than life. It was on stage, it was live and a very different experience. I want to challenge myself as an actor.
Q. You’ve been associated with TV, theatre and films. Which medium gives the most satisfying audience feedback?
My journey has not been the regular kind. I started with TV, then did theatre and then I came to films, unlike others for whom theatre is their foundation. During TV, I started understanding the camera. Then I moved to theatre, that too Zangoora where everything is so technically advanced and huge. TV and films give you a chance for retakes. But in theatre, you don’t have that luxury. There, anything can go wrong, from lights to costumes. Stage is meditative and you feed off the energy from the audience of a live show. So it depends on what energy the audience has come in with. Your performance changes according to that.