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Parineeti Chopra: ‘If I’d taken the pressure that comes with working in a Dibakar Banerjee film, I would’ve crumbled’

Parineeti Chopra's Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar which also stars Arjun Kapoor hit the big-screen on Friday, and has received rave reviews by film critics. The Dibakar Banerjee directorial is touted as a layered dark comedy.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai |
Updated: March 21, 2021 9:37:10 am
Parineeti Chopra's Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar released on Firday, March1 9. (Photo: Parineeti Chopra/Instagram)

Parineeti Chopra has started the year on a high note with two film releases, The Girl On The Train and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, and the third one, Saina, is on its way to the big-screen.

In this interview with indianexpress.com, Chopra spoke about how she did not let the pressure of working with Dibakar Banerjee affect her because if she did, she would “crumble” under it. She also looked back at her career in Bollywood, which she says was “up-down-up kind of a career graph”.

Excerpts from the interview:

Back to back releases in 2021. How does it feel when your films that have been in the making for so long are finally getting released?

We were releasing all three films — The Girl on the Train, Saina and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar last year, but because of the pandemic, we had to stop. So, I don’t consider these to be long-waiting, in fact, they have released on time given the conditions we all went through last year.

I shot for Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar much earlier. It wasn’t ready and had to be edited again, but all said and done, destiny has a part to play, and I am happy that they are all coming this year, because I want to make a new path for myself. I want to play different roles and I want to show that to people. So, I feel really blessed that I am getting this opportunity to show all my films together.

With Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and Saina you have worked with some of the most critically acclaimed film directors. How was the experience working with them?

I am extremely happy and extremely blessed that these directors chose me. Amole (Gupte) sir, Dibakar (Banerjee) sir, they are some of the filmmakers who don’t get easily impressed with any sort of mediocre work. I love that kind of expectation from my directors, I love it when they are not okay with mediocrity and that they will not give up on you until you give your best shot. So, this dynamic between an actor and a director really works for me, because then I can put my best foot forward. It worked perfectly for me in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar.

When it is a Dibakar Banerjee film, all the focus goes to how good the film would be as he is known for giving something different with every film. Does that add to the pressure on the star cast?

No. I think if you take the pressure in that way then you’ll crumble under that pressure because you already have this huge responsibility to play this layered character that he has written, and you want to do that well. So, you just concentrate on the film and the role that he’s written this time and give it your best; That’s how I approached it as it was already such a difficult scenario and already such a difficult role to play, so if I had taken that pressure, I would have crumbled, so I just focused on the work.

Your and Arjun’s chemistry has always been great. Since he debuted opposite you in Ishaqzaade, how would you describe his growth, as an actor and as an individual?

So many years of work after Ishaqzaade, and then learnt so much from our highs and lows and then we came back for this film, I think that journey was very important for both of us because this film required that chemistry and maturity for the characters we played, and we were able to harness that a little more naturally than say, we would be able to a few years ago. A film like this required us to start working from day one, and I am so glad that we didn’t have to waste any time breaking the ice, getting to know the co-actor, we just dived into it on day one, we wanted to give our best from the moment we started working on the film. Arjun is one of the first friends I made in the industry, so it helps when you know the person, so you can just concentrate on the work without bothering about anything else.

A decade since your debut film Ladies vs Ricky Behl released, how satisfied are you with your career graph? What according to you is the highlight of your first decade?

I think my journey has been wonderful because I needed that boost of confidence and motivation right at the start when I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be an actor, which I got — the audience gave so much love, the appreciation and awards, it all helped me cement my passion for acting and gave me the confidence that yes, this is what I want to be doing.

I also saw some failures which taught me a lot, I learnt a lot of things, unlearned a lot on the way. So, that up-down-up kind of graph works for me. I am at a phase where it is looking good and with The Girl On the Train doing well, and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar getting good reviews, I feel content and hope that people will like Saina too, and then I have Animal, which I am very excited about too. So, going from one film to another has always been a journey for me, and I keep learning from it.

Do you believe that some failures make you stronger? Does criticism bother you?

I do very well with feedback. In fact, I need feedback, I need people around me to tell me how I am doing all the time because this is the world that I am considerably new to. It is an industry I am learning about every day, so I am very serious about sincere feedback. Sometimes, the downtime teaches you the most, and I am glad that I have had that experience and I have learnt from it. If I had not had the ups and downs, I’d never have learnt the lessons that I needed.

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