Sayani Gupta made her acting debut with critically acclaimed Margarita With A Straw and went on to bag Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan too. When she embarked on her film journey, she had just one aim which was to do good and meaningful cinema, even if her role is a supporting one. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that despite being surrounded by big stars in her films, she has always remained unmissable.
After Margarita With A Straw and Fan, Sayani appeared in a lot of commercial cinema. She also did Baar Baar Dekho and now will be seen in Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2. Talking about her experience of working with big stars of Bollywood during an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Sayani said she is not somebody who is star struck but had extremely overwhelming experience of working with them.
“I am not a star struck person at all. I’ve always loved Shah Rukh. He is fantastic and extremely special. I feel he has come to the world to spread happiness and that’s his purpose. What I really love about him is that he has a strong sense of humour for every situation. He doesn’t take life seriously or even himself. One of the most genuine people I have met,” said the actor, who is currently shooting for her next film titled The Hungry.
Sayani added, “He is genuinely interested in you when he is talking to you. So many things about his personality are enviable in a way but also inspiring. He is extremely easy to work with. He doesn’t carry his stardom along. He is so normal and super cool.”
The entire country is overwhelmed and inspired by Akshay Kumar’s punctuality on the sets and his dedication towards his work. Sayani is one of them too. She shot for Jolly LLB’s sequel and says Akshay made her extremely comfortable and was supportive. “When you are doing your lines, it is possible that your co-star leaves the scene and somebody else gives you the cue but Shahrukh and Akshay both helped me throughout the scenes. Honestly, I didn’t expect that to happen. I didn’t expect them to do it so I was extremely surprised and happy. He is extremely professional and helpful.”
She further explained that how it is the people around these biggies who make the obsession for a star so evident and important. “We (Indian film industry) lack respect towards the art. When you make cinema the most important thing is the script but in Indian industry, the biggest thing is a star. Everything revolves around the star and it’s just ridiculous. A star definitely brings people to the theatre but in the process of making a film, from light man to makeup man everyone is putting their effort. So, we have to stop our obsession with star power. That’s our biggest flaw.
I have worked with a lot of stars whether SRK or Akshay. They are amazing people and they don’t want it but it’s the people around them who make it difficult for them,” she said.
The second biggest flaw of the Indian film industry, she feels, is lack of good script. She says the fraternity does not respect the writers and that’s why storytelling is so poor. “Scripts are terrible in Indian industry. If the story is good it doesn’t matter how much money you spend. You can make a good film with low budget. If you see last two years, all content driven short budget films have done well. Whether Masaan, Titli or Nil Battey Sannata, they had beautiful stories but with some exceptions big films failed,” Sayani said.
For now, she is working on The Hungry, which is based on Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare. The film also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra. Talking about the film she said, “All lead part of the film are hand picked. Such a fantastic experience to be in such a film. The casting of the film is so brilliant. Everyone on board is a method actor, we all explore our character together and it’s been a great journey. These actors are extremely competent and great co-actors too, which is a rarity. Everybody has a different way of working and have different cards that they play while they shoot. And since I am a responsive actor, I feed off my co-star’s energy.”