Anupria Goenka cannot gush enough after sharing screen space with two of Bollywood’s most sought after hunks – Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff in the latest blockbuster War. “I guess I’m still in a daze. It hasn’t really sunk in. Anybody would have died to do that part. I keep thanking YRF and Siddharth Anand because it is a big role in that way,” the actor told indianexpress.com.
Anupria played Aditi, an undercover agent who teams up with Hrithik’s Kabir and Tiger’s Khalid to nab one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. She had her moments around the two male leads too.
In an exclusive chat with us, Anupria shared her experience of working in War, which became the biggest opening Bollywood film till date, and crossed Rs 200 crore in its first week itself.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. How was it being on the same set with Hrithik, Tiger?
The first day it was only hi-hello and all with Tiger. I kept looking at Tiger thinking ‘Oh, he’s a good looking lad, he’s nice.’ He’s extremely sweet, polite and very cultured. The second day if I’m not wrong, I met Hrithik, that day my jaw just dropped! With Hrithik, I had this complete fan girl thing. And he was very sweet to come and talk. He had read about Aditi’s character so he had certain things to say, as to how we can create a graph for her. So that was really inspiring for me and made me feel very involved. Hrithik is more like a mentor because he has that aura about him. He’s somebody who leads the ship too. He is a perfectionist and looks at the whole film as a unit, not just his own character. Tiger on the other hand, is more like a friend. He knows how to give respect to Hrithik, to the director or to the co-actors. He’s very easy to approach. Even Hrithik is a very friendly person. It’s just that we put him on a pedestal because he is just so talented and is perfect.
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When the nation is crushing over them.. I am sure you can imagine the feeling I had, standing in between with these Two Sinfully Gorgeous and Super Talented ‘Gentlemen’! Aaahhh – the feeling! Can’t explain it. Everytime I see them together in the frame.. (despite the fact that I am part of the film n have worked with them) Kicking, dancing, or just being.. it’s just ufffffffffffff I have learnt from them that looking, fighting, dancing like that, like the Gods..is not just talent.. it’s a skill and takes years of hardwork and perseverance and regimentation, sacrifice.. I am truly inspired to train harder to be able to do serious action – even reach an iota of this. Their chemistry is not competitive but collaborative.. n the mutual love and respect shines, is almost tangible n makes the film what it is ( a lesson for all us actors that true chemistry shines thru above all else) .. they have created together, alongwith with our uber cool director @itssiddharthanand … .. Thank you #Adityasir @itssiddharthanand @yrf for giving me the opportunity to play a character as wonderful n imp as #Aditi n making me a part of this magic. I hope I have done justice. Thank you all, for all the love and appreciation.. for making it a huge success.. 🙏🤗🤗🤗 N thank you for loving #Aditi – matters so so much! 🤗🤗🤗🙏 #WAR @hrithikroshan @tigerjackieshroff @itssiddharthanand @_vaanikapoor_ #ashutoshrana @yrf #feelingblessed
Q. Any fond memory of shooting with them?
In Hrithik’s intro shot of coming out of the chopper, (I noticed) he knows where to look, how to stand, how to go on to carry that swag all the time. That’s also an art. Then when we were shooting the marriage scene, Hrithik took me aside and said that the scene worked because of my expressions. So these small gestures really helped me in being myself. And coming from him, somebody you’ve emulated for so long, those things shine. I’m also a very shy person. So when people say Tiger is reserved, I don’t realise it because both of us are similar.
Q. And how is Siddharth Anand as a director?
I really loved working with Siddharth. He’s a very chilled out director, just like a buddy, very easy going. But he knows what he wants at the same time. So War has been a fantabulous experience that way.
Q. You got to do action in War. How was the experience?
Honesty, I didn’t get to do much of action. We did get just about a feel. Earlier, there was a full-fledged training sequence that was planned in the movie. I started doing MMA for that and working out rigorously. But then we did not keep the scene and substituted that with something else. Of course, it is great to hold a gun, but it is not easy. You have to find your body language, you have to know how you’re walking, how it should look like you’ve done this before. So it was very interesting.
Q. You’ve been part of some of the biggest recent blockbusters – Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmaavat, and now War. Is signing big ticket films a deliberate choice?
Not at all! It’s just something that has been happening on its own and I am thankful for the opportunities. My confidence has become better, my understanding of films and scripts has evolved. I think content has always been the most important thing for me, then my role and the people I’m collaborating with. These are the three primary factors. Today, commercial cinema and realistic cinema have kind of merged together. I would love to do a Badhaai Ho or a Newton. I want to experiment with the characters.
Q. You’ve been doing projects across mediums. Do you approach your characters differently when doing a web or a film?
I think there is definitely a subtle switch because the energies are a little different. A film like War is just so big in scale, they have seasoned actors, a slight difference comes in the atmosphere. And in the web space, you get to dive deep into the character because you have 10 hours to say a story instead of two, so each character’s graph is far more developed. Your energies start matching like how it happened between me and Pankaj (Tripathi) sir in Criminal Justice. Also web is far more experimental. Scripts have become very bold in terms of content and thought process. Films have their own aura. So there is a slight difference but it happens at a very subconscious level. At the end of the day, you are acting.
Q. War is inching towards Rs 300 crore now. How does it feel to have another mammoth film in your kitty?
You do get happy but it’s not something that stays with you or is ever a factor. I’m just happy that the film should make money and do well for everybody who’s involved in it.
Q. What do you wish to do next?
I really want to do comedy. I’ve never done that. I also want to do action. I’m so inspired after War. I actually feel like going through that rigorous regiment and getting my body aligned in that manner. I’m also hoping for more central characters in some sense. I don’t know how that will unfold. What’s important is I have a bigger graph or more responsibility as an actor, be it in web or films. I also want to do rural characters, and a period film again.
Right now, I’m working on a web series with Prakash Jha productions which he is directing. Then there is Criminal Justice 2. Asura is coming out soon with Arshad Warsi.