Indianexpress.com recently caught up with actor Parul Yadav who reflected on her career choices in the year gone by. The actor was also quite upbeat about the response to the teaser of her upcoming film, Butterfly. The film is the official Kannada remake of Queen (2013).
Parul revealed that she was “sulking” when she first watched Kangana Ranaut’s Queen. The actor recalled how she elbowed her way through disappointments and several logistical challenges before she realized the dream of playing the role of a small-town girl rediscovering herself on the streets of Paris.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Q. We are at the end of 2018. How was this past year for you personally and professionally?
Career-wise, I have catapulted myself from an actor to co-producer. As an actor, I did a movie which inspired a lot of women in the country. Yeah, it has been a great and fantastic year.
Q. Your upcoming film Butterfly is the remake of Queen. The teaser was released recently. What’s the response you have been getting?
The biggest question that people had in mind was that Parul is born and brought up in Mumbai. How will she play a girl from Gokarna? I think the biggest compliment that I got is ‘she actually looks like a rural girl.’ If you see my costume in the movie, they are very ordinary. There is no makeup. I have darkened my hair for the character. I actually look the part.
Q. Remaking a highly popular movie is like a doubled edged sword. While it gets you all the attention, at the same time, it will be inevitably compared with the original one. How do you think Butterfly will set itself apart?
It will not just be compared to Kangana (Ranaut). It will also be compared to the rest of the three. Yes, it was a very big risk. I really respect Kajal (Aggarwal), Tamannaah (Bhatia) and Manjima (Mohan) that they took this challenge. It is not easy because when posters and teasers come out, fans and critics keep comparing. Whose poster was better? Who was better in the teaser? I definitely understand the plight. I also respect the challenge that they have taken.
Q. Tell us about the initial challenges you faced while making this project.
The biggest challenge for me was being a Mumbai girl. I have a very confident body language. I had to undo that. So I had to go for a workshop for five days to just learn the body language of a timid girl, who is under-confident. The character is a good-looking girl who is not groomed. She basically doesn’t know how to present herself. I think that was the biggest challenge for me as an actor to do.
Q. What did you like about your character in Butterfly?
The reason I picked up this movie is that I really like the climax part. The part where the male lead actor comes to the heroine and says I want to get back in your life. And she says listen, I have to go for a rock concert, I will talk to you about this later. So basically, she has elevated herself now. He doesn’t matter to her at all. It’s not that she is revengeful. She is not fighting or bitter about it. Just that she has grown so much that now marriage is not in her head and the boyfriend is not important. The most important thing for her is to feel happy. So this is what I really like about this girl.
Q. Did you also co-write the film?
Yes, I have done an additional screenplay. When we were making the movie, we took a little break to edit the movie. We realized that we needed a narration in a (different) way. I sat with my creative team and did the additional screenplay.
Q. How was your experience as a writer?
I would not have poked my nose into writing if I were merely an actor. But, being one of the co-producers, it is my duty to give the best to the audience. And at that point in time, I felt I had to do the additional screenplay. I hope it has turned out well and the audience likes it.
Q. Initially, this project faced a lot of delays.
You need to understand that this is a historic project. For the first time in history, four movies have been shot simultaneously and are going to release simultaneously. It’s only been two years. I really don’t think it’s a delay. It’s just a natural process. Like people take 7-8 years to do four movies and in two years, we made four movies and are ready to release.
Q. How did the idea of making the same film with four different cast and crew in four languages germinate?
When I saw Queen four years ago, I came out of the theatre sulking – ‘my god Kangana is so lucky that she got to do this role and I’d never get it.’ That’s when the remake idea cropped up in my head. Then, I called a few people in the industry telling them I want to do this movie. There were some self-proclaimed well-wishers who told me, ‘you should not do this as no big hero would want to act with you.’ Then the rights had gone to some Tamil filmmaker. He wanted to do that movie only with Nayanthara. He said ‘right now I’m not going to do Kannada and Malayalam remakes. I’m just going to do the remake in Tamil and Telugu with Nayanthara.’ Actually, for a year, I thought this movie was not going to happen for me. That’s when Manu Kumaran came in and it was actually his brainchild to do four movies with four different set of actors.
Q. How difficult was it to make this project with four different set of actors, four different directors in four different languages?
(Sighs) I think nobody should attempt this until you have that kind of bandwidth and the team to support. I think what my team has pulled off is incredible. I would not advise anybody else to do it unless you have done your homework.