Athiya Shetty: “I am really fond of Ileana as a person and I think she is a great actor.”

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By FATIMA PATEL

She is the daughter of films star and entrepreneur Sunil Shetty and was launched by none other than Salman Khan. Although her first film didn’t set the cash registers tingling at the box office, she certainly didn’t go unnoticed and bagged a few awards for her debut performance.

Athiya Shetty is now set to star in her second film, with uncle nephew Anil and Arjun Kapoor for the first time. We caught up with the pretty actress a few weeks ahead of the film, to talk movies and superstitions.

Fatima Patel: It’s your second film. How are you feeling about your upcoming film Mubarakan?

Athiya Shetty: Now, I’m a bit nervous as there’s only two weeks left and the time has flown by so quickly. I remember getting ready to shoot my second film and now it’s almost over so I’m excited and nervous but I’m enjoying promoting it so yeah, it’s fun.

When you say nervous I read somewhere that you’re quite a superstitious person. Do you get superstitious before the release of a film?    

I do, I do, I am, I am superstitious. I don’t like talking about it too much, it’s a good thing if you always keep it neutral. Yes I am superstitious.

You get to work with Uncle and Nephew, Arjun and Anil Kapoor, who are also working together for the first time. What were they like to work with on set?

Even though it’s a comedy and I had so much fun working on the set. I feel like I also got the opportunity to learn so much because I was surrounded by people who were much more experienced than I was. Because it was my second film, I did feel like a newcomer but it was a good thing for me because I got to learn so much from Anil Kapoor, Anees, Ileana, and Arjun. I feel as an actor you are blessed if you work with Anil Kapoor in your career and I got that opportunity to work with him in my second film itself and he’s just a power house of talent. He brings this positive energy every time he’s on set, he’s so hard working even after being in the industry for thirty-five plus years it never feels like he’s taken that for granted or taken advantage of his stardom. He’s always on time, watching him get into character, his disciplined nature you’re always picking up so much from him and you learn and value what you have so much more. I feel with Arjun he’s extremely knowledgeable as an actor and about his craft, I feel blessed that I got the chance to work with him because he’s so passionate about his profession and that’s really important. He has great comic timing and I feel that’s his genre, he’s good at comedy even Ileana I’m really fond of her as a person and I think she is a great actor.  I’ve had a blast, and also with Anees I feel as a director he’s extremely clear with what he wants and that’s great as an actor because he encourages you to spontaneous and free in front of the camera to make your mistakes. He never says I told you to do this it’s all based on discussions it just teaches you so much.

Would you say you’re a director actor?

Yes completely, I need direction; I need to have that equation with my director. I need to have that one on one comfort level with them and them to help and encourage me to break my boundaries and take risks. I feel that’s really important as an actor.

I have seen a trailer of the film and we don’t get to see much of you in the trailer is that deliberate? Or is there a surprise coming up?

A lot of my scenes are emotional and if they revealed too much of them then it would give away the plot but my character is the only normal character in the film and she gets stuck in this mad whirlwind and that’s the comedy, it’s very situational. She is not inherently funny and comical as a character and as person but the fact that she’s so simple and honest. The fact that she believes in love and that she’s in love with Charan and the fact that her marriage has been set up with Karan that’s where the comedy comes in.

What do think people will take away from the film?

It’s a film that’s not for a specific age group, it’s for everyone and they’ll all be able to relate to it. It’s not slap stick it will make you feel and relate to the characters, it’s situational and it’s a comedy with a beat. That’s what special about it, it’s a clean family film, not many films are like that these days.

What would you describe as your most memorable moment whilst filming Mubarakan?

I’m the type of person who loves song and dance. I LOVE dancing so my most memorable moment would be on the songs. The first song ‘Goggle’ which is out now was the first day of shooting and I had to do my first shot with Anil Kapoor it was just so special and I had to dance with him. It was a special moment for me.

Thank you so much for speaking to us Athiya and we wish you all the very best   

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