Ananya Panday, although just a few films old, has successfully made her mark in the Hindi film industry. In conversation with Lipika Varma, she discusses her interest in working in South films and with actor Allu Arjun, and more.
Women usually have very less screen space in action films, what attracted you to this film, Liger?
More than an action film, it’s a very massy film with a lot of action, romance, drama, a little bit of comedy and a bit of everything. What attracted me were the strong female characters, in the film, there’s Ramya [Krishnan] ma’am who plays Liger’s mom. She’s a strong, empowered mother who wants the best for her son, whereas, Tanya’s character does a lot that changes the cause of where the film will go. I liked the fact that it is a well-rounded, well-formed character.
This is your first pan-India film, did you also dub for the Telugu version?
I haven’t, because I am not good or fluent in Telugu and also my character is from Mumbai. Vijay can speak both Telugu and Hindi fluently and as an actor, it’s a great thing that your film can reach as many people as possible. We attempted to travel to most parts of India and interacted with people and spread as much joy as possible.
Has Vijay Deverakonda been your crush? How was it romancing him onscreen?
He’s everybody’s crush and he’s very cute! I first watched Arjun Reddy and later, watched a few bits of Geeta Govindam and Dear Comrade as well. I had a very easy vibe with him from the start and never felt the need to break any ice, I didn’t feel like I needed to have any forced conversations. He was very easygoing and he’s a very honest and open person and so am I. I think we are so different from each other and opposites attract. We had to strike a balance with each other and I can say anything to him, and I don’t feel judged.
Is it true that he cried on your shoulders?
Yes, he cried on my shoulders, I am a good friend and I can’t reveal his personal life.
Have you signed anything new down South? Apart from Vijay Deverakonda, which other South actor would you like to work with?
I have not signed any and I am waiting for Liger to release before deciding to take up films down South. I want to work with Allu Arjun, he’s just so cool. He’s super stylish and super easy. I want to work with everyone.
On Koffee with Karan, you spoke about the insecurities of being an actor, would you elaborate?
As a human, everyone has insecurities. And as someone working in this field, you are constantly looking at yourself on the large screen and are scrutinized for everything you do or say. There’s so much competition as well, which can make you a little insecure. But I think it’s more about figuring out where exactly you want to go to better yourself or focus on yourself, which I am learning more about.
You said you don’t want to take pressure about box office numbers but since you are in a competitive field how do you look at the number one position? If anyone goes ahead of you do you feel jealous?
I am a very competitive person but I don’t scream from the rooftops that I am competitive. There’s always a quiet sense of competition, and I want to be the best and that’s what keeps me going! I wouldn’t call it jealousy, I’d rather call it healthy competition because I really want to be the best!
How do you face failures?
My dad has always said that take failures as you take your success and don’t get affected by them either. He keeps reminding me that life is like a cricket match and with one ball you can either be out or you can hit a six!
You are four films old and your confidence levels have increased, do you think you can pull off anything at work now?
There is still lots to do and I have just started my career. It’s just that I feel that with each film I do there’s a certain level of confidence that you feel since the audience has loved your film, and they think that I have improved. As an actor that’s enough for me! Even if it’s slow and steady, I want to keep getting better and better at work till I am the best version of myself.
You also said that you can fall in and out of love easily?
I am a very loving person. I have a lot of love to give and a lot of love to take. I am young and figuring out what I want in life right now and I am very much in love with my career right now, that’s my main focus!
There have been rumours about you and Aditya Roy Kapoor.
Rumours are rumours, I never say anything about them. I like him as an actor and his work. He is very good-looking and chill.