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Real Natural

With Stree raking in fabulous numbers at the box office, Titas Chowdhury spoke to actor Aparshakti Khurana, who played Bittu, about his experience of being a part of this horror-comedy. 

On The Brief

The initial plan was to stick to the script. Once we reached Chanderi, we got used to the environment, the local flavour and the local people. That happens when you are shooting in a real location. That is when the characters feel more real. That, I think, is the USP of the film.

On The Character

When I started reading the script, I already knew that my character was quirky. The characters and the world in the film are very real. It has come out so well. In the past couple of years, people have started enjoying real and natural content. It helped that all of us have come from small towns. I am from a small town. Abhishek (Banerjee), Rajkummar (Rao) and Pankaj Tripathi come from small towns. Hence, we are familiar with the way of life in small towns. That helped all of us pull off our roles in a real way.

On The Challenges

I don’t believe in ghosts. So, trying to get scared of a ghost was difficult for me. We were shooting at some really eerie locations and the atmosphere we created would scare anyone who believes in ghosts. But it was difficult for me to feel scared because I don’t believe in them. That was my only challenge. Other than that, we all had a great time.

On The Co-Actors

The biggest reason for my on-screen chemistry with Raj and Abhishek was our off-screen chemistry. We were always chilling together. You won’t believe it, but before and after the shoot, we used to cook in the guesthouse kitchen together. This bond automatically translated on screen. We are such good friends and we are so close to each other that we were worried that one of us might be actually taken away by stree! That fear reflected in Raj and my eyes because we were always together on the set. 

On The Director

Amar Kaushik is a very different kind of director. One thing which is really cool about him is that his first short film called Abba won a National Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Festival. That film is very different from Stree. The world is so different, the language is so different and the characters are so different. It shows the variety in his craft.

Most other directors do not exhibit variety and versatility. Their thinking, their sensibilities and their writing are very similar. Their films are also of the same genre. But starting with his short film, Amar had created such a different world. There is a lot of variety in his thought process. He also comes from a small town. He understands that world and the relationships in it. I think it is very important for a director to understand these nuances. It is the only way to make the actors understand how to go about it. We never had any problems during the shoot. I don’t remember anyone having a discussion or a debate on whether or not to do something. Right from the word go, we got used to each other’s thought processes. It became very easy.

On The Response

My biggest compliment came from Nitesh Tiwari sir. He messaged me saying, ‘I am really proud of you.’ I started my career with him. Dangal was such a big film. He is such a credible director. To hear that from my first director made me feel so happy and blessed. Though all the responses have been amazing, that is my favourite compliment so far.

Future Projects

I am currently shooting for two films. One is Luka Chuppi with Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aaryan and the other film is Jabariya Jodi with Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra.

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