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The year 2017 ended with a bang for Pulkit Samrat whose film Fukrey Returns turned out to be a money-spinner at the box office. Unfortunately his next, Veerey Ki Wedding which released last week sank without a trace.
However, Pulkit says he's not the one to take his failures ahead and is now looking forward to '3 Storeys' which hits the big screens this week
'It's all in the head', quips the actor at a point, when asked up the ups and downs in his life.
'Richa Chadha Brings In A Lot Of Weightage To A Film'
Q. You have had a very diverse trajectory so far in terms of your choices of films. What made you take up a thriller this time?
A. I can give so many reasons for not saying a 'No' to this film. To start with, it's because of Renuka Shahane. I was very excited when I got to know that my scenes were with her. So more than anything else, I have taken '3 Storeys' as a learning experience. To be a part of the cast which has Richa Chadha in it...She gets a lot of weightage when she comes. That was quite interesting. The story was very nice. I connected with the director and we were on the same wavelength. Another reason was Excel Entertainment and Priya Banerjee's Open Air films which are known for their content-driven films.
Q. Your previous films, Sanam Re and Fukrey Returns had you playing romantic and comical characters. They even turned out to be box office hits. Do you get offered similar roles?
A. That keeps happening. But for once in a while, you get to be a part of such a film like 3 Storeys. To be honest, in the beginning I wasn't really sure about taking about this film. But by the end of it, when I watched the film, I fell in love with it. It's an intriguing film and has got a mystery to it. There's a thrill element in it. But when you leave the theater after watching the film, you will leave with a smile which I think is a big win for us.
'I Had To Get My Swag Off'
Q. Since this was a different role for you, how did your prep work look like?
A. We did readings and workshops and improvisations. It was more about the entire cast bonding together. It was me doing something like this for the first time. One main brief that was given to me was I had to get my swag off. We worked on that.
'I Neither Take Praises To My Head Nor Really Harsh Criticism To My Heart'
Q. Pulkit, you had earlier said that you don't affected by a film's success or failure. Do you think it really possible for an actor to be in that especially when the spotlight is constantly on you?
A. Why not? Of course. When people write so much about my personal life, I have never been affected by it till now then, this is nothing. It really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters to me is that the producers and the people who have put in their hard work and money, should get back home safely. A film's success can corrupt your mind. I neither take praises to my head nor really harsh criticism to my heart.
Q. Biopics are in vogue. You recently said in an interview that you would like to do a film on Rajesh Khanna...
A. I share my birthday with him. I have fond memories of his songs and films. He has always been fabulous. He was so amazing in Anand and Bawarchi. He has done so many diverse genres. It's a delight to watch him on screen. I have grown up watching his films. I was inclined towards him because his performances were so good. The kind of lover boy which Rajesh Khanna sab has always played, I don't think anybody has been able to achieve that after him.
'I Don't Have Any Formula'
Q. What are the things that you look out for when it comes to picking up your scripts?
A. I am looking out for something which has some commercial value attached to it. Something with dance a bit songs. But not without the content. That's difficult to find. Maybe that's the reason why it takes some time to come across a script that has good writing.
There are so many parameters when you make a film. The producers have to be really sensible and believe in the product that you are making. A nicely written film could be shown in a haywire way if the director is not sorted. The kind of cast that you are going to be a part of also counts a lot. I don't understand too much of these things. I just go with my vibes. If I connect with people, I work with them. I have done few films based on content, a few on the kind of cast I am being a part of, some of them for the sake of being directed by a director who is good. I have done a few ones basically just because they are my friends.
So, I don't have any formula. I have been lucky to do few films where all these things have fallen in the same place. Fukrey is the biggest example of that where I got to work with my friends. I started working with them as colleagues and ended up being friends with them.
Q. With all the ups and downs in your career, would you say right now you are in your best phase?
A. All these things exists only in the head. If I am sorted in my head, I don't think I would be affected by the ups and downs. That's where my family comes in. They are the grounding wire for me all the time. They take care of that.
'Even The Khans Cannot Guarantee Success'
Q. Now that you have been in the industry for so many years, are you happy with how things have shaped up for you here?
A. I am quite happy. (pauses) When I look back at the place from where I started, I realize I have moved on and grown from there. I haven't been thrashed or subjected to terms like 'wiped out'. But yes, it's a constant fight. Like even the Khans cannot guarantee success here. Then why would I take it to my heart?