Ajay Devgn, the director, is very busy. He is not to be disturbed because he had to do his work in addition to other functions. He was really great and helped me with every scene. He had an eye on the entire cast. Ajay, the director, also kept an eye on the crew but Ajay, as director, working with his actress, helped me with every scene.
We could also talk it through. Sometimes I would get a little lost. There was an emotional scene where I had to be very much present in the character. I am only a beginner and I would sometimes get a little confused, like, I was not sure how to make all these feelings and actions really vivid inside of me so that they came across that way on screen. It was really wonderful.
On the other hand, there were times when I would look very deeply into a scene and wonder what I should be feeling. He would then explain things to me in a very simple yet in a to-the-point way. In order to take away all of the women drama and preparations just do this, feel this or what happened, look what Shivaay just did, what do you feel and then all things became very easy. So that was great. This is Ajay, the director.
Now Ajay, the actor… It is a pleasure to work with him. He is such a great actor and he has really strong eyes, which I noticed especially twice. I looked into his eyes all the time because of the kind of scenes we had together. One was a flirting scene and the other was a fighting scene. When he really gets angry, or when the character is flirting, his eyes are expressive and very powerful. My sister was on the set with me and was watching us while we were doing a romantic scene and she fell so in love with him. It was so funny, she would run to him and say, ‘It was so fantastic.’
And what about Ajay Devgn, the producer?
He is just my boss. Ajay Devgn, the producer, is the one with whom I don’t have much contact. I recently went to the production office and I met Ajay Devgn, the producer, there. We drank tea and chatted but not about production. I don’t know him very well. (Laughs)
When I went into the casting, I didn’t know the entire story. I had only a few scenes with me and these gave me only a glimpse into what was about to happen. It was more like a teaser because everything had to be kept confidential. But what caught my attention was the character. Initially, I thought the character would be a bit different but as the film proceeds, you gather memories and things about the character and that made me see the character in a completely different light.
You are in quite a bit of trouble when you have to play scenes from the end of the script at the beginning of the shoot. And that is what I had to do. I think the second-last scene in the film was the first one that I shot. So I had to do my homework and imagine all the things that had happened to my character. What I loved was the memories created for the character while shooting. Like if I shot a scene where I am having a huge fight with Shivaay, for the next scene I could carry the baggage. So it was a great experience, really.
Now that the trailers are out, you must have had many fan reactions. How did your family react?
My family are my psycho fans! My grandmother has learnt to operate YouTube on her smartphone. The last time I met her, she showed me my song Darkhaast and she loves it. My mother analyses all my interviews and my work but she is as obsessed with Ajay as she is with me. It’s really funny. And my friends are really excited to watch the film. They are all very proud of me.
Since the film will release soon, how happy are you with it?
It is still a mystery to me. I haven’t seen it completely, only in bits and pieces. But Ajay is very happy with it and he can’t wait to show it to all of us. It is always so awkward to see your face so big on the screen, as somebody else. I can’t wait to watch it.
Not too many as I am not a professional like Ajay. I was the one hanging from the tent and I was the one falling in the tent with Shivaay. Those were the most difficult scenes. And we did do some scenes high in the Balkan mountains.
Lastly, can you narrate any of your favourite lines from Shivaay?
I can say one sentence that I really like a lot and maybe it is not from the film. You will have to watch the film to know, ‘Apni itni tareef maine pehele kabhi nahi suni’. (Laughs)