Box Office India (BOI): First, tell us what Veerey Ki Wedding is all about.
Pulkit Samrat (PS): Tell, Kriti.
Kriti Kharbanda (KK): Why should I tell? Why should I do all the work, all the time?
PS: It is Veerey Ki Wedding and I am Veer in the film. You are Geet, so you should know.
KK: If you are Veer and it is Veerey Ki Wedding, then you should talk about it, na.
PS: This is the bhasudi in the wedding that we keep talking about in the film. It happens due to the characters in the film, especially the fathers of Veer and Geet; they are constantly playing a game of one-upmanship. The funny, intense and emotional situations in the film arise due to their relationship. Everything goes with the flow from there.
BOI: How have the trailer and songs been received by the audience?
PS: The cutest reaction to one of the songs was from this little boy, who was 4 or 5 years old. A video of him reached us via social media. It showed him dancing on the song Mind blowing. It was so cute!
KK: Yes, it was extremely cute. And he did it so well! He was damn cute, absolutely adorable. If something attracts a five-year-old that much, then everything else just falls into place. There are other videos too that I have on my phone.
PS: Why do they send these videos only to you?
KK: Because I am more active on social media (Laughs). We have different kinds of logic in this film. Geet and Veer are the very epitome of the phrase, ‘Can’t live with each other, can’t live without each other’. They fight to keep each other in their lives and when the other person stays, they do everything to push that person away because that is how relationships work. You don’t know what to do at what point. They are very conflicted and confused.
PS: (Cuts in) Maybe your relationships work like that. Mine toh don’t work only. (Laughs).
KK: That’s true. (Laughs). Sorry, too bad. Having said that, it is one of those comedies where you don’t have to apply logic. It is entertaining and that’s all it is.
PS: They call it a rom-com nowadays.
KK: Main try kar rahi hoon usko aur achche se boloon. Koi problem hai tumhein? Main promote kar rahi hoon.
BOI: In the trailer and in our conversation, you use this word ‘bhasudi’. What is the significance of that word?
KK: I think they got it from Veer and Geet, off-screen.
PS: Definitely! Bhasudi is a situation when everything goes haywire. In Mumbai slang, it is called raita phel gaya. That is basically the definition of bhasudi.
BOI: How were you both approached for the film?
PS: I think both of us were the last ones to be cast. I learnt this recently.
KK: Technically, I was the last one to be cast.
PS: In fact, they had even shot a bit with the other members of the cast. Karan (Gomber), who is the co-producer of the film, has been a good friend of mine since we were kids. We practically grew up next to each other in Delhi. So when he told me they were going to back this film and asked me if I wanted to do something in it, I said forget ‘something’, I will do everything in it. I can’t say no to him, so I got on board. What about you, Kriti?
KK: I did the movie because Pulkit Samrat was starring in it! (Laughs).
PS: That’s nice.
KK: But I was the last one to be cast. Stop taking away my glory, Pulkit.
PS: Where is the glory in that? After six people, they came to you. (Laughs).
KK: You’re such a bum!
PS: She was going to use a different word but stopped at ‘bum’.
BOI: Can you shed some light on the characters of Veer and Geet?
PS: Veer wears his heart on his sleeve, like many Delhi guys do. The good guys, not the bad ones who feature in the newspapers! He is one of those good ones who does everything he can to help people.
KK: Dilwale Dilliwale.
PS: Yes, they are Dilwale. Veer doesn’t have problems in his own life, so he solves other people’s problems. He does that by not only breaking things but breaking bones too. He will go to any lengths. Kriti, you should talk about Geet now.
KK: Why don’t you continue because you see Geet very differently from how I do.
PS: It’s not all that different! Geet is a very talkative, bubbly girl. That means she is full of energy. And I am not talking about you, I am talking about Geet, the character.
KK: You have already said, in multiple interviews, that Geet is Kriti and Kriti is Geet. So can you please be nice now?!
PS: Okay, if you say so! But, yes, she is still a very bubbly kind of girl. Very colourful and cheerful. Her laughter is very infectious. Nature… I’m not so sure about.
BOI: But aren’t you marrying Geet in the film?
PS: Oh yes! Yeh bahut pyaari ladki hai, halwayi ki beti hai. And she has that same kind of sweetness in her nature too.
KK: First, I am not halwayi ki beti. That is not how it is. He just likes to call my father halwayi because we have a mithai ka shop. But that doesn’t mean that woh baithke khud imartiyan tal te hain. His entire family treats us like bloody halwayis. Have you seen the size of my house?
PS: Have you seen the size of your dad?
KK: (Laughs). Oh, damn!
PS: Oh, shit! Don’t show this to Satish sir. But kudos, yaar, he has lost so much weight now. We love you Satish sir. He is such a great person to work with. When he was shooting for Badhaai Ho Badhaai in Delhi, they were filming a sequence in a school and I was studying there. I jumped over the walls and tried to peep in, and saw Satishji, Anil (Kapoor) sir and other members of the cast. It is so great to share screen space with him today. I am very blessed. He is such a nice person. He was always smiling on the sets.
KK: (Cuts in) That is because he is playing my dad in the movie.
BOI: Kriti, let’s continue talking about your character in the film.
KK: There is nothing left for me to say. Sab toh uttha ke phek diya hai isne.
PS: Yes, she is very difficult to handle.
BOI: Pulkit, Kriti mentioned that you have been saying how she is similar to her character.
PS: Yes, she did not have to do any hard work.
KK: I will hit you on camera, Pulkit, and that will not go down well.
PS: See, I told you. This is exactly what Geet is like. So Geet is Kriti and Kriti is Geet. Even in the trailer, she is shouting at me like she is now.
BOI: And what about you, Pulkit? Do you connect with your character?
PS: Me, I completely do. Dil phek launda hai sabki madat karta hai. He is happy in his life and since he doesn’t have any issues, he tries to solve other people’s complications.
KK: (Cuts in) Pulkit is nothing like Veer. You are the opposite of what you described your character as.
PS: That is partly true. Veer does a lot of fighting but I don’t. Main kha leta hoon maar. Mummy ki bahut chappal khayi hai maine. She would have hit me if she was here.
BOI: This doesn’t look like your first film together. The chemistry is very strong both on and off-screen.
KK: Maybe I cannot stand him off-screen, how would you know?
BOI: It doesn’t seem like that.
KK: Maybe we are just really good actors. (Laughs). But, yes, we do look good on screen.
BOI: How did you break the ice?
PS: What ice? We just broke bread together! We connected over food. Everybody on the set connected over food. We were shooting in Delhi, so food is a must. Also, I found that Kriti was staying in Delhi a really long time ago. A lot of her relatives still live there. That Delhi connect was there for us too. Then there were the readings we did together, which helped break the ice. You get to know each other’s timing well and that’s why the readings are held; not just to mug up your lines.
BOI: You spoke about working with Satish Shah. What about the others? What was shooting with this ensemble cast like?
PS: I used my classic line to apply maska to Jimmy (Sheirgill) sir. I told him that I had grown up watching his films and that he hasn’t aged a bit. I also told him how blessed I felt working with him on a film. That part was completely true. He has got a thairaav in his performance, from the very beginning. He is also technically very sound. When you work with stalwarts like him, you learn so much. I steal these small things from them and use them later on.
KK: Satishji and I hit it off instantly. We got along like a house on fire. He loves to talk. Since this is an ensemble film, one has to wait for some time for their shot to come. Between scenes, we chatted a lot and he shared his experiences, stories from his time, etc. It was really great. Plus, he is a director, which helps when you are shooting with him.
He is also technically very sound and that is one of the best things about Pulkit too. He also knows a lot about technical things. When you work with people who understand the craft so well, the journey becomes a lot more fun. I had worked with Jimmy sir in the past, in a commercial. I have since watched many of his films and seeing his performance live… I think he is one of the most talented actors we have in our country today. When you are shooting as part of an ensemble cast, there is always an undercurrent of excitement around you.
BOI: What was the mood like on set?
PS: When I was there, it was very cool, otherwise there may have been a lot of heat. Kriti, just say that when I wasn’t around, you guys missed me.
KK: No, you weren’t here during the first week when I shot. After that, you were there the entire time.
PS: Oh yeah, that’s why people think I was the last one to be cast in the film because I was the last one to join the team on the sets.
KK: Yes, I was there, I was there for a week.
BOI: What was it like working with director Asshu Trikha? Tell us about your association.
PS: He knew what he wanted to shoot and you could not change his mind. That’s actually good because it means he is totally convinced of what he wants to do and the way he wants to do it. Basically, even if he is open to other’s inputs, he manages to convince us to do things the way he wants them. (Laughs) You just have to do what he says. I believe that’s the first thing an actor should do, surrender to their director. He shoots very systematically, keeping in mind the editing of the film. He never once shot extra or anything that was not required for the scene. There was this time we were shooting a scene and he said ‘cut’ before I could finish my last line. On asking him why, he said he had already got the shot.
KK: I have so much to say but before I can, Pulkit says it all.
BOI: We’ve had so many wedding films in Bollywood. How is your film different from the others?
PS: It has the two of us. I can’t say it has her because she has been a bride at least five times already! Since it is a wedding film, there are a lot of songs, celebrations and dancing but there is an element of humour in almost every situation. I think that’s very interesting. Also, the songs are really cool.
KK: As a film, you know when you have a really big reason to say ‘no’ to a marriage. So, from Geet’s point of view, she is the only child and her parents have never said ‘no’ to her for anything. They are very happy to know that she has a boyfriend and want her to get married but, for some reason, her father opposes her wedding. So this film is bout convincing each other’s fathers not to make a big deal out of something and call off the wedding.
BOI: Music plays a very important role in a wedding film. Please shed some light on the music of this film.
KK: My favourite song is Kalli. Yours is Mind blowing?! They are both nice.
PS: Kalli is like a club number. We kind of reunite in that song.
KK: Baaki ki story bhi baata do.
PS: The song is really cool also because it is the very first time both of us have got to do the Bachata, which may look like the Salsa but isn’t. It is basically Argentinian. So we have done a Bollywood version of the Bachata, which is more sensuous. It’s an interesting form of dance and we got to learn it. The track is also very nice; it is by Meet Bros Mind blowing was the first song we shot.
KK: No, Veerey ki wedding! Okay, so it is the title track of the film and it is really cool with everybody in it. I think it is going to be a cool shaadi number. It has been very nicely choreographed. Pappu-Mallu are really nice choreographers.
PS: Mind blowing is also a cool song. We shot half of it in Delhi and a portion in Mumbai.
KK: There was this really cool vintage car museum where we shot. We spotted the Dil Toh Pagal Hai red car there! It was so cool shooting around it. It was just amazing!
PS: Shah Rukh Khan didn’t hug you, chill! It was just the car.
KK: It was exciting, I love that film!
PS: Even I clicked some pictures with it. (Laughs)
KK: We stood on top of cars and danced. It was quite a lot of fun. Also, Pulkit broke a windshield. Bechara producer.
BOI: What are your expectations from the film?
PS: We have all put in a lot of hard work and I hope everyone gets their due. Anything else is just the cherry on top.
BOI: As actors, how important are box office numbers for you? Do you keep track of them?
KK: They are very important.
PS: For me, after Fukrey Returns, everybody has been talking about numbers. I was chasing the numbers till Sunday but not after that. Beyond that, I was just happy looking at videos of people enjoying the film in theatres. A lot of them were coming for the second or third time to watch the film, you know, repeating memorable lines from the film. Appreciation like that means much more to me and is a much bigger reason for me to celebrate.
If you know that the producers have made their money, it is a relief. I never carry over my last Friday’s success or failure to any other film that I do after that, because that doesn’t let you join a new set or a new family with a fresh perspective. You come with the baggage of success or failure and it shows on your face. You look troubled.
KK: I won’t lie, I care about box office numbers. I want critical acclaim, there’s no two ways about that. When Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana got critical acclaim, I was very happy but I also wanted it to make money. And when it did, I was even happier. So I can’t choose one. I want both.
BOI: There’s another film releasing along with yours. What is your take on the clash?
KK: Pari? It looks like a damn cool film.
PS: It is of a different genre. And I am really glad that Anushka has come up with something like this, breaking the mould and doing something nice with the horror genre. Basically, the horror movies we have so far are all like chicks in the shower, then there’s blood everywhere and the movie is filled with gimmicky stuff. Pari looks very intriguing.
KK: If the producers are not happy because they aren’t getting the shows they want, then they won’t release the film. The fact that everyone is able to release their films and get enough shows means they are confident of their film working.
We don’t know what people like and dislike. I believe comedy is something you have to do from the director’s point of view because when he is writing, he clearly has something specific in mind. We are not present when he is shooting with other artistes. We do not know what scene leads to what at the script level. I think in an ensemble cast, Pulkit and I had to follow what the director was saying.
We have got good shows including prime-time shows and a good number of cinemas as well. It is not possible to release one film a week. If we did that, we would have to wait for three years to release a film. We have over 400 films releasing every year.
BOI: What projects are you looking forward to after this?
PS: You are talking like my mother now! I have two films releasing already… Daas Dev is releasing after this. Once I am done with the promotion of these two films, we will sit with scripts.
KK: I have Yamla Pagla Deewana 3 releasing this year, I am guessing in the next 3-4 months. Apart from that, I have done a cameo in the film Karwan, featuring Dulquer Salmaan, Irrfan sir, and Mithila. I am looking forward to this film, the script is fantastic.