Kainaat Arora made her silver screen debut back in 2010 in the film Khatta Meetha, where she featured opposite Akshay Kumar in a song. After acting in the Hindi film Grand Masti, she also featured in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Punjabi films. Here’s the actress in a tête-à-tête with Rohini Nag
You have spent five years in the film industry. Did you always want to be an actress and what has your journey been like?
I was modelling in Delhi and was one of the top models at the time. My actual struggle began in Delhi itself as I had started working from a very young age. I was in the 12th standard when I started and imagine a girl from a small town trying to make it big on her own, without any help. I have a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management and that’s how I started getting more modelling assignments.
There was no brand that I had not endorsed and, one day, a choreographer friend of mine asked me to judge the Miss Kerala beauty pageant. Priyadarshan (director) was my co-judge at the event and he approached me for the song in his film Khatta Meetha. He told me they were looking for a girl who looked like Dimple Kapadia and that my dimpled chin was one of the reasons he wanted me to be part of the song. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I believe that ‘Kumars’ have always been lucky for me as my first song was with Akshay Kumar, I did Grand Masti with Indra Kumar, and I have also done a song with Ajith Kumar in Mankatha. The fact is, I have not done much work but yet the work I have done has always been with reputed people. I believe that every newcomer is a beggar and beggars can’t be choosers. Work chose me and I did it. I am not an established name who can select or refuse films.
You have worked in five different languages: Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Tell us about it.
I love working on varied characters and I try to do justice to the roles given to me. As a performer, this is just the beginning. I am an actor and I cannot be Kainaat all my life. It’s natural to fear being typecast by the industry if you do a bold film like I did Grand Masti but the team of the film had big names and that is why I signed it. It is not every day that you get a chance to do a film for Indra Kumar who has made films like Dil, Beta, Ishq and has worked with actors like Madhuri Dixit, Aamir Khan and other big stars.
Luckily, I got opportunities to work with big stars in the regional space, so from working with Mohanlal to Ajith Kumar to Gippy Grewal and Ram Gopal Varma, each of them is a big name in their respective regional space.
Tell us about Faraar, which released recently. What made you sign that film?
I am getting extremely positive reviews for my performance and I am very happy. It was a dream role for me. As I said, I have always got to work with good actors and I think I am very lucky. In Faraar, I was paired opposite Gippy Grewal, a Punjabi superstar. The producers and the director and everyone else associated with the film are game-changers in the Punjabi industry. It was an obvious choice for me, it doesn’t matter what language the film is made in as it is all about respecting the work you get and being honest to what you do.
You have also worked with Mohanlal. What is he like as a co-star?
I worked with him in Lailaa O Lailaa, where I played the title role of Lailaa. Working with Mohanlal was a dream come true for me. Although he is such a big star, he has no starry airs. As I said, I have been lucky.
Your Telugu film Mogali Puvvu is directed by Ram Gopal Varma. What was it like working with him?
The film will also be released in Hindi with the title Secret. We actually shot for both the versions simultaneously and the film’s post-production is almost complete. I have always been a big fan of Ram Gopal Varma and his films, like Rangeela, Satya, Sarkar Raj and Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, have inspired me. The film is a courtroom drama, which focuses on an intense relationship between two people.
What’s next on your plate?
I am working on a Hindi film titled Aayee Bala Ko Taal Tu, which also features Rishi Kapoorji, Ram Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Divya Dutta and Shilpa Shukla. In the Hindi space, I also have a song in the film Main Aur Charles which stars Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadda. I have two regional films, one Malayalam and the other Tamil. And for the next few months, I am busy with stage shows. For instance, I am going to Hong Kong for a Diwali show.