The cast of Days Of Tafree – Yash Soni, Ansh Bagri, Sanchay Goswami, Nimisha Mehta, Kinjal Rajpriya, Sarabjeet Bindra, Mamta Chaudhary and Anuradha Mukharjee – in conversation with Team Box Office India
Box Office India (BOI): Can we start with how all of you came on board for this film?
Mamta Chaudry (MC): I play a character called Vandana, the kind of character young people will relate to. She is talkative, like that one friend we all have who is constantly chatting about anything and everything. I got a call from the production house to give an audition. After a few rounds and rehearsing rolls, I finally bagged the part.
Sanjay Goswami (SG): I play the role of Suresh. It’s a character to which a lot of guys will connect. Suresh is always trying to woo the girls but nothing works out. He falls in love with a new girl every day. I got a call from Krishnadev Yagnik’s team (our director). I auditioned for the part after performing a few scenes. A few days later I got a call saying I had been selected to play the role of Suresh.
Sarbjit Bindra (SB): I play the dulha, who is a short-tempered guy, who keeps beating up people without any reason. I too was asked to audition and I believe Krishnadev sir saw the character in me. The character required me to be a foodie and that’s how I bagged the film. It was his (the director’s) vision and characterisation that helped us portray each character so well.
Ansh Bagri (AB): I play a character called Vicky, who is an unglibaaz in the film. He is notorious and constantly cracks jokes. He is a fun-loving guy who loves spending time with friends and is always playing pranks. He doesn’t get along with his father, which happens with a lot of teenage guys. So the father-son keep clashing. He keeps on doing tafriyaan.
I had auditioned for this film many times and was rejected every time. But after around 25 days, I got a call from Krishnadev sir, who asked me to return for an audition in his presence. That’s how I was selected for the role.
Nimisha Mehta (NM): I play a character called Pooja, a character many girls will connect with, especially studious girls. Her only aim is to score good marks. I would say she is the kind of girl guys think they should marry. I believe I was the last to audition for the film, and I did that without any cameras. I met Krishna sir, who gave me a few scenes to do. That’s how I bagged the role. Kinjal Rajpriya (KR): My character is very flirty. She is obsessed with her looks and attire. All she wants is attention. There were a few rounds of auditions, and during these auditions, sir (director Krishnadev Yagnik) made us feel very comfortable as he wanted us to play the role with our own lines. He wanted to see if we could pull off our parts as college kids. Yash Soni (YS): I was part of Chhello Divas but when Krishnadev sir decided to make the film in Hindi, he asked me to audition for the role. And after clearing the audition, I bagged my first Hindi film. I play a character called Nikhil, a simple and easy-going guy. He is very protective about his friends and loses his cool only when things go out of hand with his friends. Though I played the same character in Chhello Divas, portraying both the characters is totally different since that was a regional film catering to the Gujarati audience while this film was made keeping the pan-Indian audience in mind.
Anuradha Mukharjee (AM): I play a character who will remind you of many of your friends. She is Esha, who constantly cribs and is such a nag!
How close is each of you to your reel character?
NM: I feel I am very different from my on-screen character as I am not a sweet-and-simple kind of girl. My character and I are poles apart. Since I was a tomboy as a child, playing this character was like living a totally different life. But I believe that is the best thing about acting. I had to look for Pooja in myself and do something that was so different from the way I am.
SG: I believe my role is somewhat similar to my real self. I was a very naughty guy from my childhood to college days. In fact, while shooting for the film, I felt as if I was reliving my college life. It was very nostalgic.
SB: There are a few attributes that match and some that don’t. Just like my character, I am a foodie but my character loses his cool easily whereas I am a quiet guy who doesn’t get into fights.
MC: Mamta (real) and Vandana (reel) are poles apart. My character Vandana is like an old tape recorder that is stuck. She keeps repeating the same stuff whereas I am a chilled-out person in real life. But, yes, portraying this character and especially working in this film felt like being back in college. All the characters are either relatable or remind you of someone you might have known.
AB: I kind of relate to my character because I used to me very mastikhor. I have always loved spending time with friends. In fact, I also relate to the character Yash is playing as each of us has that personality trait inside us where we go all out for the friends we like.
KR: I believe I am quite the opposite of my character in the film. I have never got along with boys since I was in school and am a very cool and calm person. But I could relate to my character as I have seen many girls like her. In fact, Krishnadev sir had given us the freedom to improvise. So if we came up with lines he could use in the film, he included them in the script because when you are in college, you speak a certain kind of lingo which we all developed.
YS: It was a wonderful experience to play the character because I didn’t attend college after Class XII. So while shooting for Chhelo Divas, and now for Days Of Tafree, I was able to relive those college days. I didn’t get to do certain things in life which I got to do in this film. We became such good friends that it felt like we were college buddies.
BOI: You guys play college students and the script required you to bond with each other. Were there any workshops you had to attend?
YS: Yes, there was a month-long workshop and we hit it off from day one, there was plenty of chemistry.
EB: The workshop helped us get to know each other. In fact, our director has used many shots of us simply chatting during rehearsals, in the film. He wanted real bonding to come across, so the fun you see in the film was real.
SB: Krishna sir had given us time to get to know each other. He asked us to spend time with each other, to eat together, write together. So we worked on developing our characters and getting to know each other for an entire month. We were also able to help improvise on each other’s character.
BOI: Yash and Kinjal, both of you featured in Chhello Divas too. How different is the Hindi film from the regional one?
KR: Totally, because Chhello Divas was meant for the regional audience. Whereas we had Gujarati jokes in Chhelo Divas, this one is set in Delhi, so the lingo changed, we had to prep as Delhi students. The student culture is very different in both states. What remains similar is the bonding, which does not depend on where you come from. And the kind of fun you have in college is also somewhat similar.
YS: Yes, the lingo was different. In fact, the lehja of speaking was different in this film. Although the genre was the same, there was a lot to learn in this film as everyone had something to teach. For instance, I learnt how to speak like a Delhiite by observing Ansh. The great thing about this film is that regardless of your age, it will take you back to your college days.
KR: Yes, it was so much like reliving our college days. In fact, they used to pull so many pranks on the sets.
YS: Yes, especially with Kinjal. So on the first day of the shoot, we all were ordering food and I asked Kinjal what she would like to eat. She said ‘kuch bhi’, so we ordered food for everyone and six bananas for Kinjal since someone told me she hated bananas (Laughs).
KR: On social media, many people asked us why we were doing the same film (Chhello Divas). My point is we couldn’t resist the raw script; we just had to say yes. Sure, it’s the same film but very different in perspective. Being Gujarati, it’s a proud moment for us to feature in a Gujarati remake of a film on today’s times.
SB: But the characters are very different from those in Gujarati cinema. The director’s approach is very different in the Hindi film vis-à-vis what he has done in the Gujarati film. It’s more challenging for him to direct the Gujarati film in Hindi. The Gujarati film was superhit but he has done full justice to this film as well.
BOI: All of you have been visiting colleges to promote the film. What kind of response are you receiving?
KR: The response is outstanding. The students feel the film is for them, and Gujarati students who have watched the movie are really looking forward to this film.