Bollywood Buzz

Salman Khan is too good looking to be called uncle: Kiara Advani

A Janpath-style boho skirt got SoBo (South Bombay) girl Kiara Advani her role as a typical Delhhite in her debut movie, Fugly. On her recent visit to the DT office, the actress told us what it took to get into the skin of a raw Delhiite, and her experience of shooting in and around the city. She also talked about shopping at Khan Market and Dilli Haat, eating at Chandni Chowk and her passion for all things Bollywood.

Delhi girls are more in charge
I have never been to Delhi before, other than for school trips. But when we shot Fugly here for a month, I finally got to understand and explore the city. To play a Delhi girl, I got most of the training from my director, Kabir Sadanand. He made me do crazy workshops. Also, I studied Vijender (Singh), a Haryanvi and Mohit (Marwah), a Delhiite, to pick up the lingo. I come from a protected background and I’m quite poised and sophisticated. To play an independent Delhi girl, I needed to add rawness to my character. Most Delhi girls are confident and are much more in charge than Mumbai girls. The confidence to take a stand is higher in a Delhi girl. My character, Devi, has a dialogue, ‘Dilli ki ladki hoon. Dhakke aur ragad ka farak jaanti hoon.’ My mom taught me, that if any guy tries to be smart with you, kick him where it hurts. Also, if somebody tries to do something to you – make a scene, call the public, they will come and bash the guy up.

Janpath style skirt to land role
Most newcomers don’t get character-based roles in their debut films. This was my chance. When I was called for this audition, a six-page-long character sketch was given to me. I had not been to Delhi, so I tried to imagine how a Delhi girl would be. I dressed up for the audition in a long Janpath-type boho skirt with churiyaan and all. I wanted Kabir to look at me and say, ‘This is the girl we are looking for’. Kabir had told me that he had already auditioned 400-500 girls for this role, but couldn’t find his heroine. My plan was to make him believe I am the Delhi girl. Thank God it worked!

The Paharganj experience
We shot at various locations like Paharganj, Connaught Place and Faridabad, among others. I got to see many parts of the city during my shoots. Paharganj was especially difficult to shoot in, as it was very crowded. So, we used to create mock fights. When the crowd diverted its attention to the fight, we shot our scenes. We did this kind of crazy stuff. Every place in Delhi has a memory attached to it for me now.

Khan market wale cool goggles
Being in Delhi gives you a sense of pride. You are in the capital of the nation and it can’t get better than this. When I landed here, I saw eight-lane roads. In Mumbai we have galis. I really like the lifestyle here. When my parents came to Delhi, we went to a rock and roll kind of place in Hauz Khas Village for dinner. I made sure that we go to Old Delhi and eat chicken tikka kebabs at Karim’s. They were amazing and definitely better than Mumbai’s Badey Mian. I also liked eating at that mela sort of a place, Dilli Haat, and at Khan Chacha in Khan Market. I am a shopaholic, so how could I have not shopped at Khan Market? I picked up a cool pair of sunglasses and a lot of junk jewellery. It’s amazing how Delhi is so fashionable, yet so reasonable. My character in Fugly wears dhoti pants, which we got from Janpath. Celebrating Jimmy Shergill’s birthday at his Chattarpur farmhouse was also fun. He made us comfortable and said we could chill there for as long as we want.

I Google myself
When you type Kiara Advani in Google, the topmost search suggestion is ‘Kiara Advani hot’. While googling with us, Kiara said, “Hot! Am I not wearing normal clothes? But then, I am happy that they are talking about me. All this is new and extremely exciting for me. I google a lot about me to know what’s being written.” As we tell her that netizens seem to be keeping a close eye on what she wears, Kiara asks, “Is the buzz good? Are they writing good things about me?” After we assure her that she isn’t being crucified for an earth-shattering faux pas yet, Kiara tells us her fashion secrets. “I can’t take full credit for what I wear, as my stylist is responsible for it. But yes, personally, I love shopping whenever I get a chance and stock up on clothes. I am also discovering that India has some great designers, thanks to the clothes I get to wear during movie promotions. I couldn’t afford designer wear earlier – I will hopefully be able to do so in future.” Drawing attention to the yellow dress and high heels in which Kiara came to our office, she said, “I am just making the most of being in Delhi – after all, it’s known for its fashion.”

Ranbir Kapoor is hot!
“When I was a kid, I used to dance in front of the mirror to songs like Dhak Dhak Karne Laga and Ek Do Teen. I guess every girl does that. I have always loved Bollywood. I am the sort of person who can say each dialogue of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai backwards. While Shah Rukh Khan and Salman are legends, I think Ranbir Kapoor is hot. I don’t watch English movies. I am a hardcore desi Bollywood fan. But I love watching American TV – The Blacklist, Castle and Revenge are my favourites. I wish I could play a detective in a TV series. I used to love Gossip Girl and was very sad when it came to an end, but with time I realized that I’d become too old for it,” said the 22-year-old.

Alia turns Kiara Kiara, whose real name is Alia Advani, changed it before joining Bollywood. “I love my new name – I chose it, after all. We did everything from googling children’s names to asking everyone. Finally, we settled on this. Since there is already an Alia (Bhatt) in the industry, Salman sir suggested that it’s better to have your own identity. He said that there is no point in confusing people. There were really funny incidences that happened during my name search. My team wanted to name me Anamika. So, excited about the name Anamika, I asked a staff member at home what she thought about Anamika, and she informed me, ‘Woh to ek serial ka naam hai na, jisme ek Anamika naam ki ladki bhoot ban jaati hai.’ Finally, Kabir and his wife found this name, Kiara – which I have always liked. Actually, I used to think that I’d name my daughter Kiara one day. It means clear, bright and famous.”

Salman is too good looking to be called uncle
Is Salman Kiara’s unofficial godfather, or is he the official godfather? “I am extremely close to Salman sir. My parents are his childhood friends. Whatever I do, I call Salman sir and ask for his opinion. And why shouldn’t I? He has 20 years of experience in the industry and he can guide me. I don’t call him ‘uncle’ as he is completely against it. He wants me to call him just ‘Salman’. But I obviously can’t call him that! So I call him Salman sir, as he is too good-looking to be called ‘uncle’,” she said.


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