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Exclusive! Aahana Kumra: I wouldn’t have thought of somebody like Abir Chatterjee for Avrodh 2

Aahana Kumra will be seen in SonyLIV's Avrodh 2 soon.

  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 01.28 PM, Jun 23, 2022

Exclusive! Aahana Kumra: I wouldn’t have thought of somebody like Abir Chatterjee for Avrodh 2
Aahana Kumra (Instagram).

Aahana Kumra is gearing up for the release of her upcoming web series, Avrodh 2. The actress, who plays the female lead in the series, does not wish to consider herself as the second hero of the show. Far from it. Aahana, in fact, shares that Avrodh 2 has been treated like day-to-day event but only that every character on the show excels at what they do. The actress also recalled working on Lipstick Under My Burkha, Yudh and Khuda Haafiz.

Excerpts from the interview…

Avrodh was one of the best series released when it did. What do you feel like, coming to the show?

It's very big. It's interesting for me to be a part of such a big franchise. I feel privileged and happy to be able to play Parveena. It's a very different space from what I've done so far. So, I'm really looking forward to it.

How would you say Avrodh 2 is different from the original?

The first one spoke about terrorism. This is about terrorism in a different way. It talks about how these people want to break the economy of the country through black money. That's what the series is all about. It would be nice and interesting to watch since we all went through demonetization and through this, we'll understand why that step was taken.

There are two things going on in the series - the usual terrorist attacks like planting bombs but also, attacking the Indian economy through fake currency circulation. When you heard that, did you ever think, how will these two go hand-in-hand? Were you apprehensive wondering how will the project come together since it deals with different topics? What was going on in your mind at that given point of time?

Not much. I was really concerned about was my performance. Raj (director) helped me through it. He told me that I have my perspective and am not wrong. He very delicately handled the scenes, especially my scenes. I'm doing most of the menace in the show and it was interesting because I got a fresh perspective, from the character's point-of-view. I was thinking about the antagonist point-of-view rather than the protagonist point-of-view and that is completely different.

From the trailer, it appears that you are the second hero of the show after Abir. You take the lead and how! Would you agree that you are the second hero of the show?

I don't think so. I wouldn't like to say that at least. Sanjay Suri is in fact the main antagonist and I'm playing along with him. I'm looking forward to his performance instead. It's nice to see him break from positive character into something twisted like this.

There's a dialogue in the trailer - 80s ki dehshat yaad dilana chahte hai. What are your memories of the 80s? I'm sure you were a child but did an incident leave you scarred?

We were all part of everything that was happening. During the Kashmir riots, we were in Lucknow. We had gone for a film and when Emergency was declared, we got home by overloading cars. It's one of those things that everybody remembers. It was chaotic. It's an ongoing process. The government might do something and the common people might have to suffer. This has been happening since ages and someone will experience it at a given point of time.

What was working with Abir (Chatterjee) like? This is his first time and he's not even one of the stereotypical Bollywood actors. Tell me about your experience.

He's very different from all the boys I worked with. Everybody wants to become such a macho and he doesn't. It's nice, refreshing and unassuming to see someone do that. Our only interaction was in our last episode. The scene is very hardcore. We were both in our zones. The casting was very nice. I wouldn't have thought of somebody like him. I had gone to Kashmir and they are normal boys but glorified in our industry. Here, in this series also, they are day-to-day people but the work they do is phenomenal.

Your film Lipstick Under My Burkha received a lot of acclaim. Not just you, everyone associated with the movie finally got the recognition they deserved. How would you say life changed for you since then?

A lot. A lot more work generated. A lot of people know me and understand the kind of cinema I do. I've been very aware of myself as a woman in the industry. It changed me. The conversation around the film was different from anything I had done. I was promoting the movie, which was also my first time promoting a film. You discuss periods, waxing and what feminism, sexism is then the conversations change because of that. It changed me and I got good work thanks to that.

Somewhere though, the industry tends to stereotype you. Did you happen to get only women-centric roles? How did you deal with them?

I didn't. I just let them be. I can't refuse work but I won't just agree to do anything just because it's supposed to be done. I really need to think it through. That became very important. You have to be very mindful about what you want to pick up next because your work is your identity.

You made your debut with Yudh opposite Amitabh Bachchan. It was one of the most awaited projects but did not receive the response people expected. Did that disappoint you somewhere?

Of course you feel a little disappointed and it's a part and parcel of our life. It's fine, I was okay with it.

Your OTT projects have more or less always been appreciated. Do you think that the platform has given actors like you an opportunity to shine unlike the screen?

Yeah, 100%. We wouldn't work as the heroine's friend but a role in itself.

I remember, for Khuda Haafiz, a lot of actresses said no to the part. When it came to me and I said yes to the film and got to know that she's the parallel lead, I thought to myself that there is so much scope of performance so why would I say no? I enjoyed doing it. It worked really well.

When you pick a role, it almost always gets appreciated. Tell me, what do you look for in a film?

Only commitment. I commit to the film and my role and work very hard at it. I send it out to the universe and manifest it to the universe.

Your upcoming projects?

I have Madhur Bhandarkar's film releasing. I also have a film with Revathy ma'am.