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The entire ‘Cannes Festival’ has been a ‘Cannes-Phaad’ (‘kaan-phaad’) experience, says Abhilash Thapliyal

The multi-talented actor was in an exclusive conversation with OTTPlay

The entire ‘Cannes Festival’ has been a ‘Cannes-Phaad’ (‘kaan-phaad’) experience, says Abhilash Thapliyal
PC: Instagram Account of Abhilash Thapliyal
  • Satish Sundaresan

Last Updated: 05.51 PM, May 27, 2023


In our last interaction with the RJ-turned-actor Abhilash Thapliyal, he said that, he was super excited to be a part of the ‘Cannes Festival’. Now that, he has ‘been there, done that’, he is back in India, bringing with him oodles of memories and experiences of the prestigious ‘Cannes Festival’. The multi-talented actor was in an exclusive conversation with OTTPlay. Over to you, Abhilash…

Abhilash, now that are you back from the irresistible ‘Cannes experience’, how would you like to describe the entire experience in one word, or one sentence?
I would call it ‘Cannes-Phaad’ (read ‘kaan-phaad’). That's what it has. It has been a ‘Cannes -Phaad’ (read ‘kaan-phaad’) experience. Iam back from that experience. I am very happy and very proud and also more confident. And, after my debut at the red carpet, it really feels amazing.

Before taking your first step at the Cannes, was there a single butterfly or a whole gang of butterflies inside your stomach?
I was totally numb. I did not know what to do. I was just looking around like a small kid, looking at the photographers looking at Anurag sir and the whole cast... and I was just waiting for the queues in order to now where to walk and where to go. So, much so that, I totally forgot to click the pictures on the red carpet. That is that is how it has been. I felt like a small kid already. I don't know how to behave on a red carpet because I've never been on one… and, this was my first experience. I felt like a small kid in a candy shop looking here and there and not focusing on what he should have been focusing on.

Did he enjoy the fly journey to the car or Uber or you were only nervous thinking only and only about Cannes?
Obviously… you are bound to think about Cannes, because it's such a big and prestigious event and you know that your film is going to be premiered there and celebrated there. But I did not know what to feel as I was anxious because I did not know what to do and how to behave. I think I was I was confused and anxious more than anything. I was confident about the film for sure. I knew for a fact that, something good will surely happen with the film. But I wasn’t aware that the film would get a 7-minte standing ovation. But I think that, anxious is the correct word.

Kindly describe your attire for the big day
So, I was very sure that I want to take something Hindustani there (at the Cannes). I was very sure that I won’t be wearing a Tux or any suit. That’s why the whole ‘bandhgala’ outfit, which defines men’s Indian attire. I thought that I should carry something which is an extension of me. that’s why I carried a bit of Uttrakhand, the place where I hail from. Hence, I carried the ‘Aipan motif’ with me. It’s believed that, magpie brings you oodles of luck. Hence there were many magpies on my stole and there was the ‘Aipan’ on my collar. Also, I had a very cute small sword to hold my stole. And that was for the valour of my people. I come from an army background as my father was in the forces. My attire was in dedication to the service rendered by my father and all those the people who are fighting for our country.

Can you recall any memorable experience/s at the Cannes?
t will have to be the seven-minute standing ovation. It was crazy. I was just looking at people looking and then at Anurag sir, because this was very new for me. I have gotten standing ovations in school or college… but seven minutes of standing ovation, oh my goodness!

Coming back to the next question… any funny experience/s at the Cannes?
Funny experience? (laughs) I was just conscious. I think it was very funny. Now I when I look back, I was I was standing straight and walking straight. Hey had certain protocols, and you need to follow those protocols. And since I am Army kid, I am very good at following orders.

Alright, so now that you've come back to India, have you applied for your wife's visa?
Oh, not yet. I really need to collect money as well (laughs). I will want to relive the ‘Caanes-phaad’ experience with my wife.

What memories do you carry back to India?
Lots of love and I realised that there is a world beyond what I what we see what you watch. That’s why I will be watching more films now. I want to understand more nuances as a performer because I really want to work on my craft and want to get better at my craft.

So, after landing in India, when the air hostess must have made the announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to India. You may now SWITCH ON your mobile phones”. Abhilash, even though it’s not rocket science to know whom did you call the moment you switched on the phone. The question here is … what were the first few words you told your wife.
The thing is that, she had written a very beautiful message for me. And it was about my whole journey, how I've been what I've done and what this achievement means to her. She said that I've been very honest with my craft with my performance, it has been a result of hard work.

On the professional front, what is keeping you busy?
There is ‘Maidaan’, which will be releasing next month. This will be followed by Navdeep Singh’s 'Shehar Lakhot' and ‘Aspirants 2’.