Kriti Sanon talks about Adipurush and the process
- In your repertoire of films, you have played contemporary roles, rooted characters from the heartland of India, and even period roles, withAdipurush you will be seen as Janaki (Maa Sita), the Goddess. Could you imagine playing the part? What was that first thought that came to your mind when you were offered this role?
Portraying a character as revered as Sita Maa is an extraordinary privilege that rarely presents itself in an actor’s career! And I’m truly grateful to Om and Bhushan Sir for entrusting me with this remarkable role. The opportunity to bring Janaki to life on the big screen is accompanied by a profound sense of excitement and an immense sense of responsibility. I believe we don’t choose our films and characters. The films and characters choose us. I was meant to play Janaki and I feel blessed that Janaki chose me.
- Was there a pressure to essay the part in a certain way because Sita is someone people worship, and you cannot go wrong in anyway while portraying this mythological character?
Certainly, portraying the character of Janaki (Sita) comes with a tremendous amount of pressure and responsibility. As a figure deeply revered and worshipped by millions, there is an inherent expectation to portray her with utmost respect and authenticity. Understanding her significance in the hearts and minds of people, I have approached this role with great care and diligence along with a lot of love and respect in my heart. Every aspect of her character, from her pure loving heart to her virtues to her unwavering strength to her immense faith in Lord Ram – understanding Janaki has been a beautiful journey. Om, my director, has guided me at every step and the kind of knowledge he has about the Ramayana, I knew he’d never let me go wrong.
- Did you take up workshops or do long discussions with the film’s director Om Raut who was so invested in the project? How did you understand your part?
I had extensive discussions and workshops with Om. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a lot of clarity. He has possibly read everything available on Ramayana and he had a clear vision of how he wanted to present the characters and the story. We delved into the nuances of the character of Janaki, studying the various interpretations, and did many readings.
- How much time did it take for Kriti Sanon to transform into a Janaki?
The transformation into Janaki was not just about the physical aspects but also about internalizing the essence of the character. It took a considerable amount of time and effort to immerse myself in Janaki’s persona, to understand her emotional journey, and her virtues and to bring her to life on screen. It was a meticulous process that involved rehearsals, multiple sittings not only on the look and attire but also understanding the historical and mythological context of the character.
- Earlier you have been a part of films likeBhediyaand Panipat, which were high on computer graphics, Adipurush too is high on VFX, but how different is it from the other two? How was the experience shooting for this film, which is too heavy on its VFX?
This is the first film that I’ve fully shot on a blue screen. Since we shot the entire film in studios, I used to jokingly tell Om that it’s my biggest film that I’m shooting on the smallest set. Honestly, it did throw me off the first few days because even though there were sketches of what it would look like, everything is left to the imagination. There’s barely any ambiance to feel or play with. So it was a huge learning experience for me to adapt to this style of filmmaking. The scale and magnitude of VFX in Adipurush are massive. It’s gonna be a visually spectacular experience.
- For someone who has done acting across genres and performed roles with layers, was there a particular scene inAdipurushthat tested your skill as an actor?
As an actor, every role presents its own set of challenges and opportunities for growth. In Adipurush, it’s hard to pick a particular scene because there were so many scenes that tested my skills as an actor, particularly the emotional and dramatic moments that required me to tap into the depth of Janaki’s character. Portraying the complexities and nuances of Janaki’s emotions was a fulfilling and demanding experience that pushed me to explore new facets of the craft. From body language to the dialect, everything had to belong to a different era and yet be believable.
- Everyone is saying that the film is not just a film, but an emotion, how would you sum up your experience of working on this project?
Working on this project in itself is an extraordinary and deeply fulfilling experience. As rightly said, Adipurush is not just a cinematic venture but an emotion that resonates with millions of people. Being a part of such a culturally significant project has been humbling and has enriched my understanding of our Indian culture and heritage. The passion and dedication of the entire team, the captivating story, and the grandeur of the project have made this an unforgettable experience. It has been a privilege to be a part of a film that touches people’s hearts and evokes such strong emotions.
My heart sinks when any film of mine comes to an end, but the last day on the set of Janaki hit me harder. I just didn’t want to let her go and was extremely emotional that day.
- How was it working with your co-star Prabhas who’s a pan-Indian actor and enjoys stardom worldwide? Was he easy to get along with?
It was an absolute pleasure working with Prabhas. I had heard that he was extremely shy and didn’t talk much. But somehow we instantly got along and I actually saw a very talkative side to him. He is incredibly grounded and very warm and respectful. He has super expressive eyes and a calm demeanor and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Raghav.
- What went behind portraying Raghava and Janaki on screen, Ram-Sita is considered an ideal Jodi and is worshiped in our country. What did it take to bring about that equation on screen?
For me, It was essential to understand the depth of their love, respect, and unwavering devotion toward each other. The scenes were beautifully written and Om guided us throughout to bring out the nuances of their equation on screen. Additionally, I feel when as actors you are comfortable around each other, the give and take is better and that translates onto the screen.
- Prabhas is a man of few words. Unlike you, he is known to be this reserved person on set. How did you break the ice and got along through the shoot?
I had heard he was reserved and initially, he did come across as shy. But there wasn’t much ice to break. I just casually started talking about how my first film was a Telugu film and it’s tough to act in a language that I didn’t know. And he just opened up and started talking. He has a very positive and happy vibe on set and it’s been a lovely experience shooting with him.
- Which one is your favorite personality from Ramayana and why?
Each character in the Ramayana carries profound lessons and insights into various aspects of life, morality, and spirituality, leaving us with timeless wisdom! From Prabhu Shri Ram’s unwavering commitment towards righteousness to Sita Ma’s virtues of patience, sacrifice, and inner strength to Hanuman ji’s boundless devotion, selflessness, and unwavering service to Lord Rama and Laxman’s virtues of selflessness, sacrifice, and the importance of fulfilling responsibilities. Each has something to offer, however, what has imbibed in me and I have grown to love even more now is Sita because I got to rediscover her ideals and morals through the film.
- All the temple visits during the promotions and the whole experience of shooting a historical film brought you close to spirituality. Please elaborate.
As an actor, I have always had a deep connection with spirituality, and it has been an integral part of my life. The process of shooting a film like Adipurush further deepened that connection. Visiting various temples during the promotions and being surrounded by the essence of devotion and faith was a humbling experience that brought me closer to the cultural and spiritual heritage of our country.