Anupriya Goenka says Mukesh Bhatt told her: ‘Beti, you remind me of Smita Patil’ | Web Series - Hindustan Times

Anupriya Goenka says Mukesh Bhatt told her: ‘Beti, you remind me of Smita Patil’

Oct 13, 2023 06:13 AM IST

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Anupriya Goenka talks about her new show Sultan of Delhi, her career in showbiz and much more.

Anupriya Goenka talks about the challenges of working with filmmaker Milan Luthria on their new project, Sultan of Delhi. The show releases on Disney+ Hotstar on Thursday. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, the actor also opened up on her Bollywood debut, her experience of shooting the Telugu film Pathshala, and much more. (Also read: Anupria Goenka says she was ‘scarred’ after a spiritual leader tried to take advantage of her when she was 18)

An exclusive interview with Anupriya Goenka.
An exclusive interview with Anupriya Goenka.

Anupriya on Milan's filmmaking style

Talking about the tough parts of working on the show, Anupriya said, “The lines are very commercial, bombastic lines….they have been written in a meter. I grew as an actor in that area. Before this, I have done very conversational lines so I was like ‘oh my god, how to make it natural’, in the beginning. Also, my tryst was not to play the character like the typical vamp we have often seen in cinema. It took me two and a half hours to get ready on sets every day. Then, I was also scared of making mistakes.”

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Anupriya also said, "More than anybody else, the only person who had a celeb presence was Milan sir. We grew up watching his films, he has made so many films. He has this way of making completely flamboyant and commercial cinema with realistic and grounded characters.

Anupriya's vampish role

Talking about her role in the new Disney+ Hotstar show, Anupriya said, “It is a very layered character. She is someone in the 60s, someone who has been misused by men and she now wants to get a seat on the table and decide on things. She does not shy away from using her sexuality, she does not want to be in the shadow of men. This is my first negative character and I was in awe of her. I kept trying to find a back story, reasons for her to be like this. It was difficult for me to empathise with her.”

Anupriya also revealed how working on the show made her less judgemental. “I could become less judgemental as I realised I do not need that justification and backstory (that I was trying to find). Men do that all the time, and I do not feel like looking for explanations for them. But, here I was trying to make her righteous. Only after some time, I figured out that she can be allowed to be herself, even if it is bad. I grew a lot (working on the character).”

‘Troubled’ experience of working on Pathshala

Recalling her first Hindi film, Bobby Jasoos, Anupriya said Vidya Balan and producer Dia Mirza helped her navigate the film industry as a fresher. “It was my first Hindi film. I had already shot two Telugu films before that. One of them went fine, but mai pareshan ho gai thi (I was troubled) with that experience of working on the other one. The shooting for Pathshala went on for 10 months. Though, it was the one where I was looking forward to having more of an ‘arty experience’. It was my first film that I ever shot, and the way it was executed (was disturbing).”

Bollywood debut

Anupriya then recalled that Pathshala was shot in Hyderabad and soon enough, the shooting for Bobby Jasoos took her back to the same streets and houses in Hyderabad. “How uncanny! The best thing about working on Bobby Jasoos would be Vidya Balan. I have always been a Vidya fan, Samar (director Samara Shaikh) was a beautiful collaborator to work with and Dia as an actor-producer was very helpful. She knew how to bridge that gap between actors and producers, and she also gave me that space ….she made me feel 'we are here, we've got you'. It was a lovely experience because of Vidya and Dia.”

'Always had a Plan B'

Anupriya also said that she never had the extra stress of not getting films. “I started right working after school. Helped my dad and family. I had already shifted my family to a new house in Mumbai when I left my job, on a whim. I was very clear that I need to put food on the table, I knew I will stop acting if that is not happening. Commercial acting started because of that. I was just floating. Of course, there is anxiety, there is fear, but I never set a target and always had a plan B. I was never too desperate.” She added that she kept up her hard work, and by god's grace, she kept getting work, primarily in ads.

Playing psycho killer in a new film

Asked about her role of a psycho killer in Vinay Pathak's film Gabbar, Anupriya said, “I loved it, it is very well made. Vikram Kochar and Rajeev Thakur are also a part of it. I have done such righteous characters (in my career till now), so I wanted to explore darker characters. The film is in a comic space, despite being dark. It is interesting - she is comical, over the top, fun, bubbly, and a psycho killer. There is a story within a story within a story.”

She added, “While working on the film, I used to ask Vinay to remind me if I goof up. ‘I am just going to have fun, you must stop and remind me if I get too loud with the acting’, I'd tell him.”

Compared to Smita Patil

Anupriya also recalled the one time she got to meet filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt and he said she reminded him of his close friend, Smita Patil. “I met Mukesh Bhatt a long time ago. I had not done much work at the time and Smita Patil has been my inspiration for the longest time. He told me that I remind him of her ‘beti you remind me of a close friend. Something about you reminds me of Smita Patil’. I was surprised, I am not deserving of it but getting that compliment from someone like him (was overwhelming)."

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    Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues.

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