We got talking to Khuda Haafiz actress Aahana Kumra about her film, which hits the OTT platform today. The actress is quite excited and shares all about her experience of shooting for the film.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Khuda Haafiz released today. How excited are you?
I am pretty excited. This is my first film in the year and having three releases lined up, I feel it's been a good lockdown for me. I am grateful to the universe as my play, which is called One On One Unlocked, also released today.
The year has proven to be good for you in terms of work...
I guess so. This really shows if you work hard, relentlessly and continuously you get the benefit.
We see you're doing action scenes in the film again and we hear that you have done major stunts by yourself?
Khuda Haafiz is a film about the man Sameer who sends his wife to work overseas and she gets abducted and then the entire film premises the chase and hunt for finding his wife and authorities help in that country. It's a country in the middle east and I play an officer. The film is loosely based on real people. Our director Faruq had written some years ago and he was trying to make it. My character in the film is Samina Tamena Hamid, and she is an arabic cop. So I am speaking in Arabic. There is a lot of action in the film, still I would not say it's an out and out action. I really got to learn action and perform my own stunts. Also, I got an opportunity to learn Arabic which is a very difficult language.
How much time did you take to learn Arabic and how did you do that?
I didn't take too long as I was the last person to be cast for the film. I got a week's time before I flew down to Uzbekistan to shoot the film. I was immediately put on diction training and I was trained by Noman, who teaches Arabic at the University of Mumbai. He would come to my home, and I trained for almost three hours for the entire week. He also told me how the Arabs speak and I had to learn to speak Hindi in the Arabi accents. It's a very difficult language to learn because of certain sounds and how the words are pronounced. So, it took me a while to get a hang of it. I had voice notes from him and I would refer to them for every scene. Also Faruk Kabir, our director helped me as during readings he used to often speak Hindi in Arabic accent with me and Shiv Pandit.
You had an opportunity to work with Vidyut Jammwal. Did the action hero help you to learn any action scenes?
I didn't know Vidyut at all before we started shooting and I think we knew him as Commando as that is something he has created for himself and has a franchise for Commando. So the minute he walked in for reading I was like 'oh the commando is here.' He is a really nice guy and I have finally become friends with Vidyut. He looks out for you. The best thing about him is he will always have advice or tips while practicing our sequences. Vidyut is really the action star in India. He is really good with his body. He is somebody who has not built his body overnight. He has taken a lot of time to build his body and that to being a vegetarian.
In this film, he is trying to break away from the image of being only an action hero. This is different because the film does not really show him as an action hero but the audience will get to see his acting progress as it's a human story and he has worked extremely hard for the film. The location we were shooting was not easy and he was required in each and every scene. So, there is a lot of work he has put in. What is most wonderful about Vidyut is he makes his actresses look good. If you see any of the Commando franchises, he has made all her actresses look good. And he always says that my girls should look powerful and sexy. It feels good to see an actor who looks out for his female counterparts and wants them to stand out. After every scene he has a compliment for you. I remember when one day I was performing my action sequence, he came on the set and was watching me and said just be careful haan ladke jab word action sunte hain na to thode pagal ho jaate hain. To agar isne tujhe dhara na to tu bhi ek laga dena (laughs).
Image Source:- instagram/aahanakumra
Image Source:- instagram/aahanakumra
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