Just three films old in Bollywood, Sara Ali Khan is considered one of the most promising newcomers and there are no two ways about it. Saif Ali Khan's and Amrita Singh's daughter Sara, who made her Bollywood debut with Abhishek Kapoor's Kedarnath in 2018, is now all set for her next big release - David Dhawan's Coolie No. 1. Excited to be sharing screen space with Varun Dhawan, Sara does feel pressured to be starring in the remake of a '90s classic film but is sure her film has its own charm to offer.
Talking exclusively to PeepingMoon, the actress opened up about her 'effortless chemistry' with Varun and her film's disheartening web release on Amazon Prime Video. Sara also spoke at length about shouldering the responsibility of being tagged as a 'promising newcomer'. Talking about comparisons, she confidently said Varun and she have their 'own chemistry, equation and vibe' that will make their film 'more relevent.
Excerpts from the interview:
Coolie No. 1 trailer & songs received a great response. Was such a tremendous feedback expected?
Truth be told, I wasn't thinking about the response. Now, I am because less than 48 hours for the film to release. But at that time, this was not going on in my mind. We were just doing our work with full hard work and dedication. David (Dhawan) sir always told Varun (Dhawan) and me that if we do our work with honesty and if you have fun and love your work, it will translate on screen. We can't predict validation and response.
You said you never copied Karisma Kapoor for the film. Even then the pressure of being in a classic remake must have been pressuring?
There definitely is pressure. You all must have watched Coolie No. 1 (original) and also liked it. But then you don't gain anything from the pressure. How much ever pressure there is, I cannot do anything about it. There's nothing I can do or say that will mitigate the pressure. The only thing I can do is focus on my work without thinking about the pressure.
Your chemistry with Varun Dhawan looks effortless...
I think the foundation of any friendship is mutual respect. As soon as we met, both of us realized that we are in love with our work. We both give 500% and we both want to give our best. If two people working together have that in common, then they have everything in common. We knew that we had to put in everything for the film and after that, we also started having fun. Now, I am working with Aanand (L. Rai) ji and this is what I feel even on this set. Like lunch break with my team is always so much fun. Aanand ji and I talk about Varun and Varun and I talk about Aanand ji. So when we have work, we focus completely but when we are done with it, they don't even like me talking about work. The foundation of my equation with Varun is mutual respect for each other and our work and after that, all the fun comes.
How is your Coolie No. 1 different?
I think the screenplay and choreography are different. Like the original Husn Hai Suhana was made with many dancers but ours was shot and finished in just one room. Raste Se Jaa Raha Tha was shot with Karisma (Kapoor) wearing a saree on Bombay streets and ours is in fantasy land with me wearing a candy floss dress. Things like costume and all are very different. Even the screenplay and dialogues are adapted in a way to make it more relevant, modern and today. I was 0 years old when this film released, I am 25 today. So, things have changed. Whatever said and done, nobody can be Govinda and Karisma but Varun and I are our own people. Like you said, we have our own chemistry, equation and vibe. So, the film is predicated on that now.
How many times have you seen Amitabh Bachchan's Coolie and Govinda's Coolie?
I have seen both of them, twice.
When did you last travel by outstation trains and use coolies?
Never really used a coolie because whenever I used to travel by trains for school trips, we were not allowed to use a coolie. We were asked to carry our own bags. But just three day back, I was shooting on a railway station and saw some coolies and got very excited. So, Varun Dhawan is the only coolie who has carried my stuff.
This could have been your big Bollywood release in theatres. Is a web release disheartening?
I joined films for the theatre and even my dream has been to watch my own songs in the theatre and dance. I still remember in December 2018 I was watching Kedarnath and Simmba simultaneously and I had purchased the tickets. Of course, I am disheartened. Firstly, as an actor, it is not my decision it is the producer's decision. As an actor it is also my duty to kind of advocate safety and promote what's correct. Today I want the entire family to watch the film together along with their elders and pets. In theatres, that wouldn't have been possible so now watch it in your homes, what else do I say?
Three films old and you’re considered a promising newcomer. How do you plan to reciprocate to the given responsibility?
Not really because I understand that these tags and appreciations are all temporary. You liked my first film and called me promising, you did not like the next one, you said exposed. Then you liked my third film, you said she is good but you didn't like the fourth one and said re-exposed. So, this will go on. Not like I have made a permanent mark, every Friday is a new mark. Every time there's a release, you are leaving yourself open for new tags and opinions being made or broken about you so you cannot be attached to them. You just have to keep your head down and keep working and hope that you keep getting the opportunity to keep working. Honestly, that's how it is!