Athiya Shetty, who made her debut last year with Hero, will next be seen in her first multi-starrer, Mubarakan. Talking about being part of an ensemble cast, she says, “It’s just about how you project your role.” HT Café catches up with the young actor at a suburban eatery. Excerpts from the interview
How important is screen time for you?
I feel that if you’re confident about what you are doing and your character [in a movie], and if you have done your homework and have worked hard towards it, then it (screen time) doesn’t really matter. In today’s day and age, you have films such as Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), which are not particularly about one or two integral characters. They are about ensemble casts. So being part of a multi-starrer doesn’t make me insecure. At the end of the day, you can appear on the screen for five minutes or for an hour, but the impact [one makes] depends on you.
Does it bother you when people talk more about your sense of style than your choice of films?
Honestly, I have not really gotten enough chance to prove my acting skills yet, because I have only done one film so far. So, I don’t blame them. In the near future, when I am given that opportunity, hopefully, there will be a shift. I don’t make a conscious effort about being a fashionista (laughs). That is not my mindset at all. It’s not my priority. Acting is and will always be my priority. I want to better myself as an actor, more than anything else. Fashion is something that just happened. I don’t think about it, honestly.
Which fashion icons inspire you?
Kendall Jenner. I think the clothes don’t carry her, she carries her clothes. She is really confident in whatever she wears – no matter what shape or size. Everybody has a different body type. As long as you are confident and dress according to your body type, you can carry off anything, no matter who you are.
Whose fashion choices do you admire from Bollywood?
Nowadays, everybody is so fashionable and has a great team and stylist. Everyone dresses well.
What’s your take on reports that have compared you to Sonam Kapoor? Do you take that as a compliment?
Sonam is a really sweet and warm person. Whenever I have read her interviews, I have found her to be honest and upfront. There can only be one Sonam Kapoor. As for comparisons, I don’t take those comments too seriously. I admire her as an actor and for the person she is. She obviously has a great fashion sense and has proved that time and again.
We have heard that you are superstitious. Is it true?
Yes. I am even wearing a kala dhaga (black thread) on my hand. I have about 100 evil eyes (accessories) too. I am superstitious. I say thoo thoo thoo (a practise to ward off evil) after anyone says anything nice. I remember once I didn’t cross the path because a black cat had crossed my way, and I had an exam that same day. I don’t walk under a ladder, or open an umbrella in a room. I have always been superstitious.
Who have you imbibed your superstitious nature from?
I don’t know… My nani and my mum do this thoo thoo thoo practise. I don’t even know what it is. It has just passed on