Ever since she made her acting debut with Rockstar (2011), Nargis Fakhri has been trying to make a mark for herself in Bollywood. Currently, she has two big-ticket projects — one, a sequel to a successful franchise, and another, a biopic — in her kitty. But trying to get better with every film has been a constant in her career so far. Here, she talks about following her gut, growing as an actor, and more.
How much have you changed, as an actor, since your debut?
I have not transformed myself. I am still the same person. I have just learnt more through the years. It was like going to school. In kindergarten, you are new, and you don’t know much. But as the years go by, and as you learn more, you realise that you will never be the same person you were in kindergarten. Similarly, I’ve learnt a lot, and I make sure I implement all that in my work.
What are these learnings?
Bollywood has taught me way too much. But one big thing I’ve learnt is that I should always be myself. Stay strong and stand by your morals, and you shall prevail. No two people’s journeys are the same, so why should their approach be the same? I trust my gut. I listen to myself, and do what feels right to me, not what others think and tell me to do. Taking feedback is different, but if I had listened to everything others had said, I wouldn’t have been here.
Bollywood is quite clearly divided into clans. How have you been managing?
I’m not part of any clan. I don’t feel the need to be in one. If, one day, I feel very comfortable with a group of people, and I make them part of my life and vice versa, then, I guess, you can say that we are part of a ‘clan’. But, for now, I seem to be doing fine on my own. More than anything else, I feel that having a support system is needed, and that is something I miss at times.
You recently starred in an American movie. Are you open to doing more work internationally?
Yes, I am. I would like to experience everything because we only have one life. I want to enjoy and make the most of my journey.
You are part of the third instalment of the Housefull franchise. Since the earlier films did well at the box office, are you feeling any kind of pressure?
I am very comfortable, especially since everyone on the sets is so much fun, including the directors (Sajid Samji and Farhad Samji). Honestly, it is a dream team, which I am so glad to be part of.
You are also doing the Mohammad Azharuddin biopic. How are you preparing for it?
It’s a tough film, because it is based on real-life experiences. Luckily, I’ve had some prep time to get to know my character better. I made sure I sat with a coach and the director (Tony D’Souza) to understand what the story and my character are all about. Plus, working with someone on my dialogue is a must for me.
Do you feel the industry is finally taking you seriously?
I would not know. I take whatever I do seriously, so that is most important to me. Since the day I arrived [in the city], I have been getting work, so that must mean that I’m doing something right. And with each project, I grow to become better. When you start from nothing, you can never go back; you can only move forward.