Amyra Dastur says her off screen image often makes directors underestimate her: 'I say listen I have done it'
Amyra Dastur, who stars in Jogi, talks about her role in the Diljit Dosanjh-starrer and her career so far.
Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Jogi released last Friday to critical acclaim and praise from viewers. The film, which tells a fictional story set around the anti-Sikh violence in Delhi in 1984, has been applauded for its realism and sensitivity. Apart from the intense and often violent setting, Jogi has a romantic subplot which feeds into the titular character’s back story. Amyra Dastur plays Kammo, Jogi’s love interest in the film. In an exclusive interaction, the actor opens up about why she said yes to the film despite a small role, and what drew her to her character. (Also Read | Diljit Dosanjh was very sombre: Ali Abbas Zafar on Jogi's hair cutting scene; told crew 'lock your cameras, leave')
In Jogi, Amyra’s character Kammo is Jogi’s college mate and later girlfriend. The character appears largely in one single flashback in the middle of the movie, centred around the song Tafriyan. The actor says she had no reservations about taking up a small role. “I have never been somebody who thinks like that. I feel that people will remember even a one-minute role if it’s impactful. So, my issues would never be about screen time or amount of lines. My entire focus would be on the impact of the role itself. It should leave the audience with that memory. I have never wanted to be a wallflower.”
Talking about her character in the film, Amyra says, “I just loved Kammo completely. She is really fun, fearless. It was a sweet story featuring this sweet interaction that happens between both these characters. I have never played a character like this, who is so absolutely free and happy. For me, that was a very big draw.” And of course, the film’s setting and plot was an added advantage, Amyra adds. “The entire story of Jogi captured my attention because of how amazingly that three friends bond together and face adversity at that time. It was a very touching story. Right after the narration itself, I said I really want to be a part of this film in any way I can,” she adds.
In Jogi, Amyra plays a middle-class East Delhi girl from the early 1980s. In her other films too, she has played diverse roles, very different from her vibrant social media persona and glam image. The actor says her off screen image has often raised doubts about her acting capabilities but she takes it in her stride. “There have always been doubts but I always ask for auditions to show them my scope of work as well,” says Amyra. “I say listen I have done it. I have played a village girl and a badass character as well. You can’t say you can’t do it.”
But with her determination to not be a wallflower in a film comes the caveat of having to say no to big films at times. The actor laughs and replies, “It is very difficult because you can’t offend anyone also. If you say no nicely and politely, it’s ok. You would probably cite date reasons. That is how everyone says no. You just have to be very smart about it. You don’t have to offend anybody. It’s more about your personal choice not aligning with someone, which is ok.”
Jogi also stars Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, Kumud Mishra, and Hiten Tejwani. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film is currently streaming on Netflix.