BollyNewsUK caught up with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra during their recent promotional trip to London where the actors spoke about their latest release Barfi!, produced by UTV Motion Pictures and directed by Anurag Basu.
In conversation with Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik, the duo talked about the film, their characters and much more.
Welcome to London. Priyanka you have been recording for your international music debut in L.A. and Ranbir you have been filming in Paris recently. How has it been?
Ranbir: I have been filming in Paris. Fortunately, for me I have been filming a part of the movie which did not really require much work. It’s just five minutes of the movie which we shot over ten days. I have been chilling. Now, it’s all about my next film. Barfi! is a film I am very proud to be associated with. I am really, really happy about the way it has turned out. It is a bit like your name, it is sunshine, sunny, happy, and joyful. I am really excited for the audience to see it now.
Priyanka: I was in L.A. like you said but I was not recording. I have completed recording the album. It is over. I was shooting a part of the video for my single In My City featuring will.i.am. It’s a really exciting time for me. Barfi! is a film I am tremendously proud of being associated with. It is not just a beautiful film but it is a part that I have had the opportunity of playing which I would have never ever imagined myself as. I am amazed that Anurag Sir (Director Anurag Basu) even thought that I could play the role.
Ranbir: Don’t be so modest and all! ‘I am amazed that Anurag Sir thought of me’
Priyanka: Yeah, Ranbir would you ever imagine that I would play Jhilmil ?
Ranbir: Of course!
Priyanka: I would have never seen myself like that. Had you ever imagined yourself playing Murphy? Please! I would have never imagined myself playing Jhilmil. It was very scary in the beginning. But, it’s a cool time.
Ranbir, you had your second interaction with UK fans at Feltham recently. How was your experience this time around?
Ranbir: It is always great to come to London and Feltham and see that love and the warmth fans have towards actors and movies. We missed PeeCee as she was travelling. It is amazing and I hope we can reciprocate that love with this film. It is the least we can do for all the fans, give them a good movie and good entertainment and I can bet my bottom dollar that it’s great entertainment. (Laughs)
You play Murphy which you pronounce as Barfi. Your character seems quite naughty but innocent.
Ranbir: He is actually like Charlie Chaplin. He is not innocent at all.
Priyanka: Arre, he is not innocent at all.
Ranbir: The film has this innocence about it but the characters are not innocent. They are all badmaash (naughty). I guess, Shruthi, the character played by Ileana DCruz, you could call her innocent.
Priyanka: I am also innocent.
Ranbir: No, you are not.
Priyanka: How am I badmaash (naughty)? Jhilmil is not badmaash (naughty).
Ranbir: You eat Butteflies and all those things, yaar.
Priyanka: I don’t eat Butterflies. I get scared by them. (laughs)
Priyanka, you play Jhilmil in Barfi! who is autistic. We had Asperger’s Syndrome in My Name Is Khan. What kind of autism are you portraying in Barfi! ?
Priyanka: You know, Autism has a huge range. It can go from extremely non-existent, where you won’t even know that you are autistic, to really severe. Asperger’s is a form of autism. But this is not that at all. When we were researching what we wanted Jhilmil to be and how she would be, she turned into that person by meeting and speaking to a lot of people. That is how she emerged. There is no real reference point to how Jhilmil was. We have not derived her from any reference of any character. Because autism’s range and the range of symptoms is so huge, it can be anything. That is what exactly she is. She has an incredible childlike innocent quality to her. At every given point a human being has multiple emotions within them. There is never an isolated emotion. You don’t only feel angry. You will be angry, stressed and you know six things are happening together. But with Jhilmil, she is pretty isolated with every emotion. If she is feeling love, she will only feel love. If she is feeling anger, she will only be angry. It was beautiful for me because it was really free. I was not conscious of anything or anyone but it took me a little while to get there.
These days a lot of sequels, comedies and remakes are making the ‘100 crore club’ as we call it. Do you think it’s difficult t0 market a film like Barfi! which may not appeal to the masses like other films?
Ranbir: This is actually Dhoom 6.
Priyanka: That you will discover once the film comes out.
Ranbir: You see the cycle in the poster, that is the bike of the future.
Priyanka: It’s the new version of whatever the coolest bike is. What is it? Harley?
Ranbir: Yeah, Harley. This is actually Khali (empty). (Laughs) But this was an important question. You see, marketing a film is very important. The film does not have the trappings of big item songs, action sequences and the traditional Hindi film material to promote. But having said that, it’s very Hindi film where all characters are Indian. The culture is Indian and it is comic.
Priyanka: It is hugely entertaining and so funny.
Ranbir: There is romance, drama, beautiful songs, so we would like to believe it is a very Hindi film but how do we market it? That was a trick me and PeeCee used to discuss. I guess you just have to be honest. It’s a film we both believe in and have given a part of lives to. We now have to go out there and speak about it. We will do that as much as we can but at the end it is the audience. They might watch the trailer or read our interview and they will gauge.
Priyanka: If they feel, they will watch it. The kind response that we have got for the trailer was very encouraging. People have a certain inquisitiveness about the film which is great.
Ranbir: I am not saying that it is path breaking film or will change Hindi cinema. That was never the intention. We were just making a good film and now we are speaking about it. We try to do the best we can to get it out there.
Priyanka: You have to remember the fact that whatever you see in the poster, is in the film. It’s just fun, funny and it has emotions that will make you feel extreme in every possible way.
Ranbir: Umbrellas and cocks flying and all that stuff.
Priyanka: Oh My God, yeah! Lots is happening. (Laughs)
Barfi! is out now in cinemas worldwide.