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Ananya Panday: Shakun has made me an independent actor

When filmmaker Shakun Batra approached Ananya Panday, only two films old then, for Gehraiyaan, the actor was surprised. “When he called me, I said, ‘I’ll do anything.’ I just wanted to work with Shakun,” she recollects. However, her initial excitement turned into doubts when she read the script of the noir relationship drama. “I was not expecting it to be such a complex film. But once I lived with it for some time, I felt that I had to do it,” she recounts.

Gehraiyaan, also starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhairya Karwa, studies infidelity and betrayal through two modern-day couples. Panday walked the fine line between naiveté and maturity as she portrayed Tia, whose fiancé cheats on her with her cousin. Her performance has earned her a place in the Best Supporting Actor: Film category at the mid-day and Radio City Hitlist OTT Awards. “The character is a little older than I am in real life. Also, she was going through something that I’ve never personally experienced. I was nervous about how I would make it believable, and have a sense of maturity while playing it,” says the actor, who then found an able guide in her director.

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Batra held multiple workshops with the actors before shooting the film. “We had a lot of conversations, did many workshops and readings. So, by the time I reached the set, I felt prepared. Shakun helped me break away from the [stereotypical notions] of acting, and tap into something internal. He has made me much more independent as an actor.”

Cast your vote for the Hitlist OTT Awards

Ananya Panday has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor (Female): Film category for Gehraiyaan. The other nominees are:

>> Bhumi Pednekar (Govinda Naam Mera)
>> Juhi Chawla (Sharmaji Namkeen)
>> Radhika Apte (Monica O My Darling)
>> Shefali Shah (Darlings)
>> Swastika Mukherjee (Qala)
There are 16 categories that the public can vote in. Log on to to cast your vote.
Voting lines close on February 22.

More about Gehraiyaan
It is Shakun Batra’s third movie after Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, and Kapoor & Sons. 

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