Popular television personality and actress Gauahar Khan will be showing off her versatility in Punjabi film Oh Yaara Ainvayi Ainvayi Lut Gaya, which will be in cinemas on Friday (22).
The multi-talented star worked hard to make her Punjabi cinematic debut and has attempted full-on comedy for the first time in the hilarious story of a warring couple.
When Eastern Eye caught up with Gauahar on the promotional trail of the film, she was feeling quietly confident and happy with the positive response the trailer has received. She talked about working on the film, learning a new language, her fan base and the Punjabi quality she has adopted.
How did you end up deciding to do a Punjabi film?
The director of the film, Raj Sinha, approached me and gave me a narration. When I heard the story I just couldn’t believe how entertaining it was. After hearing the story I was wondering how it would be if it was made into a film. Second, the character that I play is so exciting for any actor. I’m sure if it was not me anyone else would have jumped on this opportunity. The character is so much fun to play.
What can you tell us about the character?
(Laughs) She is crazy and absolutely nuts. She is today’s girl who has modern kind of problems and she makes the silliest mistakes. The audience will definitely fall in love with her. I couldn’t say no when the part was offered to me. If the script was being made in any other language, I would have said yes then too. Punjabi cinema is being really progressive now and people are looking at it from an international kind of perspective, so I said, why not.
Tell us a little about the story?
It’s an urban story about these two people who are completely crazy in their own way. It is the story of how they meet – it is pre-love, post love and post marriage. It’s about the little differences in people’s lives, things that people take so seriously, but actually they are quite small. What we are trying to focus on is how these trivial topics can actually end up in court when people’s egos take importance over the love they share. But we are conveying the message in a very light-hearted way. Overall it is a very entertaining film that has comedy, love and romance. I’ve seen it and can tell you it’s got some really brilliant performances. I’m really excited about the movie.
You must have loved the positive response the trailer for the film has had?
You know, it’s really amazing that it is getting noticed. Many people don’t think it looks like a Punjabi film and are comparing it to a commercial Bollywood film, especially with the quality it has been shot with. When I saw the trailer, I knew this was a full-on masala entertainer and could very well be a Bollywood film. I’m really excited about the response.
Was learning Punjabi the biggest challenge of being in the film?
The language wasn’t a problem at all. My co-actor Jassi (Gill) really helped me out. He made sure that when I went to shoot it, I knew the language. Now I can speak it fluently – I just addressed a press conference all by myself in Punjabi. I’m not really good at it, but I can confidently state that I can speak Punjabi. The language was not the issue, but I was just little nervous about being accepted.
I know Punjabi people are very sensitive about the language because sometimes outsiders don’t do justice to it. That is the reason I have actually dubbed the film myself. That was my first condition to the director, that I would learn the language and dub myself. He said, ‘are you sure you can do that?’ and I said, ‘yes, if I don’t do that I’m not doing the film.’ I’m glad I did that and hope people see the effort from me to try and be in the zone as much as I honestly can.
As an actor, how did you find doing comedy?
This is the first time I am attempting comedy. All my other roles have been really serious. After the trial show, I received a really positive response from everyone including the director. They all really enjoyed the funny dialogues, but for me, the funniest scene was where I don’t actually say a word. (Laughs) All the emotions are conveyed through a wide array of expressions and even I was laughing really loudly. So yes, comedy is fun to do. It was something I’ve discovered within myself and I want to get better at it. But it is not difficult for me, I enjoy comedy.
Do you have a favourite moment in the movie?
Asjad, I am so attached to this film and feel blessed as an actor to have found it. There are a lot of scenes that made me crack up and I’m sure you will laugh too. If you laughed in the trailer, you will love the film. There’s this one scene in the crematorium. It is supposed to be really sad, but you will end up laughing. That is one of my favourite comedy scenes in the film. But my absolute favourite moment is the climax – it is something nobody is gonna expect.
Have you adopted any Punjabi qualities?
(Laughs) Yes, I have become this crazy food maniac and keep smelling daal makhani. I can smell it a mile away. Now I have become really picky and choosy about my Punjabi food. It has to be perfect. If the restaurant doesn’t serve the perfect daal makhani, I am going to let them know. So I’ve become a Punjabi food connoisseur.
What’s the plan now for you? Is it film or TV?
I love television, which allows me to be me. But I love being an actor the most. I’m just really glad that I’ve been accepted in both. I have another film in post-production and I’m hoping it is released soon, inshallah. I have signed one more film, but I can’t say too much about that right now.
It seems like you’re working all the time. Do you get time for yourself?
No I don’t, I swear. But I’m not complaining at all. This is what I have worked for all my life. It’s true that I’ve been working every single day since Bigg Boss, I have not had a single day where I have had a proper break. When I do get time, I just want to rest (that has become one of the little pleasures of life). But if you want something you have to work hard, so I am not complaining and am really grateful.
Have you got used to all the attention you get?
It’s great when you get a lot of love. But sometimes, after what happened to me [she was assaulted by an audience member during a show], I do get a little scared in big crowds. I sometimes feel like I just want to rush out of there. There was a time where I used to go into a crowd freely, but now I feel aware at all times. But yes, I enjoy the attention and I love meeting the fans.
Would you like to give a message to your fans?
You know, I must have done something good in my life that I’ve been given such wonderful people who love me so much. It’s about the little things they like about me that I don’t even know, which really touches me. I don’t know how I got so lucky and try to think of ways to give the love back. I want to tell them, you should not pay attention to the few who try to be negative towards me. Chill out, relax and spread love. Be good, be amazing and it’s not about being bad to people who are bad, just smile and let them be. Please watch Oh Yaara Ainvayi Ainvayi Lut Gaya and let me know what you think.
Finally, what inspires you now?
People who have struggled in their lives really inspire me. I too have worked hard and struggled for so many years. There was a point when I thought that nothing would happen for me, but I kept going and knew Allah would give me a way somewhere. I was able to make my dreams come true on my own. So I have gratitude towards everything that I have. That inspires me to do that much more and not give up, ever. I want to keep going on and like I said, I never want to complain. What inspires me is knowing the Almighty will guide me to the right path and to do better than before.
Oh Yaara Ainvayi Ainvayi Lut Gaya is in cinemas now.