The idea of a man falling in love with a robot might seem unusual, but given the rapid advancements in technology, it’s becoming an increasingly plausible scenario. According to Kriti Sanon, who plays a humanoid robot called Sifra in her upcoming film Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya, having a robot companion works in favour because you can simply turn it on or off and upgrade to newer versions if you grow bored. On the other hand, Shahid Kapoor who plays Aryan and falls in love with the robot argues that a man’s life already becomes significantly more technical after marriage, so introducing a robot companion wouldn’t make much of a difference. The press conference of the upcoming film Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya was filled with such humorous banter between the lead cast who were visiting Dubai as part of their promotional tour. Adding an unexpected twist to the event was the appearance of the first humanoid, Sophia, specially transported from Hong Kong for the occasion, to engage with the media.
Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya is a sci-fi romantic comedy, where an unconventional romance blossoms between Aryan and Sifra and how a series of misunderstandings unfolds when she meets his family.
City Times got an opportunity to speak to the exciting lead cast of this unusual film. Here are the excerpts.
Can you share any special preparations that you did for playing the role of a humanoid robot?
I won’t say that I went through any rigorous training for the role, but I was super conscious during the shooting because I had to maintain a strong balance between not being too human or being too robotic. You know while playing such characters you always second guess yourself and you rely a lot on your director, and I think together we found that balance. I would always joke with Shahid that he gets to give so many expressions while I could not even if I wanted to.
If you had the power to add certain mechanical qualities in your man, what would those be?
Whenever anyone asks me about the qualities I would want in my man, I share a never ending list with them. And then in the end my friends just give up and say ‘No wonder you are single!’. At least, dating a robot hypothetically would mean that you can customise all that you need in that one person. You can switch it on and off when needed and you can upgrade to the newer version if you get bored. And if the robot is as close to human as Sifra, then there are strong chances that I may just end up with a robot.
Kriti Sanon, Shahid Kapoor, and Dinesh Vijan
Shahid believes that in this film, you outperformed him in dancing. What would be your response?
Dancing with him wasn’t easy for me either, given his impressive dance skills that I’ve witnessed over the years. He’s precise, skilled, and makes it all look so easy. But independently speaking, dancing has always been a passion of mine, even before I discovered my acting abilities. It’s my first love, really. I trained in Kathak, as my mom thought it would be good to have a solid foundation in dance since I enjoyed it so much.
Do you think that the concept of stardom and fandom has changed since the time you were young and now when you are one of the stars?
I have observed over time that the concept of sincere stardom and fandom is diminishing. And, it has a lot to do with the star’s accessibility nowadays. There was a time when sighting a star or watching a shooting and spotting a star was a big thing. Now everything is there on social media and stars themselves are posting their whereabouts. No place or occasion is spared. So that era of stars being unattainable is long gone. Today, the stars and the fans are there, but the intensity is not the same because of the overdose.
Your relationship with dancing goes a long way back. How was it to wear the dancing shoes after a long break?
I was saying this earlier somewhere that the films I did in the past eight to nine years did not have any dance number. I think the last filmi dance I did was in the film R…Rajkumar. So, after a long hiatus, I found myself dancing again, while Kriti has been doing it quite consistently in her films. Naturally, I was somewhat nervous. During our dance, she admitted to feeling nervous too. However, my challenges were unique, stemming from taking such a long break from dancing. The film’s music is truly enjoyable, and I had a great time shooting the songs. I hadn’t noticed the intensity of my dance had caused my pants to rip until we spotted it in one of the promotional stills we chose. Thankfully, our outstanding post-production team concealed it like it never happened.
We are practically living out of our cell phones. As a father, do technological advancements scare you?
As a parent or even as an individual, I see that everyone around us is in a steady relationship with technology. I keep wondering where this is going to go when my kids will turn twenty. The worst thing is the obsession to identify with the façade or the image that they have created on social media and that doesn’t allow them to be authentic. You see so many kids today who know exactly what to wear and how to look. They have got all that on point and they are so independent from an early age. It has taken away the innocence a tad too soon.
They say the world is torn between the two dancing doyens of Hindi cinema, Sridevi and Madhuri. Which camp did you belong to?
When it comes to dance, I have always admired and appreciated both. They are the ones who were on top of their game. They both did very differently, and they both had an iconic way of doing it. You will never be able to appreciate Madhuri Dixit if there was no Sridevi ji. I was fortunate to perform with Sridevi live on stage and she had an unmatched style of engaging with the audience. For me they are like day and night, or two sides of the coin. Their work will always be relevant and in a way they both completed each other.
Critics share a view that there are few takers for rom-coms these days and the kind of films that are working today are action-based films. What are your thoughts about this?
A film takes at least a year or a little more than that to be made. The dynamics, preferences and the economic situation change a lot during this span. If the stars and production houses start chasing these statistics that are ever-changing, then there will be no creativity or experimentation left and everyone will get busy with run-of-the-mill stuff. The formula has always been very simple. If it is a good film, it will work and will find a place in people’s hearts. And if it is not, then no amount of PR activities can salvage a bad film. Thirty years ago, If the makers kept on making action films only then we wouldn’t have had DDLJ.
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