Netflix’s ‘Guilty’ Has Been One of My Best Experiences: Kiara 

Netflix’s ‘Guilty’ releases on 6 March.

Published06 Mar 2020, 11:27 AM IST
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4 min read

Ahead of the release of Netflix’s new film Guilty, The Quint spoke to Kiara Advani and director Ruchi Narain on making the film, doing workshops and why working with OTT platforms is liberating.

Kiara, I want to start by asking you that your last outing on Netflix Lust Stories, is actually what changed the trajectory for you, right? And the way people have kind of looked at you. And now you’re back with Netflix again. What was that period like?

Kiara Advani: Amazing. And it was also the time Netflix had just about come to India and everyone was really excited because we finally had that platform. I remember, earlier my brother went to college in the US. I remember I would keep bugging him and being like, “Give me your password, give me your password!” because I wanted to watch content. It was the first time when you had mainstream directors and actors take that plunge and basically get into the OTT platform. So, in many ways it felt like a first and not just for me, and as you said, it had changed the game for me as an actor.

Because you wouldn’t have imagined, right? A short on an OTT platform.

Kiara Advani: Yeah, I didn’t. A 25-minute film to get me that kind of appreciation. But I think it just so liberating to work on a platform which allows you that creative freedom. And I feel, for me, it has been one of my best experiences. I was thinking today. I was like, I have worked on a film like Guilty and there are so many things that... I mean, I wish sometimes we would have that in all our films. But the kind of experience you get when you can just creatively be, and you don’t have that restriction of certain things.

You said that your character is rebellious, and you have said, “I can’t identify with that person because I would never behave like that. I never went out of my way.”

Kiara Advani: I have this habit of wanting to be like the ‘teacher’s pet’. Like, I want to be correct. Always. And I actually discovered this when we were doing workshops. In fact, that was my question to Ruchi, because when she narrated the story to me, “I was like this is so exciting but this is not me. So, what made you think of me as an actor to pull this off?”

She said, “That’s why I want you because no one is going to expect to see you like that.” But I feel it’s like an alter ego. Maybe that side is somewhere inside me. Like, the whole mask that Nanki wears, the tattoos, the hair, the piercings, everything. It’s just so far away from who I am. And, when we were sitting and when we started preparing, we first started with how should Nanki look. Who is this girl and why is she like this. And I think, I was like oh my God it’s gonna be so cool! We’re going to have these cool clothes. And then she’s like, “So, we’re going to colour the hair white,” and I was like guys no. I literally did that.

Ruchi Narain: And Kiara was like “I don’t think I have ever worked and prepared so much for anything before.” Now, when I go into another film I’m like “When are we going to prepare?” They’re like “We will do readings” and I’m like “We have to prepare, it’s such an interesting format.”

My final question, you’ve written for films like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, you’ve made an animated film but do you find that the present scenario for films, even with something like Netflix, is giving you the avenue to do what you really want to do?

Ruchi Narain: Firstly, I’m a big believer in evolution and you can’t fight technology, so there’s no point really. I’m not into all that, it’s better to move with the times. And as consumers also we see what our convenience is and what we like, and like Kiara had mentioned earlier the platform gives you a lot of creative freedom which you don’t have when you do a theatrical. Which is why a lot of filmmakers around the world are gunning to do things on OTT platforms whether they are films or shows because the kind of creative liberty that it gives you you can’t have in a theatrical, which is dependent on the first weekend collections. So you do end up, even as a creator, designing it for that. All your decisions are based on that. Whereas when you make a film for Netflix your decisions are based on what is true to the story. So, of course, I love theatrical and the reach and all of that but you have this even bigger reach actually which is more worldwide. So, both the things are amazing.

Video Editor: Ashish MacCune

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