Actress Kiara Advani says it’s rare for a female protagonist to do the heavy lifting in comedy films, as most of the punches and jokes are reserved for male characters.
Advani, who made her debut in 2014, has so far starred in two comedies, 2019’s hit Good Newwz and her upcoming Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, a mix of horror and humor.
Women in Hindi cinematic comedies are mostly passive participants, unless it’s a rare female-led genre film like Queen or Tanu marries Manu and Advani agree that more is possible for women.
“It’s very rare for a female lead to add a punch. I still want to do that. I’m one of those movies, they all had an interesting arc for the characters. But if I have to compare it to what your male lead does (in the movie), then you just can’t compare,” the actor said.
Advani, who found success in romance and drama, with films like Kabir Singh, Guilty and Shershaah, said the fact that actresses can’t compare to what their male counterparts manage to do in comedies is because sometimes “unfortunately that’s how (the screenplay) is written”.
“It definitely disappoints. Maybe now is when you start talking and telling your manager that you want more. Maybe now I’ll start doing it in the future,” she added.
Advani, 29, thinks comedy is a difficult genre to break into and often doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
On her first outing in the genre in 2019, the actress credits learning the ropes of comedy to co-stars Akshay Kumar and Diljit Dosanjh.
In Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, she said she was lucky to have equally skilled actors in comedy, from Kartik Aaryan, Rajpal Yadav to Sanjay Mishra.
The film was directed by Anees Bazmee, known for genre blockbusters like No Entry, Singh is Kinng and Welcome.
“Comedy is an extremely difficult genre, but I don’t think it gets enough credit. It doesn’t come naturally to many, some people are just good at it. The comedy with Diljit and Akshay is so organic. They get that timing right, which is crucial. This experience taught me a lot because it was the first time I did it.
“Even in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, everyone was fantastic and talented and what’s more, when you’re led by Anees sir, whose grip on comedy is so strong, you’re in good hands,” she said. added.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a sequel to filmmaker Priyadarshan’s 2007 film of the same name which starred Kumar and Vidya Balan.
Advani said that when she narrated the sequel, it was a “no-brainer” for her to say yes to the project, despite knowing that the first part still relies on a high recall value.
“The film moves the franchise forward, with an entirely new storyline. Some elements have been retained from the first part to keep the nostalgic value alive. There was no apprehension entering this world, even though he was aware that this is not a forgotten film.
“What helped me was that he had a new voice. People will compare the two movies, and it’s just because it’s a franchise, but not the characters because we don’t play the same roles,” she added.
Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Murad Khetani and Krishan Kumar under the banners of T-Series and Cine 1 Studios, the film is set to be released on May 20.