“I didn’t know how to celebrate the success of Kabir Singh, I didn’t know how to take it since all I had seen were the lows and the first instinct was always let’s snap out of this and see what’s next, who do I need to call, what do I do next,” says Kiara Advani, as she recalls her days of struggle post the debacle of her debut film Fugly in 2014.
As her latest Bhool Bhulaiyya 2 opens to rave reviews, the actress has been on a ‘hit’ spree since 2019, with Kabir Singh and Good Newwz, which was followed with a critically acclaimed performance in Guilty and the 2021 blockbuster Shershaah.
Advani admits that she still doesn’t feel she has “arrived” as yet. “I don’t think I have arrived. After Kabir Singh, the entire industry messaged me and called me, but I didn’t understand how to take it, it was as if a huge responsibility had been placed on my head and I didn’t know what to make of it,” says the actress.
With nearly 23 million followers on social media and being the most sought after face for brands and magazine covers, along with an enviable roster of films, Advani laughs when asked about her fandom, “For the past two years we have been all masked up but recently, when the masks came off, I realised people actually know me.”
But the downside of fame is being under constant scrutiny. Advani had recently revealed that the most baseless rumour she had heard was of her having got her face done, and that she almost started believing it.
However, it’s her personal life, mainly her relationship with rumoured boyfriend and co-star Sidharth Malhotra, which has been under the lens.
Though the two actors have never acknowledged each other as anything but close friends who vacation together and show up at Bollywood soirées with each other. Recently the grapevine was abuzz that they had gone their separate ways. However, Sidharth Malhotra’s presence at the screening of her film Bhool Bhulaiyya 2 sent Bollywood rumour mills screaming “all is well!”. When asked, Advani said, “I understand as public figures, there’s interest in our lives, but if I give in to everything that’s written about me there will be nothing left. My personal life is my own and it’s sacred, unless I feel the need to share something I will.”
Bhool Bhulaiyya 2 is her first project with actor Kartik Aaryan whom she admires for his sheer energy and ability to mingle in huge crowds. Apart from this, she feels they’ve had a similar journey in the film industry, “We have had a similar trajectory. It took us many years of struggle to get where we are and we found an instant connection.”
Her reasons for being part of the Bhool Bhulaiyya franchise are clear, “It’s an iconic film and big shoes to fill and after the last few years of playing intense roles like Preeti (Kabir Singh), Nanki (Guilty), and Dimple (Shershaah), I needed something light.”
Post Bhool Bhulaiyya 2, Advani will be seen opposite Varun Dhawan in Jug Jug Jeeyo, which also stars Neetu Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Her other films include Govinda Naam Mera with Vicky Kaushal and an untitled film with southern superstar Ram Charan.
Cover Photo Credits
Photograph: Nuno Oliveira; Creative Director: Avantikka Kilachand; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia; Assisted By: Anushree Sardesai & Vidula Rane; Make-Up: Lekha Gupta; Hair: Hiral Bhatia; Jewellery Courtesy: Diacolor; Location: The Quorum, Mumbai