I haven’t seen anything like Tandav made in India: Kritika Kamra

Popular television actor Kritika Kamra is set to make a digital debut with the Amazon Prime video series Tandava.

In this exclusive interview with Indianexpress.com, Kritika Ali Abbas talks about her role under the direction of Zafar, her biggest takeaway and more.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Ever since the teaser of Tandava dropped, it has left us all. Tell more about your part in the series.

I am playing the role of political science student Sana Mir. She comes from Kashmir and is very active politically. It is indeed very difficult to describe it in a few lines. Like most of the characters on the show, Sana is also very sharp. While still involved in campus politics, she has journalistic dreams. There is a very interesting arc to her character.

How did Tandav happen?

I received a call from the casting team for an audition. While they did not give me any details, the scene I read was very interesting. It amazed me and I wanted to know more about the world. By that time, I didn’t even know who was making it. The round went really well, and after we had some more tests, I was given a bound script. Coincidentally, I was traveling then and the script was so complex, there were so many tracks playing simultaneously that I couldn’t read it all at once. I actually repeated it and read an episode one day. By the time I finished it, I was bled. I really wanted to do this show because I did not see anything like it in India.

While we don’t know much about the script, we’re blown away by the Stellar star cast. Tell us about your experience working with them.

It was absolutely fantastic and I should add that they are very well cast. When I was reading the script, I was curious to find out who is playing. I think it was when we read the first table with all the actors that I finally got faces for these characters. There were a lot of people I knew, and some, of course, I came to know through the project. I think once we were on set, we were all already trapped, and it was a wonderful experience working with every one of them.

And how was Ali Abbas Zafar as a director?

He is just great. Given his previous work, we all hope that his projects will be grand and a blockbuster. He does so well. Since this is a political drama, everything is so big and such a stunning shot. Ali is very forthright and sharp-tempered. He knows what he really wants and how you should do it. Once you are on the set, before you know it, your scenes are over. It was really fun shooting Tandava.

What has been your biggest takeaway from Tandav?

very. We had shot for the show a long time ago, and we were all really waiting for its release. I have not talked about it, and no one knew that I did this show. I’ve worked with some great people, and the experience of just being on the same set is my biggest takeaway. Tandava is the first series of this genre and as an actor it is amazing to be a part of such a big thing. I think experiences, memories and learning have been the most important.

What do you think about student politics?

This is a very important part, and the show is right. Campus and center politics somehow affect each other, and you will see what happens when two paths cross. I can’t disclose much.

You have been very vocal about your stance and politics on social media in recent times. Do you think it is important for public figures to do this?

I think it is very personal, and I would like to keep it that way.

Trolling is not new to celebrities, but there is now fear of boycott or even being called anti-national by a certain section. How do you deal with it?

It is part and parcel of the profession. I think I’m just used to it and it doesn’t really bother me.

You ran out of television while staying on top of your game. You did Miterone, and now you have Tandava. When you look back, do you think it was worth the risk?

You should tell me that (laughs). I think Tandava will give me the answer. I want to work on the web and really look forward to such exciting thing. It would make no sense that I could already play a role. As an actor, I wanted to push my creative limits. And now that I’m ready to make my web debut, I’m crossing my fingers, and waiting for a response about Tandava.

You have been very selective about your work. Is ‘slow and steady’ Kritika Kamra’s fun?

I think it is quite clear. When I was doing television I was quite infamous for it, and I think it is what it is.

Tandav will stream on Amazon Prime Video from January 15.

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