Kritika Kamra – CANdYMAG’s Digital Cover Jan 2021

“Hustling is overrated, you need to stop chasing things.”
Words by Dharmishta Dagia
Photographed by Denzil Christian

Kritika Kamra who shot to fame with the show Kitni Mohabbat Hai is happy that the show not only allowed her to play an interesting character but also garner much adulation from the audiences. Since then there has been no stopping this talented and sexy actress, she has gone to achieve a lot but still, the thunder of this success hasn’t been able to change the essence of her honest, straightforward forward, and humble nature. Gearing up for her upcoming interesting projects, Kritika talks about her journey in the entertainment industry, challenges she has faced, and more. In conversation with Kritika Kamra…

Kritika Kamra in a few words…. 

Oh, God! It’s a tough one. I am figuring… it’s ever-evolving, so it’s difficult to say in a few words. There are very few labels that I would like to attach to myself… I’m not a fan of labels but the one I would be curious in fact, that’s also in Twitter bio. I am also a realist, and like I mentioned, constantly learning and hopefully evolving.

Kritika’s Philosophy of Life?

This is another tough one. Recently I have come to realize when you stop chasing things they happen, so just find comfort in being who you are because that’s what keeps you happy, confident, and content at times. That’s what I am working on.

When did you realize that it’s acting that you want to pursue and how did you bag your first project? 

After I started actually. I got my first break when I was outside my college, somebody spotted me and called me for an audition. And that’s how I got my first show. Then work came pouring in and I was carried away from this city, this world to the world of acting. Coming from a completely different background with nobody to lean on in this entertainment industry I built my foundation of acting only after reaching Bombay. I think the first few days that I spent on the set is what shaped me! I fell in love with not just acting but the whole magic of filmmaking and being on a set and creating something. So many people come together to make something like this and obviously, as an audience sitting somewhere in Madhya Pradesh or studying in Delhi you don’t know what goes behind it at all. I think when I witnessed that, I fell in love with it and I was very clear that this is what I want to do, this is what I will never get bored of!

What was your family’s reaction to your choice of career?

I had given them enough Jhatkas by then, so I switched from Science to Arts after my 10th standard. I was a good student with high scores and preparing well for pre-medical entrance exams and out of nowhere, there was a sudden inner calling for taking up arts as I found that more interesting. And then I was in a fashion college and here is where the acting bug bit me. I am blessed with supportive parents who are very chill. I have been brought up with a philosophy of you can do anything you want. Yet like any parents, they too were a little scared of letting me go to Bombay alone and do all these but there was no drama or opposition. They are my biggest support and they watch everything I do multiple times.

Landmarks of your career? 

As an actor, I think there’s a long way to go. Frankly speaking, I think that should keep happening with your every performance, your every project. In terms of conventional success which gave me popularity and the chance to be financially independent in Bombay and made me famous overnight was Kitni Mohabbat Hai. It instantly put me in the spotlight as far as television was concerned during those years, it changed a lot of things for me.

Jacket: Pallavi Singh, Kurta & Pyjama set: Kaarah, Jutti: Sheowns, Earrings: Esme, Ring: Slate

Which is the biggest challenge that you faced when you commenced your journey in the Entertainment World? 

I feel very fortunate and privileged that I did not have to face any such challenges mainly because I came to the city with work in hand, so I did not have to come and give auditions endlessly and wait. My struggle was more mental, it was more of finding who I am and overcoming those inner fears. I started acting when I was 18, that was the age where I was still shaping my world. I believe over time I began to understand what my needs and wants are from this industry. I wasn’t satisfied with the person I was becoming and that’s when I changed the course of my path focusing on scripts that robbed my heart. 

Which character is the closest to your heart?

That’s difficult to say, you can’t pick and choose one character because you have been with that character for so long and there is a part of you still clinging on to it. So, I feel it’s always the one that you are playing currently.

Do you regret doing any of your projects? 

No, no, no, not at all. 

I agree something could have been done differently but that’s the feeling about everything in life. I have no regrets. It’s not like you know, I am embarrassed about something or so. I always wanted to live a life of no regrets and thus ‘am quite choosy in picking up projects that I love. I make sure not to take up anything that I didn’t really want and then regret later. I was very clear about it, even when I was new.

Current Projects you are working on? 

So, there are two web series that I am part of, which took me a lot of time to decide whether to be in it or not. I mean there’s so much happening on the web right now, offering us artists with so many opportunities. With a constant knock on the doors, I am always keen on picking up the one that I love the most and not everything that comes my way.

Currently, I am very excited about the release of Tandav this month, it’s an Amazon original series directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. It has a great cast and it is the first Indian political drama to be released online. That’s one thing and there’s another show that I almost finished shooting for, there are a few patchworks left, we shot it last year, it’s called Kaun Banegi Shekhawati. It is being produced by Emmay Entertainment and Applause Entertainment with Gaurav Chawla as the show director. It is a very interesting show, very different from Tandav, which is more on the intense and dark side, Kaun Banega Shekhawati is an absolute mad comedy. The script and experience are actually very different and again a great bunch of people. The shooting experience in 2020 was a little surreal but we managed to do it and I am quite thrilled to see the outcome. These are two things that are definitely coming out.

Tell us a little about your Character in these two shows? 

My character in Tandav is a politically active student Sana Mir, who is a Kashmiri student studying in Delhi who has a strong ideology and is at the forefront of the political activity happening at the University. This is basically a complicated character, a little bit mysterious, she has got a lot of layers and definitely is not a very straightforward person. I can’t give away the story (Laughs). The show is basically about politics at the center and politics at university. The other one is a mad comedy as I mentioned, with a dysfunctional family where there’s a quirky father who has four daughters who are highly competitive and very different from each other. In this show, my character is poles apart from anything that I have played before. I play a very vain, shallow, absolutely self-obsessed kind girl and that’s super fun. 

Bomber Jacket: Emily Lovelock, Top & Lehenga: Siddhartha Bansal, Earrings & Rings: And Also India
Jacket: Tasuvure, Pants: Varsha, Earrings: Hetal Shah, Ring: Esme

What are your plans for 2021? 

2020 has taught us that plans don’t work, so honestly, there are no plans. But I am very grateful for everything! Gratitude is something that I have felt a lot this year. In 2021, I hope that we can go out more often. I miss people, I miss hugging, I miss those little joys that 2020 took away from us and I hope all these are back in our lives in 2021. In terms of work, these two projects, it is the beginning of a new chapter for me. With the web being a new space for me and I hope to do more work on it.

Any New Year Resolutions?

It would be ‘not take anything for granted’. I want to just live in the moment and not make plans because seriously, they don’t work.

Anything that you had planned for 2020, but couldn’t do and would like to carry it forward to 2021? 

Travel. I would like to travel, definitely because that’s something none of us has been able to do the previous year and surely would want to travel in 2021.

Quick Take: –

Life without Acting is Bland.

Life as an actor is a Privileged Life.

If not an actor, I would have been a wannabe actor.

Your weaknesses?

 I am not a very disciplined person though I wish I was one. I don’t have a routine in my life like getting up early in the morning and being regular with things, etc. I guess that’s a weakness. 

Your strengths?

 My sensitivity, in life and otherwise also, makes me more empathetic towards people. Anything that happens around me really affects me because I am an empathetic person, it humbles me, and it makes me compassionate, making me look at life differently. I am open to learning it’s something that I have enjoyed always and I will keep doing it for the rest of my life. My curiosity is also a strength, that keeps me wanting to learn and know more. 

Your Inspiration? 

This year has changed a lot of things, random acts of kindness that I have seen this year by people known and unknown are just overwhelming. To see people come together and do so much for somebody else selflessly is very inspiring. 

Are you a lark or a night owl? 

Night Owl.

First thing you do when you wake up?

Check my phone, I hope to change that. 

One thing you don’t leave your house without (other than mobile, mask & wallet)? 

A lip balm. 

One thing that you spend the most money on? 

Bags.

One Superstition you believe in?

I am not a superstitious person at all, so the answer is none. I did give it a shot after but Nah, that’s just not me!

One fan incident that you will never forget? 

There are quite a few. I think it’s very cool when you get mobbed in a place where you don’t expect to be. Like, I was in Egypt a few years back and you know Egypt is not a place you think that being an Indian actor you will get, recognized and guess what, I got mobbed in a museum. Sometime around Kitni Mohabbat Hai had released which was also dubbed in Arabicthere were people coming to me and talking in Arabic assuming that I knew that language and I did not. With us there was this tour guide who was showing us around and, in a museum, it’s obviously quiet and people don’t really crowd so much and suddenly there was this commotion and she was bewildered, and she was like who are you? What is going on? I was like don’t ask even if I don’t know how people know me here. So, it was a fun experience.

Lastly, how does it feel to feature on the cover of CANdYMAG? 

It feels lovely, it’s an edgy magazine. It’s young, it’s cool and I would like to believe that I am all these. No, but honestly, it’s been a pleasure, I had so much fun shooting and Been following CANdYMAG some of my friends have been on it. Happy to be in their company. So, something that I am very proud of.

Top: Pratap Sons, Trench & Wrap Skirt: Pallavi Singh, Ear drops: Hetal Shah, Ring: Slate