Newbie actress Pihu Sand is making her Bollywood debut with Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao and Divya Dutta in Fanney Khan. The young actress says that Anil Kapoor, who plays her onscreen father, guided her a lot. “Anil sir used to tell me, ‘Do not think too much because Lata (my character) doesn’t think too much. Just play the character the way you want to. Don’t be too intellectual, play it easy.’ He kept telling me, ‘This character is very pure’,” she recalls.
She adds that the three of them — Anil, Divya and she — had workshops which helped them come across as a family. “I could relate to the family and their problems because just like them, I too come from a family of three,” she says.
While working on the character, Pihu says, she kept in mind her mother, who is a classical singer. “I observed her singing style. As far as the behaviour is concerned, Lata is very close to me. She is a little more bindaas and her dressing sense is different but she is very pure. She thinks she knows everything but that’s not the case,” says Pihu whose parents studied at National School of Drama.
Pihu had to gain 20 kg to play the character which she says wasn’t a problem. But the problem was the health issues that would come with the weight gain, she adds. “It was a challenge to be able to give an energetic performance with 87 kg weight and justify the role I am playing,” she says, adding, “My concern was that I should give my best so that everyone is happy and I do justice to the role. I was concerned because I am a newcomer and we tend to get nervous. Sometimes my confidence level used to be very low but the team was very supportive.”
Pihu says that she has changed as a person after working in Fanney Khan, which is directed by Atul Manjrekar. Elaborating further she says, “As an actor, you need to be quite sensitive and I have become more sensitive about a lot of things around me. Lata goes through emotional changes which I have also been through but never thought about it. While enacting those scenes, I used to think about that. I have learnt a lot about myself like my strengths, weaknesses and so on.”
The film is not just about a father’s dream for his daughter but it also highlights another important aspect — body shaming. In the trailer, we see Pihu being body shamed because of her weight. The actress says that individually, she has been through this but never let it affect her. “Honestly, it wasn’t such a big issue for me till I worked in the film. I didn’t know it was such a serious issue. In spite of my weight, I am very confident about myself. I strongly believe that what matters is ‘what kind of person you are, rather than how you look’. Also, we should first love ourselves, only then will others love us,” she says. “I don’t know how people can be so immature that they make fun of someone else’s body and looks,” she wonders. Fanney Khan is releasing on August 3.