Ananya Panday: I joke that I attract love triangles

Ananya Panday’s third film, after ‘Student Of The Year 2’ and ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, ‘Khaali Peeli’, is coming up for a directto-digital release on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, and the actress is super excited because for the first time she is the sole heroine. “I joke that I attract love triangles. Even this film is a love triangle between Ishaan, me and a taxi. But I don’t mind sharing Ishaan or rather Pooja doesn’t mind sharing her Blackie with Chhamiya,” she laughs.

Her own character is everything Ananya’s always wanted to be. Fearless, honest, a bit of a drama queen and a troublemaker, Pooja lives for herself and on her own terms. “It was so liberating playing her. I could get away with anything. Now, I hope a small part of me will always be like Pooja,” she asserts.

In this film, the actress got to do a lot of action and admits that initially she was nervous. “But Parvez (Shaikh, action director) bhai’s team made it a smooth ride, helping me at each turn. Now, I have a ‘chaska’ for doing stunts and want to do a full-fledged action film soon,” she reveals, admitting that it was thrilling getting out of her comfort zone.

Bring up her co-star, and Ananya goes gaga over Ishaan Khatter. “We had a lot of fun, both on and off screen. He was my partner-in-crime and we were constantly pulling each other’s leg. I lucked out getting Ishaan as a co-star because he brought out something new in me. The two of us, along with Mak (Maqbool Khan, director), were an amazing trio, not just during the filming but doing everything else together as well,” she gushes.

Being cooped up at home due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown within a year of her debut has given Ananya plenty of time to explore different skills. “Yoga is a part of my daily routine now; it releases my happy hormones and helps me centre myself. Exercise is no longer about getting a perfect body for me, it’s about being happy,” avers the actress. “I took guitar and belly-dancing classes during the lockdown and can’t wait to incorporate these skills in my future projects.”

She also made her own portfolio during these last few months, having regular shoots with her family as her personal paparazzi. “Dad (Chunky Panday) is really fond of clicking my pictures and my social media is filled with my childhood videos. My younger sister Rysa is also very creative. And I was ever ready to be their muse,” she chuckles.

Ananya is currently in Goa shooting for Shakun Batra’s yet untitled directorial. The film also features Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi. Quiz her on her prep and she says she watches the performances of other actresses and picks something up from each of them and weaves these into her own act. She has also been in constant touch with her directors and has been working on her characters.

“The lockdown has made me more patient and I’ve realised that I don’t need much. I’m happy with the smaller things that life has to offer. It has given me double the energy to get back to work. I know I won’t be taking another break for a long time,” she signs off.