Annapurna Soni: Working with Amitabh Bachchan has been a lifetime experience – Exclusive | Hindi Movie News – Times of India

It has been a satisfying journey for Annapurna Soni as an actor so far. She believes in surrendering herself to the present moment when it comes to dealing with ups and downs in her life or career. Known for her work in short film called Cheepatakdumpa, Goodbye and Delhi Crime 2, Sunflower, Rangbaaz and Chhapaak, Annapurnais currently seen in The Railway Men.And she is now gearing up for her upcoming projects Sunflower season 2 and Swagatam.
In an exclusive interview with ETimes, Annapurna spoke about her experience of working with industry stalwarts like Kay Kay Menon, R Madhavan, Juhi Chawla and newcomer Babil Khan, her most cherished memory with Amitabh Bachchan, overcoming difficulties and much more.
How was your experience working with Babil Khan, Kay Kay Menon, R Madhavan and Juhi Chawla in The Railway Men?
Working with actors like Kay Kay Menon and Madhavan sir was an incredible learning experience for me. I remember watching Kay Kay Menon’s scene on the monitor before shooting my own, and his ease and intensity were so inspiring. It felt like his preparation was just flowing naturally on screen. Madhavan sir, despite being such a big name, was so friendly and relaxed on set. He even sat next to me for a while, and I didn’t even recognise him at first. It was quite funny, but it made me realiae how humble and down-to-earth they all were. They made me feel so comfortable. And let me tell you, Babil’s energy is off the charts! His curiosity and willingness to learn and work are truly amazing. It was a blast talking to him and even more fun doing scenes together. I feel really fortunate to have worked with such great actors.
What did you learn and unlearn from your costars?
Just be kind. You have to be very humble and grounded rather than getting influenced by others. Most importantly concentrate on your own work.
How did you land your role in the series and what went into the preparation of your character?
I got the part through an audition. It was during a pandemic and I’d given a self test. I first auditioned for another character. After that, they asked me to audition for Shazia and then they called me at YRF and finalised me.
Shazia, a character inspired by the real-life Sajda Bano, faces the tragic loss of her husband in a gas leak accident at the factory in 1981. Amidst her grief, she finds solace and support in Imaad Riaz played by Babil Khan, a close friend of her late husband. Imaad’s presence becomes a beacon of hope for Shazia and her family, fostering a deep emotional connection between them.
I delved into the context of that era, immersing myself in news articles, photographs, and videos. While these resources provided valuable insights, truly embodying Shazia’s strength and resilience proved elusive.
You’ve previously worked with Amitabh Bachchan, Rashmika Mandanna, Ashish Vidyarthi and Neena Gupta in Goodbye. Tell us about your cherished memories with them.
Working with Bachchan sir has been a lifetime experience. There was so much to learn from him.

During the wrap party of our film, I’d a conversation with Bachchan sir sharing how big a fan my father is of him. He watched an open roof car in one of his films and then unhone apni gadi katwa di. So I told him all such incidents and he started laughing. He was so kind and generous. Ashish Vidyarthi sir surprisingly clicked my pictures during that time. Also, it was a pleasure talking to Neena ma’am as I really admire her and praised her book as well. I also had many candid conversations with Rashmika as we were shooting during the release of her film Pushpa.
One thing I learned from Amitabh sir was, during one of the schedules it was a bleak hot sun, so every actor was having an umbrella held by a crew member or assistant. I saw Amitabh sir and he wasn’t talking about any umbrella. When the spot dada was offering to hold an umbrella, I asked him to go to sir. Then he said he won’t take it but still I insisted him to go and check once. But Bachchan sir said to the spot dada that he doesn’t want it, “kyun khade rakhna hai kisi ko dhup mein” . That really inspired me and was a testament of his humbleness.

Meet Amitabh Bachchan’s younger brother Ajitabh Bachchan, who was recently spotted at ‘The Archies’ screening

Tell us about your journey as an actor and how you managed to overcome difficulties while making your way into the industry.
It’s been good and satisfying so far. Also, I work on myself on a daily basis and be disciplined, that’s what helps me to get work and I don’t have to put in extra effort. Maybe because I’m working hard each day in my daily life.
Lesson I got is that you should always be prepared. You can’t hold on to success or failure for a long time but go with the flow like water rather than being rigid. You need to be honest with your work.
It all depends on your perspective whether you conceive of things as tough or easy. At the end of the day, it’s all about your mindset and how you work on it. When you work on yourself, your environment automatically changes. I may have gone through tough phases but never felt like I’m struggling because I’ve chosen this path. Important thing is to keep yourself motivated and braced for the future. If you keep improving yourself, you’ll definitely get work, it’s just you need to have patience.

What is that one thing you want to change or improve about yourself?
I want to improve on how I manage my things and balance everything. Sometimes I’m unable to manage things properly so I would like to change that about me.
How do you deal with different emotions and relationships in your life?
I invest myself in relationships which are really important and are my support system. I always try to resolve things politely and with maturity. And my art really helps me with my emotions.
Your role in Sunflower was loved by the audience. Tell us about the audience response and what people should expect from you in season 2.
Now, she will be one of the primary characters and more cunning and smarter than season one. The character has a different shade and character arc. Season 2 has few surprising elements.
Where do you see yourself as an actor today and in the future?
Today, I’m just learning and looking forward to playing good characters. I’m working to become the better version of myself. In future, I want to be known as one of the finest and versatile actors.

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