India’s obsession with food is well known, but there hasn’t really been a lot of movies based on food. The Habib Faisal directed Daawat-e-Ishq, that releases this weekend, looks like a celebration of love and food - love for food and love over food. Lead characters Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra admit they ended up putting on weight during the shooting schedule of this film. “I must have easily put on five kilos,” says Aditya. “My fit body is gone for a toss! It is practically non-existent in this film! If you look at the film, I have let myself go, because it goes with my character. He is a chef, and not required to have six-pack abs. He is naturally going to have a bit of a paunch, if he has got food around him the whole day. I used it to my advantage very slyly and ate everything that was around. It was a very difficult film also as an actor to resist the food. I will be working on my weight for Fitoor,” continued the actor who rose to prominence post the success of Aashiqui 2. The hits that have marked Aditya’s career so far had a lot more going for them – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani had the Ranbir-Deepika power combination and Aashiqui 2 had its superhit music. Daawat-e-Ishq will reveal whether Aditya has the star power to carry a film on his shoulders. Not that it matters since he has already signed on for Fitoor opposite Katrina Kaif, where he will share screen space with Rekha as well.
His co-star Parineeti who is a self confessed foodie also faced a real struggle on the sets. “Bollywood has not explored the food aspect much on screen. After a long time you will see a film about two foodies falling in love over food and singing songs while eating. We shot in Hyderabad and Lucknow. I think I spent three months for Ishaqzaade (also directed by Faisal) in Lucknow, so I have explored everything in Lucknow in terms of food but one take away from this film for me would be Hyderabadi Biryani. It has become my favourite.” The film centres around a Lucknowi cook who falls in love with a Hyderabadi Muslim girl who is also a foodie.
‘Not being typecast’
Does Parineeti fear that the roles she has been doing of late are getting a bit monotonous? “I do not believe I am being typecast at all. I have played a Punjabi character only once. I have done only four films so far and it is not possible to get typecast in four films. Yes my first film’s character was a loud talkative Punjabi and maybe it is because it is very similar to my real life personality. Then came Shuddh Desi Romance where I played a very quiet girl - there was nothing loud and Punjabi about it. In Hasee Toh Phasee I was mentally off - nothing loud and Punjabi about that. When people say that I am being typecast, I think that is not right because in real life I must be that kind of a person. I am normally in a happy mood and cheerful but they should not connect that with my screen life.”
Aditya played alcoholic, angst-ridden characters in two of his biggest hits, Aashiqui 2 and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and is excited to play a happy-go-lucky character in his first Yash Raj film.“Maybe subconsciously I reacted to that because I played two roles where I was depressed, intense or whatever you want to call it. I think even as an actor if I went and did a similar kind of role like Yeh Jawaani...or Aashiqui, I would not bring anything new to the table. I think as an actor it is important to go and live life and come back and bounce off as a new person, with every new role. Actually after I finished the film, I really missed playing this character. It was like a therapy for me to be that kind of a personality, which is so positive and giving, so hospitable and warm to the people. He is a very transparent kind of a guy; he will hug you and kiss you on the lips, even if you are a guy. If he is sad he will cry. If he is angry with you, he will be upset, it’s all transparent. It was very interesting to play this character that has no walls around him and is genuinely a hospitable guy.”
Quest for love
Whereas there were reports that Aditya recently bought a diamond ring for his rumoured girlfriend Shraddha Kapoor from Gujarat, happily single Parineeti says that the hunt for Mr Right is still on,
“It’s just that I am moving from one film to another so I haven’t had the chance to socialise with anyone. And when it comes to the kind of people that I work with like my co-stars, directors, sound engineers and producers, I just do not think of them in that way. I haven’t gotten attracted to any one of them. But there is no reason for that. I am young and there is no reason to not be single.”
Parineeti is known to lead a reclusive lifestyle though of late we have been seeing her all over the social scene in Mumbai. So is she making an effort to change her quiet lifestyle? “No. Definitely no. Even the parties that you must have seen me at, must be at friend’s screening where they particularly called me saying ‘listen, can you please come for my film?’ so I cannot say no. But otherwise it’s just been a couple of parties here and there, at Karan’s (Johar) party, but these are people I love hanging out with. There have been countless parties after that and I haven’t been to any of them. It is just a coincidence that I was spotted here and there.”
Parineeti counts Alia Bhatt and Shraddha Kapoor as her close friends in the industry. “There is no insecurity and in a strange way Alia, Shraddha and I were friends even before we were actors. For Shraddha, Love Ka The End was yet to release, and for Alia, Student Of The Year was yet to release, and Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl for me had just released and we all met at that time and the bond has stuck since then and nothing has changed, which is great. We have no reason to be insecure until something really happens, so at the moment things are good.”
Originally scheduled to release last week, Daawat-e-Ishq was pushed back to avoid a clash with Parineeti’s cousin Priyanka Chopra’s Mary Kom. But Parineeti is yet to see Priyanka’s last release. “I haven’t seen Mary Kom because I have been promoting my movie like mad. I really want to watch it.” Daawat-e-Ishq will take on Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat in the theatres this weekend.
Though they are working in a film that is an appetiser for all the flavours including food, cooking, colours and romance, both the self-confessed foodies admit they cannot cook to save their life.
Vidya Balan’s reaction
So what was Aditya’s sister-in-law Vidya Balan’s reaction on Daawat-e-Ishq? “She liked my look and said, ‘You really look like that guy and the handlebar moustache and Surma look definitely works (for you).’ She liked whatever trailer, dialogue and songs that she saw.”
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