Siddhant Chaturvedi, Sharvari Wagh on 'Bunty Aur Babli 2'

The young actors discussed working with Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji, and taking on some iconic roles.


Enid Grace Parker

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 3:08 PM

Bollywood actors Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari Wagh are all set to impress us as tech-savvy con artists in Bunty Aur Babli 2, releasing this weekend in the UAE.

28-year-old Siddhant is known for his roles as a teenage cricketer in web series Inside Edge and street rapper MC Sher in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, whereas Sharvari, 25, (who started her career as an assistant director) is making her acting debut with Bunty Aur Babli 2.

In separate conversations with City Times, the young actors described the pressure and excitement of taking on a sequel whose predecessor (Bunty Aur Babli, 2005) has achieved a kind of cult status among Bollywood buffs. Siddhant said that while he couldn’t reveal much about the ‘con’ parts of the film he felt elated to be taking on the role of the new Bunty (Siddhant and Sharvari’s characters usurp the Bunty-Babli title from Rani Mukerji-Saif Ali Khan, prompting retaliation from the latter).

Bunty Aur Babli is one of my favourite films. I never thought that I could be a part of this one, and I could be Bunty! To be able to do this film and play so many characters (there are disguises galore in the trailer itself) - I had a great time with that. It was challenging and a bit pressurising because it’s one of the cult films (in Bollywood).”

Sharvari revealed that it was always her dream to be in front of the camera. “I actually started auditioning in 2014. Assisting on three films definitely helped me understand how films are made and it kind of made my acting job much easier. I knew the language of cinema, so then I had to only concentrate on performing. I am super excited because it’s been a long journey.”

On her “technologically forward” character of Babli, she said, “I think the name itself is the fun part because you have always watched this character that Rani Mukerji portrayed in 2005; it’s iconic. I mean, to be able to even take up that name is such a big responsibility but it comes with a lot of excitement, it comes with a lot of fun. My character is basically this new age young girl who is from the tech boom (era). So we are obviously very technologically forward. Siddhant and I always work as a unit. Bunty and Babli of the younger generation are these cool new ‘chill’ technologically forward kids who obviously are trying to con people in their own way.”

Siddhant was all praise for Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji, admitting he was “a bit nervous” to act with the veteran stars. “They made me so comfortable, and I learned a lot from them when it came to cracking some of the scenes. They were quite helpful and it’s an honour to be acting with them.”

Sharvari admitted the most important aspect of acting alongside Saif and Rani was “not to forget your dialogues”.

“Because we were so enamoured by them that we just had to build our own confidence, you know? But they are genuinely the most loving and honest people I have met. Not just on screen but off screen, the ‘masti’ that they do - it’s a treat to be with them.”

Siddhant and Sharvari were acquainted with each other long before Bunty Aur Babli 2 happened and it eased the process of acting together. Siddhant said, “I remember I won a personality contest at my college and she was the winner the next year; we used to keep bumping into each other at auditions and I’ve seen her grow as an actress. I was quite excited to know she’s playing Babli. It’s been a great time shooting with her and I think our friendship and that comfort comes across in the trailer.”

Sharvari added, “I have seen Siddhant at so many auditions and I think there it’s very special that things are finally working out for the both of us. The fact that we as a unit (Bunty/Babli) have put in so much effort in making this film what it is from our end, makes it more special because we knew we had to put our best foot forward.”

Sharvari’s Dubai connect

“My father was a chemical engineer and he used to work in Dubai. My parents lived in Sharjah for the longest time. They have such fun stories to tell us about Dubai so it’s always felt like a certain home. I have actually visited Dubai many times because they wanted to show us where they used to go, what they used to do, the malls they used to visit!”

Siddhant calls Abu Dhabi a ‘dream place’

“We had a great time in the UAE (where some scenes from Bunty Aur Babli 2 were shot). People were very kind and welcoming. And the weather was good - we were there just before the pandemic in February and after that the world shut down. So in our heads it’s even more beautiful because I didn’t see anything for the next two years, so Abu Dhabi is like a dream place for me. I can’t reveal much but I think UAE viewers are going to love the film.”

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