Janhvi Kapoor: ‘Had Nightmares About Being Trapped In A Freezer After Shooting For Mili’
Actress Jahnvi Kapoor says playing a character who is trapped in a freezer for hours for almost a month in her upcoming film Mili took a toll on her body and mind.
Based on true events, the survival drama follows Mili Naudiyal, played by Jahnvi, a nursing graduate who races against time to stay alive after she is stuck in a freezer.
The process of shooting the Mathukutty Xavier directorial was so gruelling that she would have nightmares of being shut in a cold, dark space.
“I remember it (film) taking a genuine toll on my mental health because I would come back home after wrapping up shoot and I would go to sleep and dream that I was still in the freezer. I fell ill and I was on severe painkillers for two-three days and even the director was unwell,” she said.
“If you spend 15 hours of your day in a freezer in a closed environment crying for the majority of the day, sometimes with a rat that keeps nibbling your fingers, it is not glamorous for sure,” Janhvi told PTI in an interview.
She shot for Mili, the Hindi remake of Xavier’s 2019 Malayalam hit Helen, inside a freezer that was built by the film’s team for 20 days in minus 15 degree temperature.
Besides, the Good Luck Jerry actress said she was required to gain 7.5 kg for the role as the director wanted her character to appear more relatable to the audience.
“Sometimes pushing yourself that much emotionally in front of a camera for a film liberates you as an actor and it did that for me. You feel so naked, bare and exposed in such extreme conditions, you are being so vulnerable in front of the camera. One of the things that I needed to do as an artist is to open up completely and this character allowed me to do that,” Janhvi added.
Speaking of survival in the film industry, the 25-year-old actor, who is the daughter of cinema icon Sridevi and film producer Boney Kapoor, said her late mother taught her to work endlessly in order to last longer.
“What I learnt about survival from my mom, from this film and my limited experience in this field, is that it is all about your work, work ethics and the intention with which you work. If you set your mind to something and work tirelessly towards it, it has to happen for you,” she said.
Mili marks Janhvi’s third release as a solo lead after Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and this year’s Good Luck Jerry, both released on OTT.
The actress said she is “nervous” about Mili as it is slated to be released in theatres this Friday.
Also featuring Manoj Pahwa and Sunny Kaushal, Mili is produced by Zee Studios and Kapoor.
At a press conference on Monday, Janhvi said that at the beginning of her career she pledged she will not cause problems for her producers.
“My whole life, I have always been aware of the hardship that a producer can face when actors are not cooperative. It takes a tremendous amount of money and effort to put up just a day of shooting,” she said.
“I know how much trouble my father faced every time an actor has made his life a little difficult. So, I promised myself when I started my career that I wouldn’t be such an actor. As a result, I think I’m overly diplomatic and polite on other film sets,” Janhvi told reporters.
Janhvi also opened up about her film’s box office clash with Phone Bhoot, starring Katrina Kaif, Ishaan and Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Sonakshi Sinha-Huma Qureshi’s Double XL.
“It is exciting because after a long time audiences will have to choose among three films. For a long time, there were no movies being released in theatres. All the three films are different from each other. Obviously, I hope the audiences like my film the most. But objectively speaking, all the movies look exciting. wish them all the best,” she said.