Saloni Khanna Talks About Her Experience Of Working With Sunil Grover, Returning To ZEE5 With Sunflower And MoreBollywoodWeb Series
Saloni Khanna who plays the role of Aanchal in the upcoming ZEE5 Original series Sunflower opens up about auditions, shooting amid a pandemic, her future project and more in this candid conversation.
After Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala, actress Saloni Khanna is now gearing up to enthral the audience as Aanchal in the upcoming ZEE5 Original series Sunflower. The series is a crime-comedy that revolves around a murder investigation at the Sunflower Society. The series has an incredible ensemble cast including, Sunil Grover, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukul Chaddha, Sonal Jha, Ranvir Shorey and many more, along with some budding young artists. Actress-Singer Saloni Khanna, who is getting married today to her longtime boyfriend and fiance Viraf Patel, will be seen playing the role of Aanchal, the quintessential office crush. Check out what the actress had to say about her experience of working on Sunflower in this exclusive chat.
How excited are you about the release of Sunflower?
I couldn’t be more excited. I am really looking forward to its release, because honestly, in my opinion, this project is very, very special. I think it has so much potential. Especially during these times, it is such a light watch and yet it says so much. It’s so deep. I’m really looking forward to it.
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Sunflower has such an incredible team, how was your experience shooting with them? Did you interact with any senior actors?
So since the role that I play is of Aanchal, most of my scenes were with Sunil Grover. I wasn’t a part of the Sunflower society so most of my interaction was with Sunil and other amazing actors from that set(the office set). As I was shooting separately, I didn’t even get to meet the other actors from the Sunflower Society.
Having said that, it was one of the best sets I’ve worked on. Everybody on set was so collaborative because everyone just wanted to make the project better and not themselves. Even Sunil was so collaborative. He would just come up with ideas on how to do certain scenes. Vikas (Bahl), Rahul (Sengupta) and all of them were incredible. It was an amazing set to work on because it really helped me sharpen my skills as well.
Can you tell us a bit about your role? How challenging was it to play it?
Aanchal is a very interesting character. It wasn’t very easy to play her because she has her own quirks and flaws which you’ll see in the show as it progresses. She’s completely different from who I am as a person. Playing her role was not easy but a lot of fun.
Did the pandemic situation affect your dubbing experience for the show?
So, the day I was supposed to dub, my fiance(Viraf Patel) got covid, so we had to push the dates. Then I got covid and we had to push the dates even further. Later I also had another shoot lined up, so matching up the timing was really difficult. I was probably the last one to dub for the show. After a lot of delays, we finally got it done. Luckily as I had very limited outdoor locations, I didn’t have a lot to dub.
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How was your experience of shooting amidst a pandemic?
We were very careful and followed all the protocols. It was very difficult to shoot outdoors as we couldn’t have a huge crowd and everybody had to wear a mask. In fact, one of my outdoor scenes was supposed to have a huge crowd but we managed with lesser people. The fear was there, but since everybody was following all the protocols, it felt safe.
Any interesting anecdote from while you were shooting?
All I can tell you is that the one thing I remember the most from the entire shoot is laughing and falling off my chair. Everybody on set was so funny. Imagine working with Sunil Grover and having to put on a straight face. It was very challenging. Not just him but even our directors Vikas (Bahl) and Rahul (Sengupta) were equally funny. I’ve never had so much fun on a set! It was one of the best experiences I had till now.
What was your reaction when you found out that you’d been selected for the role of Aanchal?
I was very happy. In fact, I had auditioned for another part of the series, but Vikas felt I suited Aanchal more looking at that audition. Then I auditioned for Aanchal and that’s how it came into being. But I also had another show going on at the time. Although excited, I was almost not going to do the show because of issues with other dates. The Sunflower team almost had to replace me but thankfully everything fell into place. Maybe I was meant to play Aanchal.
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What’s next for you after Sunflower?
I have shot for two web shows after Sunflower and another one is in the pipeline which is supposed to go on floors by June. So I have a couple of things for this year. It’s been a pretty good year work-wise, apart from the pandemic situation.
You’ve worked on two web shows on ZEE5, so how do you think the OTT space is helping budding actors?
Just look at the amount of work it’s creating for actors and good works. It has specifically helped actors as I see a lot of my friends who are good actors, working and being busy with projects. OTT is offering good content and creating different stories in the form of films, 90-minute films, web series, and more. Right now I know actors who are already busy for the coming 2-3 years.
Coldd Lassi aur Chicken Masala was your debut and now you’re on another ZEE5 Original series, how was your experience and what do you expect from Sunflower?
What I seek as an artist is a growth. Coldd Lassi is something that happened 2-3 years ago. I got a good response for Manira, my character in Coldd Lassi aur Chicken Masala. It was my first web show. And now when I look back at it, I feel I could have played certain parts better, now that I have a little more experience.
I consider ZEE5 to be a great platform. I think the content is very relatable, it has a lot of big films and is also creating a lot of good shows. Sunflower is going to be incredible on ZEE5. When I first read the script of Sunflower I was laughing and now I can’t wait to see people laughing while they’re watching it. And it’s great to be a part of ZEE5 twice and I hope the number just keeps increasing.
Well, that’s all from the gorgeous Saloni Khanna from the cast of Sunflower!
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