Hello, folks! In this week’s #BlabWithSandy, we have the beautiful and charming actress Kainaz Motivala with us! Kainaz mesmerized us with her performances in films like Ragini MMS, Wake Up Sid, and Paathshala. With couple of hit films to her name, she rose to instant fame. It’s been a few years since we all saw her or got to listen from her, so let’s wait no further and dive into the exciting blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hello, Kainaz! Hope you are doing as lovely as your smile!
Kainaz: Hahaha, Thank you, Sandy!
Sandy: Could you throw some light to your days prior to entering films?
Kainaz: I was born in Mumbai, and I pursued my education to become a journalist. I did my bachelor’s in mass media and Communication. Films were never a part of my goal as my family had no connection to anything that related to films.
Sandy: How did you get into films?
Kainaz: I was working as a journalist for a magazine, and I’d coordinated for a makeover feature and one of the models that day was an AD for the film Paathshala starring Shahid Kapoor. She said I’d look perfect for a role in the film, and she’d asked me to give an audition.
I wasn’t sure about it as I’d never acted ever in my life. However, I went ahead with confidence as I was with Shiamak before that, and I always had confidence and no stage fear at all. I gave my audition, but I did not see it coming. I was surprised to receive the call that I was picked for the role, but I was glad that it happened.
Sandy: You were a dancer at Shiamak Davar’s camp? Could you tell us a little about your dancing background?
Kainaz: I used to dance a lot as a child and that got me into dancing and joining many different classes. I’d joined Shiamak’s when I was in college. I was part of his special batch which consisted of the dancers who were seen as potential performers.
Shiamak would watch us and then pick the best ones and train them. I was one amongst them and I also hosted quite a few shows with him. I was at the ICL opening and not many would know, I was also part of Rab Ne Bana di Jodi as one of the background dancers.
Sandy: Talking about ‘Wake Up Sid’, though it was a small role, the film was made in a way that every role had some importance and yours did create a lasting impression. Few anecdotes on it and working with Ranbir.
Kainaz: People still talk to me about the film every single week. I get DMs from people who share my images from ‘Wake Up Sid’. The film was loved by many, and I had an amazing time working in the film. Ranbir Kapoor was amazing, and he is such a sweet person.
I was around 22 at that time and Ranbir too was 25. My director Ayan Mukherji was about 26 I believe. We were all in our early 20s and such a fun bunch, who always used to have a blast. The fact that the film still resonates with the people shows the purest form of cinema and its admiration.
Sandy: Your film ‘Paathshala’ with Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia was of a different genre and you had a great screen presence in it. Do you think the film should have done much better at the box office?
Kainaz: It had an ensemble cast and in fact, it released quite late from its actual release date. We shot the film in 2007-2008 but the film released in 2010. It got delayed and the film went through many changes and edits. I wasn’t a big part of it, but I somehow feel, if the film hadn’t taken that long to release, it could have done well at the cinemas.
Sandy: ‘Ragini MMS’! This was your first film as a leading lady, and it created huge buzz at the ticket windows. Rajkumar Rao (who was Rajkumar Yadav back then!) and your pairing caught the attention and the film turned out to be a runway hit. Playing a lead role and scoring a hit with the first film as the main actress doesn’t happen always. You must have felt elated with its success.
Kainaz: When I’d auditioned for it, I did not know it was a Balaji Films project. The next day I got a call about my selection and even then, I hadn’t known that Balaji Films were behind this project as the audition happened at iRock production office.
I sat at their office and read the whole script in one go for about two hours. The script blew my mind and I had extensive workshops prior to the shoot. I was onboard before Rajkumar. Getting into the skin of the character was important, therefore the intense workshops worked quite well for me and Rajkumar.
We became good friends and we managed to enact the scary scenes at the house which wasn’t a normal one. The house looked scary, and we all were shooting in one room, which had made us quite terrified. There were times when I got into the room and sit there for rehearsals. Trust me Sandy, it used to feel like a horror film. The ambiance and the plot do play in our minds, and it was just that which happened.
Sandy: Your film ‘Challo Driver’ had some interesting posters and promos. Do you think that was a good follow-up film after delivering the hit ‘Ragini MMS’?
Kainaz: Out of all the offers that I’d received after ‘Ragini MMS’, this was the best of the lot! People kept offering me the same horror-romance genre and I did not want to get typecast.
I had no godfather and I had to make my own choices. ‘Challo Driver’ was a script that sounded different when I read it and it came out differently as a film. It was a strong character that I played, and I was happy doing it.
I played a super confident woman and I truly wished it did well. I believe, the film also suffered from not getting a good release date. But you know what, the film got some big viewing numbers on YouTube whilst the pandemic.
Sandy: You made your Tollywood debut in a horror flick named ‘Boochamma Boochodu’ with actor Shivaji. The film created a decent buzz in the film circles, but I personally believe, it should have done much better than what it did at the ticket windows. How was your experience of working down South?
Kainaz: Interestingly, ‘Ragini MMS’ was also shot in Telugu along with its Hindi version. Which meant, I wasn’t entirely alien to the Telugu language.
I had a lot of fun shooting for ‘Boochamma Boochodu’ as it was a challenging role. I was in Hyderabad shooting for more than a month and a half. The film could have done better but I have no regrets.
Sandy: Do you think you could have picked better projects, or you think you had picked the best back then? If so, after a series of films, you suddenly moved out of the industry.
Kainaz: I was my own decision to quit films at that time, as I was into a long-distance relationship. For my family, I’d also moved to Singapore. During that time, there were no online auditions and one had to come down to Mumbai for giving auditions, so that’s how I couldn’t work in films for some time.
Talking about my career, I think I managed to pick the best ones out of the lot that I got offered. If I hadn’t moved away from acting, maybe I would have received some memorable roles and films.
I am happy with the way that my career has churned out. I do feel sometimes that I shouldn’t have moved away from films, but this is life! We need to move on from the past and think about the future.
Quick Shot Round:
- If not an actress, you’d been a? Journalist
- Biggest regret: Leaving films
- Close pals in the industry: I made friends only during the shooting. I would say Rajkumar Rao has been a good friend
- Fav destination: World, ha-ha!
- Most used app on your phone: Instagram
- Imagine you were stuck in a lift and had two film personalities along with you. Who would you want those two to be? Rajkumar Rao and Ranbir Kapoor! I would love to reminisce our younger days while shooting for films. Also, would love to have casting director Atul Mongia and Ayan Mukherji with us
- Good and bad about the film industry: Bad is the level of pressure that is put on girls to look perfect constantly. The positive is that we get to play varied characters and there is no job like acting which gives us the scope to feel fresh every single project and have no monotony
- Given a chance to change something in your filmography, what would it be? Ha-ha! Don’t want to tell it out
- A film you watched recently and wished you were a part of it: Chandigarh Kare AashiquI
- Directors you wish to work with: Ayan is an amazing guy. Shakun Batra is a nice director. I would love to work with Anurag Kashyap
- When Idle, what does Kainaz do? I read!
- Your worst habit: I’m a little impatient
Sandy: What’s happening in your life Kainaz? Any plans of re-entry?
Kainaz: I have been auditioning on and off. I have done two advertisements recently. Somehow, the Covid-19 situation has pushed the game up and down, but I am reading a few scripts. I have a little daughter and I just adore her. If I must leave her and come for a shoot, the script must be worth it.
I have been taking care of my daughter and I do not have a nanny for her. I, myself, am keen to see her grow and do all the little cute things for my girl. I would rather wait for a nice script to come my way than just choosing the random offers.
Sandy: What type of roles are you currently looking for?
Kainaz: I think the lead female’s role in Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui was amazing. I would like to play something on those lines, as it is refreshing and unique.
I watched Mumbai Diaries as it had my friend in it, and I also loved the characters in Decoupled. I am looking for scripts that are kind of new age cinema. Some shades of grey would be great too!
Sandy: Any piece of advice that you’d like to give to the newcomers?
Kainaz: Be positive and have the perseverance to conquer one step at a time. You will find people who can be negative, but you should carry the belief in yourself and keep moving ahead.
Editor’s note: It was lovely blabbing with the bubbly and charming Kainaz Motivala. Wishing Kainaz, a blissful life ahead, filled with love and some spectacular projects! 🙂
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy
Follow Kainaz @kainazmotivala
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)