‘I am not going to do a sex show’

‘If my character is kissing her love, I am okay with that.’
‘I wouldn’t do unnecessarily a bold character for popularity.’

With Qubool Hai 2.0, actress Surbhi Jyoti has taken her first step into the Web space.

Surbhi is treading with caution. And joy.

“When ZEE5 announced Qubool Hai 2.0, I was the happiest,” she tells Rediff.com Contributor Sameena Razzaq.

The audience has already said qubool hai to Qubool Hai 2.0. It must be heartening to see that the craze for Asad and Zoya is the same even after eight years.

Yes, the characters have always been loved by the people.

We have got a newness to this story and the circumstances are different.

There is something fresh about the characters also, so I think people will Asad and Zoya even more.

The first part was partly thriller and the second is a family drama. There is a lot of romance and action also.

The biggest attraction is your chemistry with Karan Singh Grover and the passionate kiss you share on screen bears a testimony to that. How was the experience of connecting with Karan after so long?

It was as if we have been shooting continuously and had just taken a small break and then returned to shoot in Europe.

It was that easy because there’s nothing that we didn’t know about each other.

We have worked together for so long that we know each other inside out.

It really makes a difference when you enjoy what you are doing and I thoroughly enjoyed being Zoya and he being Asad.

The characters are written so beautifully that whatever is happening in their lives comes up with so much justification that there is no room for doubt.

That is why the comfort is there in the romance.

It was freezing in Serbia where the show was being shot, and you’ve been seen wearing an off-shoulder white choli and lehenga. How did you pull that scene off in those temperatures?

I could not think of anything but a heater.

It was so cold that day!

It was -2 and I was not dressed for winter weather.

The choli and lehenga was looking beautiful and my only motivation was that when people see it, they would love it.

I had a great experience shooting in Serbia because the people were really good.

It was very well organised and despite the pandemic, they took all the precautionary measures.

Preparations are already on for the third season and Karan has confirmed that. So will Zoya and Asad’s kahaani continue?

We are promoting it as eternal love story.

We didn’t expect people to love Asad and Zoya so much in the first part.

When ZEE5 announced Qubool Hai 2.0, I was the happiest.

This is the first character I have ever played and the first ever show I ever did. It will always be close to my heart.

So you can imagine my excitement for Season 3.

Your pictures, videos and photoshoots on social media are increasing your popularity. You have crossed 7 million followers!

I didn’t plan on anything.

It’s just the sheer love of my fans.

Their love is my strength because when they admire something you do, it gives you a lot of energy and strength to do it even better.

I am grateful for the love.

It’s not that I am a trendsetter and I want to do something different.

I think what people love about me is my authenticity.

I don’t try to be someone else.

I don’t try too hard to be in fashion.

I am just who I am.

You will debut in the Hindi film, Sonam Gupta Bewafaa Hai opposite Jassie Gill. What is the update on that?

Honestly, that is an experiment because I have not done any film.

When they narrated the script, I liked it and they asked me to play the title role.

She is a girl from UP and it’s a romcom. It’s a small city, middle class family story.

I just wanted to give it a shot and it’s for the OTT.

The makers felt that I looked a little Western, that my face features were too sharp. So they made me put on some weight.

Jassie (Gill) is a fine singer. He puts his heart and soul into whatever he does.

It’s a light-hearted comedy so I am sure people will love it.

Many actresses have played the role of Naagin in the popular franchise. Who do you think makes the best Naagin, apart from you?

Mouni (Roy) was the first Naagin on television, but if you will ask me my favourite Naagin, I have to say Srideviji because she was fabulous in that role.

When they offered me Naagin, I wasn’t sure whether I should do it or not.

It’s a very different genre.

I am a method actor and Naagin was very challenging.

And, of course, Mouni had done two seasons, so there was lot of pressure.

But I convinced myself that it’s a fiction fantasy drama and if Superman can fly, why couldn’t there be a Naagin?

The moment I was convinced, I played that role with conviction and honesty.

To my surprise and to everybody’s else’s, it turned out to be one of the most successful seasons in the entire franchise.

You did a music video with Ali Fazal titled Aaj Bhi. It looked like the two of you had an instant connect.

It was amazing.

I am a big Mirzapur fan.

We had the same director Gurmmeet Singh, who directed Mirzapur and the same DoP (Director of Photography) too. So it was the Mirzapur team.

That was the main reason for me to say yes, other than the fact that Vishal Mishra is an amazing singer and the song itself was very beautiful.

OTT shows are known for having bold content and explicit scenes. Considering that, would you be comfortable exploring this space?

I will not do something for the sake of popularity.

I am not going to do a sex show, which is a sex show for the sake of it. Like there are bold scenes just because they want to get eyeballs.

I want to do a show which is well written.

I want to do a character which is well conceived.

If my character is kissing her love, I am okay with that.

I am okay if my character demands something.

I wouldn’t do unnecessarily a bold character on OTT for the popularity.

Does competition bother you?

The market is huge now.

There are countless shows coming on OTT.

There are so many movies in the making, so many TV shows…

If someone wants you, they will reach out to you.

We are not limited to bi-weekly or weekly shows.

There are bright chances for everybody to do something in their career.

The challenge is that you have to choose your project wisely.

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