By: Asjad Nazir
Khushi Dubey discusses her career and new thriller series
Being confident as a youngster got Khushi Dubey noticed and a photoshoot for a major advertising campaign, which, subsequently, led to her being cast as a child actor in the Vikram Bhatt directed film Ankahee (2006) as a six-year-old.
Not being afraid in front of the camera led her on an interesting journey, from child star to a lifelong acting career, and gaining fame from key roles in popular serials like Naagin.
The 22-year-old has now landed a lead role in new romantic thriller serial Aashiqana, which has received a positive response since premiering on streaming site Hotstar.
Eastern Eye caught up with the exciting talent to talk about her journey, being a child star, Aashiqana, inspirations, and hopes.
How do you reflect on your days as a child star working on film and TV?
Wherever I used to go, I had so many people coming to me for autographs and everything. That was a different experience altogether. At school, my friends, and teachers, especially my principal ma’am, really appreciated my work. That appreciation always felt really special.
What about when you gained fame with serials like Naagin?
I remember while shooting for Naagin, a fan came from Israel with a very huge teddy bear. There were many moments like that, and I used to love it. Of course, I had to balance my shooting with education, as both were important and also, I was good in studies. When I grew up, I took up lead roles and that is a completely different feeling because all the pressure of the show and everything depends on you, from the show’s ratings to the love of viewers. Everything depends on the kind of efforts you put into that show. So, it has been beautiful, but there is a bit more pressure now.
How did you feel about landing a lead role in Aashiqana?
I think my role in Aashiqana is a dream come true and one any actor would love. I was happy, delighted, and especially excited, when I got to know the show is being produced by Gul (Khan) ma’am. We have such a talented team. The entire concept of Aashiqana with a murder, romance, and thriller element is great. These are some things I personally like a lot. I was really speechless when I got to know about this role.
How did you feel about it being streamed on Hotstar?
Hotstar is one of the best streaming platforms we have right now. I myself am addicted to Hotstar and shows on it like Hostages. Streaming platforms are something youngsters are very much addicted to. They love watching series which have drama, thrill, and action. Our show has a blend of all of these things.
Tell us about your character?
My role is Chikki Sharma. When Gul ma’am explained about the role, she told me that she is going to represent all women and is very layered. The character is emotional, hardworking, funny, and very brave. I also have so many action scenes in the series, which I haven’t done before. So, getting to do all of that, including stunts and fight sequences, has been beautiful. I could not have asked for something better.
What is Zayn Ibad Khan like as a co-star?
Zayn is wonderful, very supportive and extremely hardworking. He also has a great sense of humour, so we share a great bond. He has helped me a lot whenever I have faced any difficulties on set. That is all you could expect and ask from a great co-star. And he’s a gentleman. I really hope that the kind of bonding we have, efforts we are putting into show and chemistry we share, translates for viewers and people like it. We have already seen so much love coming from viewers. The audience really loves our chemistry. I really hope that this continues and we promise to keep you entertained.
What is the plan going forward?
I don’t have a fixed plan and am just going with the flow. I would love to be a part of more such shows, which have a great storyline and an impactful character for me to play. I would like to take on diverse genres and experiment with characters away from my personality. Like Chikki in Aashiqana is so different from what I’m like in real life. She’s really talkative and extroverted, whereas I’m a little reserved. So, these roles give you so much opportunity to grow as an actor. Whether it be movies, web shows or other TV content, I would love to do all these things.
Do you have a dream role?
I have many dream roles actually. I love the role that Kareena Kapoor played in Jab We Met as Geet. I loved Vidya Balan’s role like the one in Kahaani. There are so many more! I also feel that the one I’m playing right now, as Chikki, is also a dream role.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
I love working with my current team because I really appreciate the kind of efforts the direction team, creative team, and our producer Gul ma’am is putting into this show. Also, my co-stars and editing team, so everybody actually. It’s so lovely working with them. I would love to work with Zoya (Akhtar) ma’am again as a director, because she is a great filmmaker. I loved working with her. In terms of actors, I would love to work with Shah Rukh Khan. Also, Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra again. They are legendary actors, and anybody would want to learn from them, and share screen space with them.
What kind of content do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I love watching murder and mystery stories, with a thriller element. I also enjoy romantic stories. It’s almost like describing my own show. But these are the kind of genres I really like.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me. Seeing a good actor truly become a character and start living and experiencing the journey, really inspires me. Actors like Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut, who have played versatile roles, inspire me a lot. Humility also inspires me. Seeing stars who have become humbler as they have climbed higher inspires me, whether it is Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor sir or Farhan Akhtar, with whom I have worked. They are so down to earth and hardworking, which is amazing.
Why should we tune into Aashiqana?
Aashiqana is a complete package! It is a blend of romance, thrill, drama, action, mystery, and murder. It has every thrill you can think of in a web show. We have tried to cover all age groups. The beautiful storyline has two lead characters who are completely different from each other. The girl is bubbly, brave, innocent, and emotional, whereas the police officer guy is stubborn and reserved. Yet, he is very strong and brave. She aspires to become a police officer too and is a strong symbol of girl power. They are up against a cold-blooded killer. We have all the elements to intrigue audiences and develop interest. The directors, producers and the entire team are doing a great job.