Kritika Kamra on Bambai Meri Jaan: ‘My character is an alpha woman, but not tomboyish or manly’

Kritika Kamra is all set to be seen in Prime Video’s upcoming original show Bambai Meri Jaan, as Mumbai’s gangster Habiba. The web series features Avinash Tiwari, Kay Kay Menon, Hussain Dalal, Amyra Dastur and is written by Hussain Zaidi. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Kritika talks about her role and her experience of working on the show that premieres on Prime Video on September 14. (Also read: Bambai Meri Jaan trailer: Kay Kay Menon Avinash Tiwary face off in crime drama)
Kritika Kamra talks about her new show Bambai Meri Jaan in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

Auditioned for Bambai Meri Jaan

Recalling that she was surprised to get a call for the audition, Kritika said, “I was genuinely surprised when the casting director called me and told me they wanted me to audition. I do not usually get calls for such roles and auditions. I knew about the show – I was the last one to join the cast so I knew what it was about and who all were there. Somewhere, I wanted to be a part of it and it just came together beautifully for me.”

She added, “Eventually, that audition worked out and I got selected. I did my readings with the cast and the writers. I had to work a lot on my dialect and body language, to really get into the skin of the character.”

Habiba is alpha woman

Talking about the tough part of playing Habiba in the show directed by Shujaat Saudagar, Kritika said, “She is an alpha character. Usually, alpha characters are supposed to be masculine. We normally make her manly. Habiba is not masculine in that way. Shujaat wanted her to be a typical Muslim girl from the 70s who was brought up in a Mumbai home. And, she also goes on to do things a girl from that era would do. Characters like this are usually tomboyish. We did not do that here. That balance was a nice touch.”

She also talked about the equation her character shares with her mom – Nivedita Bhattacharya’s Sakeena. “It was interesting. Nivedita ma’am is a seasoned actor and has this motherly quality about her. She is so encouraging and nurturing. Habiba understands the sacrifices of her mom, and her balancing act and she also realises how she is the glue for the family. Habiba does not agree with her fully, but she recognises her role in the family. Even in scenes where Habiba is on Dara’s side while the mom is on the father’s side, the difference had to come from a place of love. That was a fine line that we treaded.”

Working with Kay Kay

Asked about the things she learned while working with veteran actors Kayy Kay Menon and Nivedita while working on Bambai Meri Jaan, Kritika said, “I learned how to shoot a gun! (laugh).” She added on a serious note, “Just watching Nivedita and Kay Kay (was a learning experience). I grew up watching them on the screen. I have been their fan. The effort they put in, their investment in terms of preparation, and then they just deliver in front of the camera and create magic. I cannot describe or quantify it is a pleasure to watch.”

Kritika is best known for her popular TV shows including Kitni Mohabbat Hai, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Reporters, Prem Ya Paheli – Chandrakant. Over the past few years, she also worked in films such as Bheed and web series such as Taandav and Kaun Banegi Shikharwati.

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