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As director Luv Ranjan gears up to release his latest romantic comedy, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (SKTKS) in the UAE this week, Gulf News tabloid! caught up with the main actors from the relationship drama to pick their brains about their roles.

The trio, who is famous for their hilarious comic timing in the cult comedy series Pyaar Ka Punchnama, is back with a new film that explores the dynamics of how an idyllic romance between a couple is disrupted by the guys’s noble best friend who is convinced that the new girl is a schemer. Read on to find out who’s the third wheel in this equation that navigates the tricky terrain of love and relationships...

Who: Nushrat Bharucha

You know her from: Akaash Vani (2013) and Pyaar Ka Punchnama series.

Her role in SKTKS: “I play the young woman, Sweety, who should ideally come with the hashtag ‘MoreThanYouCanSee’. She is a contemporary woman who is progressive in her outlook and is practical in life. She loves doing charity work and seems to have good family values. She’s the whole perfect woman package. But if you provoke her, she will flip. She will never take anything lying down and can never be emotionally arm-twisted. She isn’t weak. The moment she enters Sonu’s life as his girlfriend, she takes over. She introduces yoga into his household and manages to charm everyone in his family.”

Sweety’s mantra in life: “I am no push-over. So the world should watch out”

The biggest strength of SKTKS: “This romantic comedy presents a real situation that can happen in modern-day relationships when friends who are close to you feel threatened by the entry of a new person in their best friend’s life.”

The conflict in SKTKS: “Sweety’s arrival threatens Sonu. Sonu is Titu’s best childhood friend and he’s like a son in Titu’s family. He considers Titu as his brother since they have grown up together. So when a girl comes to usurp that position with her ‘I am going to own it all’ attitude, he gets rattled. This is a situation which usually plays out between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law in a new marriage where there’s a clash of personalities and there’s a lot of bickering between them. But here it is between my boyfriend’s best mate and me.”

Will this film vilify women?: “I can’t talk about my character since the plot revolves around if my character Sweety is too good to be real. But I can guarantee you that it doesn’t play up to the stereotype of women being cunning, scheming or manipulative. Regarding the stereotypes shown in comedies, I don’t agree to the depiction of women as scheming and petty. The women I known in my life, like my best friends who are women or my sister, will never behave like that. So while I was shooting for [Pyaar Ka Punchnama series], I did wonder why the men in that film are only experiencing such nasty women. It also made me wonder why I had never seen those shades in them or was I blinded by their flaws.”

Her journey in Bollywood films in the last 11 years: “There were a few mistakes I made in my career like my first film Jai Santoshi Ma. I was studying in school when they cast me and I didn’t fully understand what it meant to act in a film of a religious nature. But now, I only do films that I enjoy. Even if they don’t please every section of the audience, as long as I love the story and the film, I am fine with it. I would rather do 10 good films that people remember than 30 films that are not memorable.”

Her biggest regret: “It is sad that nobody saw Akaash Vani, a film that I am so proud of, in theatres. It was a progressive film that released on the same day as Race 2, so everyone seemed to have forgotten about us. But it also showed that business runs on star-driven films. We are not stars and we can’t hold the audiences attention for a long time like them. We can’t cross 2 hours 15 minutes running time for the fear of losing out on the number of shows in Indian cinemas. So our story of our film has to be good and the humour strong… I might go watch Dhoom 3 again just to watch Katrina Kaif dance, but I know that nobody will come for my films based on that.”

On sexual misconduct in Bollywood: “It’s one of the main reasons why I am doing limited work. I don’t want to put myself in any such position. I come from a Bohri Muslim family and no one is an actor in my family. When I entered films, I was scared and I knew that if there was any manipulation then I would not know how to find my ground. But director Luv Ranjan and team, whom I have worked for in the past, has made me feel safe.”

Who: Kartik Aryan

You know him from: Akaash Vani (2013) and Pyaar Ka Punchnama series. His monologues on relationships and how he finds women a mystery are legendary among young men.

His role in SKTKS: “I play Sonu who’s extremely protective about his best friend Titu. This is one of my most favourite characters that I have played till date. Sonu is convinced that Titu’s girlfriend isn’t as perfect as she seems. I am determined and decisive in nature. I am that person on a dinner table who will decide what everyone will eat or order. He has almost a motherly instinct towards Titu and is prone to planning his life. He’s distrustful of Sweety, who he believes is too perfect to be true.”

Sonu’s mantra in life: “I am a born leader and I maintain a strict bro-code in my life. I like to be in control of everything. And, I am loving this new tag bestowed on me called ‘the new bromantic hero’”

The biggest strength of SKTKS: “Find out if I have another monologue about women and relationships in this film”

The conflict in SKTKS: “Sonu wishes that Titu was more discerning and he wishes that his friend wasn’t so blinded by Sweety’s charms and is frustrated that he doesn’t take my doubts about his girlfriend seriously.”

On becoming a poster boy for relationships and how confusing women are: “After Pyaar Ka Punchnama series, I have become the voice of a common man when it comes to relationships and women. After those monologues that became such a hit, I receive so many mails, letters and proposals from both women and men. I was scared whether I would lose my female fan following after those scenes, but I remember going to an all-women’s college and they were rooting for that dialogue and wanted me to say it in front of them. They took it in the right spirit.”

His personal take on relationships: “I respect and love women and I am not so cynical about women as shown in my films. And, I am not that discerning either. In real life, I am someone who trusts easily and I have been backstabbed by girlfriends and friends. I am no real-life gyaani [sage] on relationships. I am as foolish in love as the next man. But I don’t believe in love at first sight. I take my time in love.”

The secret to nailing his lengthy monologues: “I studied engineering and I learnt stuff by rote. So learning acting and that skill to memorise polished during my college days helped me a lot to remember those lines.”

His biggest strength: “I was raised in a middle-class Indian family and I grew up observing others. Their behaviour fascinates me and I channel that into my acting.”

Is SKTKS similar to Hollywood hit My Best Friend’s Wedding: “I haven’t seen the film, but from what I have heard about its plot, our films is different. Here I play a guy who wants to save his best friend from a doomed relationship.

Who: Sunny Singh

You know him from: His abusive husband act in Akaash Vani (2013) and the lost soul in Pyaar Ka Punchnama series.

His role in SKTKS: “I play Titu who is a simple guy. He falls in love easily and is quick to trust people. He has a deep bond with Sonu because he shares everything about his life, his deepest fears and strengths with him. He takes advice from Sonu all the time.”

The secret to his chemistry with Bharucha and Aryan: “Over the years, we have developed a great bond and chemistry which translates on screen.”

Would he let his best friend dictate his romance in real life: “You need to strike a balance between your romance and your relationship with your best friend. It isn’t a good idea to mix them up.”

Don’t miss it!

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is out in the UAE on February 22.