Web series CAT, currently trending at No. 1 on Netflix’s top 10, is set in Punjab and stars Randeep Hooda as a police informant. While stalwart actors like Suvinder Vicky alongside Hooda are spearheading this ensemble cast, the actors in supporting roles are also making an impression. One of them is Navneet Kaur Thind, who plays Bobby Rani, a Punjabi folk singer in the series.
The young actress was approached for the web series via Instagram by one of the casting assistants working on the series. “Rahul Tanwar, one of the casting assistants at Anti Casting, spotted me on Instagram and texted me that they were casting for a Punjabi web series to be shot in Punjab and whether I would be interested,” said Navneet, who was last seen in Ragini MMS Returns Season 2 on ALT Balaji.
Navneet was sporting dreadlocks and coloured hair when she was approached for CAT. “I had that look for a character I was playing in a smaller web series that hasn’t been released yet. I auditioned for CAT from home in July 2021 because of Covid. The director (Balwinder Singh Janjua) really liked my audition and called me to his office to meet him. But he was intimidated by my dreadlocks and coloured hair. Now what you see in Bobby Rani is a very typical Punjabi girl look. But at that time, I looked like a hippie girl from Goa,” said Navneet.
“I got rid of my dreads and tattoos in a week and it all worked out because Balwinder sir wanted me to play the part. They auditioned me again in their office because they didn’t want the brief to be diluted. Immediately after the audition, they made me sign a contract,” she added.
Growing up in Punjab and watching folk artists perform since childhood, Navneet found it easier to relate to the role of Bobby Rani. Talking about her preparation for the role, she said, “I have seen various Punjabi folk artists while growing up. So, when the makers gave me a brief on the character, I already knew what they were talking about. What I had to learn though was the body language of a folk singer and performer — to go out there and perform but also be contained and not step out of the line.”
Navneet will be next seen in an important role in the Hindi remake of Thadam, starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Mrunal Thakur.