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Saiee picks her favourite Salman films & reveals how she bagged Dabangg 3

The film will show the journey of how Chulbul turned into this Robin Hood cop we now know

Ushnota Paul Published 18.12.19, 10:26 PM
Saiee Manjrekar, a.k.a. Khushi of Dabangg 3

Saiee Manjrekar, a.k.a. Khushi of Dabangg 3 (Sourced by Telegraph)

Salman Khan will be back as the quirky Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg 3 on Friday, bringing along debutante Saiee Manjrekar for the “prequel”. The film will show the journey of how Chulbul — whose early love interest was Khushi (Saiee) — turned into this Robin Hood cop we now know. Excerpts from a chat with Saiee...

Have you watched the first two Dabangg movies?


So many times. I’ve always been such a huge fan. I like the first one the most because the other ones that follow... people are drawn to them because they want to feel the way they did while watching the first one… like meeting the characters again is very nostalgic. The first one is very iconic and it made Dabangg what Dabangg is.

What do you like the most about the Dabangg franchise?

How wholesome it is. There’s so much happening, there’s action, there’s drama, there’s romance, there’s comedy, there’s emotion, there’s family... it’s a whole package.

What can you tell us about your character in Dabangg 3?

Khushi is a very sweet, simple, innocent girl. Whatever you’ve seen in Dabangg and Dabangg 2, you’d know that she has a small hand in Chulbul Pandey’s behaviour and why he is the way he is. When Dabangg fans watch this, they’ll get transported to the whole Dabangg universe and it’d be a treat to watch.

How did you prepare for it?

Khushi is a village girl and I’m born and brought up in the city. Her way of sitting, standing, walking, talking had to be worked upon. I remember going to the village with my dad (Mahesh Manjrekar) when I was small, when he used to shoot for his films. I drew observations from there, the way girls there used to talk or stand. I watched a lot of old films like Nadiya Ke Paar, all that really helped.

How did you land the role?

In March last year, I got a call from Salman sir when he said there’s a role in Dabangg. I think he saw the innocence and sweetness of Khushi in me. He thought of me to play this role and asked me to do a few screen tests. He said, ‘If you do well, you’d be Khushi in Dabangg 3’.

Is Salman more of a mentor to you than a co-actor?

I think he’s a bit of both. He is my very first hero, so he’s very special. He’s been such a great guy. He’s so experienced that I think there’s nobody except for him and my parents whom I could go to for advice.

What’s your favourite Salman movie of all time?

It has to be among Andaz Apna Apna, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! or Maine Pyar Kiya.

Did your father give you any acting tips or advice?

He has always told me to be myself and work very hard. I think that applies for life, not just acting. He has also told me that acting is reacting to a situation, so always be honest to the situation given to you and everything else will follow. I have always tried to imbibe it and continue to imbibe in me.

What was the vibe on the set like?

It was the most comfortable, most family like vibe ever. The cast and crew was so sweet, everyone became like a family by the end of it - the Dabangg family. It was a beautiful experience to have gotten a chance to work on such a nice set. I remember every time I used to go on set, I used to feel a different kind of energy, a different kind of happiness. Everyone was always happy to be there, always enthusiastic about their work. That also kind of helped me be more confident as a person in front of the camera.

Any fun anecdote from the shoot?

I have a strange habit. Instead of saying ‘yes’ or ‘yeah’ or ‘theek hai’, every time I just shake my head from side to side and move my whole body along with that. It’s just a habit I have had since I was a child. You can see in the making of the Naina Lade song video, whenever Salman Sir explained me something, I used to say yes like that and he used to copy me doing that every time (laughs).

What can the audience expect from this Dabangg instalment?

I think this Dabangg is going to cross everybody’s expectations, it has everything that the audience can see in a Salman Khan film. It has comedy, action, emotions, drama, romance... it has the whole deal and it’s going to be a full paisa vasool film. I think everybody should go and watch!

Your real-life parents (Mahesh and Medha Manjrekar) are apparently a part of this film?

It was a very special experience to have gotten a chance to share screen space with my parents in my debut film. I’m very thankful to Salman sir for giving me the opportunity. This is one of the few things he did to make everything so special for me. I was so comfortable because my parents were on set… every time I used to finish a shot I used to run to them and ask them how I’ve done. It was like leaving the house and going on a family trip (laughs).

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