Diana is happy

Happy Bhag Jayegi is a sleeper hit, and is Diana Penty happy about it!

By Karishma Upadhyay
  • Published 24.09.16

Happy Bhag Jayegi is the sleeper hit of the summer and no one is happier than Happy aka Diana Penty. The actress’s sophomore outing comes almost exactly four years after she made her debut as one of the two women in love with Saif Ali Khan in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail. Films weren’t a natural choice for this model but now that she is here, Diana loves every bit of her job. In a quick interview with t2, Diana talks about what kept her busy all these years and why she wants to work at her own pace.

Thank you. I had no idea what to expect from this film. And all the reactions that have come my way have been beyond anything I could have dreamt of. I am so happy! Aanand (L.) Rai (the film’s producer) said to me that the film has made money, which is really important. Besides that, people have genuinely liked the movie. Money can’t buy the love and appreciation the audience gives. 

I have been reading all the tweets coming my way and people have written in saying that they walked out of the theatre feeling happy and that’s the best compliment ever. I love that everyone in the film has been equally applauded.

Have you had a chance to celebrate the success?
Honestly, I have been chilling since the release because the promotions got really hectic pre-release (laughs). It took me a week to recover. I haven’t had any big celebration.

Cocktail released four years ago. Why the long break?
It wasn’t a conscious break. I have so many thoughts on this… I don’t know where to begin. I was taking my time looking to be a part of an interesting story. Maybe I wasn’t pushy enough about it. I was laid-back and preferred to let things flow organically. There was no pressure. I didn’t have a time frame within which I had to sign a film. I didn’t want to do anything that came my way. Also, I was just one film old so I didn’t know how this world works.

Was there a worry that out-of-sight could be out-of- mind?
Somehow that didn’t happen with me. I guess that’s why it took so long for me to sign this film. The wait didn’t bother me. I thought ‘If it happens, it happens. If not, I’ll do something else’. It’s not like I was waking up in the morning in panic about not having a film in hand. Also, I was busy doing other things.

Like what?
It’s not like I didn’t have work. I was modelling. I had my endorsements and magazine shoots. I did my house from scratch, which took forever. I was super involved in it and every day I would look up stuff on Pinterest. It’s my space, so I didn’t want to leave it to someone else. I was doing the things I liked and making money... so it was all good.

So, what was it about Happy Bhag Jayegi that made you want to do it?
Happy herself. She is quite a character. When I first heard the narration my reaction was, ‘Woah! She is one crazy girl’. Post-Cocktail, I thought I knew how to play the Meera type of character. In a lot of ways, she is very close to who I am in real life. So, I am glad I got to play someone so different from what people had already seen me do.
I thought the story was also very interesting. It was quite unlike anything I had heard or seen before. The whole idea of a girl running away from her wedding because she wants something was so quirky and cute. Also, Mudassar (Aziz,
the film’s director) had completely nailed the dialogues. It was an interesting story to be a part of.

Will we have to wait another four years for your next?
(Laughs) Hopefully not! I do have a slightly better understanding of how the industry works now, but I would stick to how I work. So, maybe not take four years for the next time (laughs), but I would prefer to wait for interesting characters and stories. I don’t want to do films that are ‘considered’ good to be a part of. My way of working might not be conventional, but what’s the harm in doing things my way? I don’t feel the need to change. I am reading stuff and meeting people.