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Triptii Dimri on Animal’s historic success, being labelled ‘national crush’, and film’s viral ‘lick my shoe’ scene: ‘Golden rule is to never…’ | Bollywood News


Wherever Triptii Dimri looks today, there are numbers flying. Her latest theatrical Animal is breaking box office records, while her Instagram followers are now more than 2 million– a figure she didn’t have before the Ranbir Kapoor starrer hit the big screens last Friday.

“The first day there wasn’t much that was said about me so I was like, ‘Ok, that happens. I did my best but at least people are liking the film.’ But slowly the tide changed, people started talking and now it hasn’t stopped!” Triptii tells Indianexpress.com.

The actor adds how her fans, friends and family are also keeping a track of her rapidly increasing Instagram numbers and a new label that viewers have caught on: ‘new national crush’ and ‘Bhabhi 2’, how she is referred to as by Ranbir’s cousins in the film.

“It does flatter me. Numbers are also a validation; it is a very visible form of love and I am grateful for that. But as an actor, I don’t want to get caught up in that. I know that people are also calling me that and honestly it just feels very, very overwhelming.”

The Sandeep Reddy Vanga juggernaut is the actor’s first theatrical release since her 2018 breakout–and much loved–Laila Majnu, which she watched in theatres for seven days straight. Her next two Netflix outings, Bulbbul and Qala, established her as a solid performer and now Animal has given her the widest platform of her career.

“This was my theatrical film after so long. I had forgotten how it feels to look at yourself on the big screen. Animal reminded me of that. Of course, a big theatrical film comes with its own impact, it reaches a different, perhaps wider audience. So many people who discovered me in Animal have now gone back and watched Bulbbull and Qala. That’s precisely the dream of an actor, that their work should be discovered by newer audiences,” she adds.

Festive offer

But with Animal, it isn’t all rosy, as the action drama has come under intense scrutiny for its problematic portrayal of women, an accusation that Vanga’s last directorial Kabir Singh also faced. In one of the most talked about sequences, Ranbir’s character asks Triptii’s Zoya to lick his shoes to prove that she truly loves him, after she is revealed as a mole.

The actor is aware of the conversation the film has generated and says that scene was done after a lot of discussion with Ranbir and Sandeep and hence there was no “apprehension”.

“It reminded me of what my acting coach had told me, the golden rule: Never judge your character. The characters you are playing, the character your c0-actor is playing, all are human and humans have good and bad side. An actor must be prepared to play characters across the spectrum of good, bad and ugly, but if you judge a character’s motivations, thoughts, you won’t be able to play it with honesty. So that’s what I kept in mind.”

While the scene is obviously pushing her character to the edge, Triptii says she tried to flip the situation and put herself in place of Ranbir’s character in that scene. “I also thought that here was a woman who talks about killing his wife, father, kids, the entire family…. If someone tells me that, I will perhaps beat that person! Here, he does ask her to do that (lick his shoe) but also walks away later. He clearly is going through a lot of these (intense thoughts). Later when his cousins asks her what they should do with me, he says ‘Let her go wherever she wants to.’”

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