Launch vehicle: From an MBA degree to playing a newsreader in War Chhod Na Yaar, Avantika Khattri talks about how she finally decided to follow her dreams:
War Chhod Na Yaar is a comic satire on the India-Pakistan war and shows how both the countries try their best to avoid wars, but political pressure wills it otherwise. The film also explores how the Chinese have succeeded in invading the commercial market of our country through their low price goods. My character is called Sakshi, who works as a news host and co-ordinates with the on field reporters. She is a regular 25 year old working girl, who is Soha Ali Khan’s confidante and colleague. It’s an important role that I play, because the character is the connecting thread between the panelists sitting in the newsroom and the people who are on field.
I went through two - three rounds of audition. The role was that of a newsreader, so I observed a lot of newsreaders on various news channels and prepared everything on my own. During the audition, they gave me lengthy dialogues to check whether I could pull off the role. Finally, after a couple of days, the makers told me that I was selected, and so I started preparing for the role. Someone introduced me to a journalist, who taught me the basic nuances of a newsreader, like how one should look into the camera and read notes at the same time, voice modulation, body posture among others.
I was born in Jhansi, but studied at various places, as my father had a transferable job. He worked as a doctor with the central government. I completed my MBA in Indore and had a decent job in Pune, and was doing pretty well for myself. Somehow, I realised that things are not going the right way. I wanted to utilise my potential and that’s when I decided to give acting a try. Many people told me that giving up a good job is a foolish thing to do, but I simply followed my heart. When I came to Mumbai, I gave a few auditions and I was approached by a popular publishing house who wanted to feature me under their fresh face section. After that, I started getting a lot of commercials for brands like Rasna, Aircel, Blackberry, Haier home appliances among others.
Most of my portions were