Ananya Panday
Ananya PandayInstagram

Latest Bollywood sensation Ananya Panday impressed all with her performance in Student of the Year 2. Now the diva is prepping for her next film Pati Patni Aur Who, which also features Kartik Aaryan and Bhumi Pednekar.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, Ananya spoke about her role in her next film, the experience of working with her 'crush' Kartik, her role model from the industry and a lot more.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

IBT: You have made an impressive debut with SOTY 2. How much has your life changed now and in what ways?

Ananya: I think me as a person, I am still the same. Even now when I go out to meet people, I get the feeling that my film is going to be released while it has actually already been watched. It is an extremely surreal feeling for me. Earlier, a few people used to know me, but now people know me more, and they talk about my performance that is even more precious.

IBT: A lot about nepotism is said every time a star kid makes a debut. How did you handle it and is that an added pressure?

Ananya: It was obviously a pressure, and I was always aware of my privilege. I have always told people that nepotism exists, not just in Bollywood but in every industry. But it is your work that speaks at the end of the day. So I believe, instead of making a comment on this, we should keep working hard and I am sure people will like you.

Ananya Panday
Ananya PandayPR Handout

IBT: Tell us something about your role in Pati Patni Aur Woh.

Ananya: It's a very different film. I am playing a slightly older character in it, and she is a very different character Shreya (her character in Student of the Year 2). The film, in general, is not exactly a remake, but a premise is the same. It's a modernised version of the original film. I think it has a very relatable story, and people will enjoy watching it.

IBT: So now you are working with your crush Kartik Aaryan with whom you share a close bonding. Is it anyway easier to work with Kartik for the friendship than how it was with Tiger in SOTY 2?

Ananya: Actually, I am more familiar with Tiger than what I am with Kartik. Tiger and my family know each other very well. In fact, when Heropanti had just released, my mom had sent me to meet Tiger and seek some advice. So I had met him long before I was an actor. People say he is shy, but with me, he is very open, and it was wonderful working with him. And for Kartik, we both are very similar minded, we like making people laugh. With him, it is a very comfortable equation, and as an actor, he is extremely selfless because he always tries to make a scene look better than just his own character.

IBT: Who is your role model from the industry?

Ananya: I really look up to Alia (Bhatt). She has been my favourite since the start of her career. Her career graph is so impressive. She started so raw, and then people just kept seeing her grow. She is definitely a role model for me.

Ananya Panday and Alia Bhatt
Ananya Panday and Alia BhattInstagram

IBT: Apart from you, a number of other actresses like Janhvi, Sara and Tara made their debuts around the same time. How do you see this competition?

Ananya: I love competition, especially when it's healthy competition. When I see all of them do such good work, I feel inspired to do good work myself. There is space for everyone as there are many roles and scripts being written. I feel it is really a good time to be in the industry

IBT: If not an actress, what would Ananya want to be?

Ananya: I would be wanting to be an actress if I wasn't one (laughs). I don't think I know anything else. I always wanted to be an actor.

IBT: Where do you see yourself five years down the line?

Ananya: Five years down the line, I see myself acting in a lot of movies with good directors and actors that I always wanted to work with. I just want to do more and more films.

IBT: Do you have a bucket list of directors that you want to work with?

Ananya: I would love to work with Zoya Akhtar, she is my favourite director, and working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali will be a dream come true. Also, I want Karan Johar to direct something, and I would want to be part of that as well. Even David Dhawan is in my list. I have a long list.

IBT: And who are the actors you are keen to work with?

Ananya: I really want to work with Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh. I am waiting to work with them.