I had met Disha Patani back in 2016, after the release of her debut Bollywood film, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Since then, nothing really seems to have changed now, except, she has become more comfortable with conversations. Disha is one of the few actors who is doesn’t like to talk much because she is really reserved as a person. Looking at Disha, you wouldn’t know that she has been busy with interviews since morning. By the time I met her, it was evening, but the smile was a constant on her face. The first thing I asked her when I met her was about her name. If you go to her Instagram page, you’d notice that she had written her name with the pronunciation of her surname in brackets. “Yes, but people still don’t say Paat-ni so I have given up now,” she said. Ask her if she still gets annoyed and she replied, “No, I used to be annoyed in the beginning but now I have accepted that that’s how it is.” We soon begin with our interview, and from Salman Khan to cheat day Sundays, here’s all we spoke about.
You play the role of a Trapeze artist in Bharat. How was the training for the role like?
It was very stressful. I have been training for maybe more than a year now. I enjoy and love it but when I had to train for the film I was a little more stressed because I had to do a few things that I have never done before. It’s a lot of physical and mental pressure on your body. Gymnastic is something you have to do when you are a kid because your body is not used to going the other way round and jumping and doing a backflip. It was stressful but it went well so I am happy. It was all worth it. It was a lot of work.
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Where some people have been intimidated, some have had the most fun memories. How was your first meeting with Salman Khan like?
It was good. I remember we were shooting for one of the circus sequences when he came. He is very kind, very humble. I am sure he must be intimidating but I was not very intimidated by him because he was very normal on set. Yaa, we had fun, we were shooting. Not really fun but yaa, we were working hard. It was good.
You also injured yourself while preparing for your role. How did you keep going even after that?
So I have this thing when something bad happens I stay very positive. I remember I broke it (knee) and I couldn’t walk, and I was supposed to do all those flips and I was also supposed to dance. We were shooting a few days for the gymnastic part and a few days for the song. I was literally on the bed, resting. I couldn’t walk and couldn’t do this to my knee. It was a horrible position because we were shooting and I had to perform. I trained for two months for all this and this happened. But then I rested and did a lot of deep tissue and all that and recovered myself. Somehow I shot in pain but I think it’s worth it, now when I see it.
Your role in M.S Dhoni: An Untold Story didn’t have much screen presence but it did make an impact. We have not seen Bharat yet but it’s his story. For you, is it the way your character is written more important than the length of the role?
For sure! It’s the character (which is more important). And you can be in the whole film and not enjoy it and you can have a small part or you can do a special appearance or something which is interesting. So that’s what I found in Bharat. I don’t know if someone has played a trapeze artist recently. This is something that I love to do and if I am getting to do something that I like, I have to do it. So it was very interesting. And the fact that I have not done any different era kind of look… so it was interesting for me to have short hair and the 70s look was very nice.
Coming to your Instagram page, it has a good mix of your gorgeous photos and workout videos. Did you have to make a lot of lifestyle changes to get a body as fit as that?
Honestly, I was never into getting a body. That was never my thing. The fact that I started doing gymnastics, I started doing MMA and all, it really helped me to change my body. The fact that I need to eat healthy, I need to wake up early, I need to sleep early because of my class. I do my classes on a terrace so it gets very hot if I don’t wake up at 6 and go there, and I train in Andheri and I live in Bandra. I have to travel every day. For dancing also, I need to be light on my feet. I realised that if I eat healthy stuff, I have more energy, more power and can lift heavier in the gym. I like weight lifting. So all these things came in a circle, not because I wanted a body. Now, maybe I want a specific kind of body for a specific kind of thing but didn’t start with the idea of having a good body or something.
You have mentioned that you follow a strict diet and you are conscious about what you eat. But Sundays are your cheat days. We have seen your photos every Sunday outside Bastian with Tiger Shroff.
Oh! I can’t wait for next Sunday. It’s like my whole week goes thinking about the Sunday, literally. It depends actually, if I am shooting then I have to skip my cheat meal or maybe sometimes I just eat after my shoot. But if I am not shooting on Sunday I definitely cheat for sure.
So what does your meal at Bastian consist of?
I love french toast, waffles, ice cream, cookies and doughnut. I love sugar. I don’t really care about food so much because it’s okay. I don’t get to eat sugar the entire week so I go crazy over sugar. Also, I love eating Indian food- roti and paratha, gulab jamun, jalebis and all that. I eat a lot and then I am sick for the next two days. I eat so much that for the next two days I can’t walk. I fill myself up for the entire week. So I feel it.
We haven’t seen you much at parties and events. Are you very reserved as a person?
Yes, I am very reserved. I am very shy, I’m very awkward so I don’t know what to do in these parties, what to talk about because I have never been there and I don’t really have a lot of friends from the industry, so it’s just awkward
So you don’t feel like you are missing out on something?
No, no. I am very happy in my house with my three pets alone. I think I am loner, I feel. I mean I can talk to people, but I just awkward in a room filled with people. I don’t know what to talk about, honestly.
Tell us about your preps for Malang?
We have been doing a lot of water training. We are going to be shooting an underwater sequence in a few days. We were in Mauritius and we did a lot of water sports, different kind of water sports. It was a little hard because we didn’t have a lot of days to rehearse or anything. We did some adventure sports and all of that. So it was fun. I mean underwater it’s a little uncomfortable to do anything because you are out of breath, you can’t see anything, it’s awkward and I don’t know…but yes, we are training.
Have you thought about the kind of roles that you do not want to do in your career?
I do think about those things. But sometimes what happens those roles come with some specific stories where you like the story and you feel like it’s required for the story to have something like this. But sometimes you might think of something that might not be exactly how it will turn out to be. So you will have to do a few things because it’s the demand of the script or something like that.