As a former Miss India, Hasleen Kaur is expected to be glamourous. However, for the model-turned-actor, her glamour quotient ends at Instagram. Which is why even as fans were surprised at her de-glam cop avatar in the recent web series CAT, Hasleen says she was totally at home in the avatar. In a chat with Hindustan Times, Hasleen talks about CAT, being mistaken for a cop in Punjab, and her upcoming film Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. Also read: CAT review: Randeep Hooda shines in this thrill-a-minute ride from the Punjabi heartland
CAT has been receiving praise from audiences, both for Hasleen’s performance and the show as a whole. The show is set in Punjab of early 2000s with Randeep Hooda playing a police informant in a drug ring, while Hasleen plays a junior cop helping him. The series was trending on Netflix in the week of its release, despite the fact that it wasn’t a tentpole series or one that was heavily publicized. Hasleen says, “I was also a bit jittery that I hope we promote it more. Though I had full faith in Randeep’s fan following because since the day the teaser was released, I was constantly seeing the craze for Randeep Hooda. They were waiting to see him in such an avatar. But I feel that being low-key worked for us. Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing because if it spreads that way, that is the best.”
Talking about what drew her to play ASI Babita, Hasleen says, “As an actor, I want to do roles different from what my previous profession has been, which is modeling. I consciously did not want to be cast in a role where I had to look very glamourous. They think that being an ex-Miss India, she will wear a bikini and so on. That’s why I was so happy when Balvinder sir offered me this role. It is challenging because it’s so different from who I am but that’s what I want to do. Modelling days are behind me.”
Her character Babita isn’t what one would expect a former beauty queen to play. But Hasleen says she felt right at home. She explains, “In my personal life, I am a very de-glam girl. I don’t dress up. In fact, a lot of times my mom or my friends tell me to put on lipstick or dress up better when we are going out. People think if you are a Miss India, you would dress a certain way. Even at my wedding, after I finished my pheras, my friend offered me lipstick because she said I didn’t look like a bride. That’s how I am. For me, I was very happy on the show.”
But what clinched it for Hasleen was wearing the police uniform, which made her feel more in character. In fact, she was even mistaken for a real cop when they were shooting in Punjab’s Tarn Taran. Hasleen recalls, “The moment I put it on, I felt like a real cop. I was walking differently. Ek raub sa aa jaata tha (I would feel that swagger). One time, I was mistaken for a real police officer in Tarn Taran. In between shots, I had some time and I was craving some dhaba food. So, I went to the main market for that. First of all, the dhaba wallah cleaned the table and the chairs as if some real cop had come. Even a constable, who was eating there, asked me, ‘kede zile de ho’ (which district are you from). For a second I thought let me just lie about it and see what the reaction is but then I told him I am an actor and we are shooting.”
The show ended on a cliffhanger and Hasleen says people have been asking her about if there is a second season. “There will be a second season, I can definitely promise you that,” says the actor. However, she says her lips are sealed when asked any details about the same. She does, however, talk about her next project–Luv Ranjan’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. Hasleen has a supporting role in the Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer. “People are going to love watching Ranbir Kapoor in this avatar again, in a rom com. I love Ranbir like that. This year had very heavy movies for him–Brahmastra and Shamshera. So, this will be quite easy and fun for the audience,” she says.