Lakshmi V (BOMBAY TIMES; March 9, 2017)

Gauahar Khan is in a happy space these days. She has been soaking in the appreciation that has come her way for her short film, Peanut Butter. While she will be seen in a cameo appearance in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, her big release for the year is Begum Jaan, in which she plays Vidya Balan's close aide. Excerpts:

What about short films excites you?
Web content is accessible to all, but there are only a few scripts that make an impression. So, when people offer me challenging roles, I don't think twice before accepting. In Ek Dopahar and Peanut Butter, I've played characters that I haven't played before. In the latter, I play a mother who is not yet one. My role should be impactful, length doesn't matter.

You have interesting roles in Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Begum Jaan.
When director Shashank Khaitan offered me a cameo in Badri..., I wanted to know why he chose me for just a guest role. But I was convinced when he told me that my character is crucial in shaping Badri's viewpoint. Begum Jaan is close to my heart. One day, I received a text from Vidya (Balan), saying both she and director Srijit Mukherji wanted me to play Rubina. I was so happy that I told them I would even do 10 auditions to land the role. But turns out, Srijit had me in mind while writing the script because he'd liked my work in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year. The fact that a National Award-winning director has given me this film without even auditioning me makes me feel that I've credentials as an actress.

Despite being appreciated for your debut role, you didn't do many films thereafter...
I've no backing in the industry, and like every newcomer, I've to time and again prove myself. Right after Rocket Singh, I did Zangoora; I've to my credit 1,200 shows of the biggest live Bollywood musical ever. I am hungry for good roles; I chose the best projects because I didn't want to be just a prop in films. I want people to remember me for my character.