Hina Khan on her Cannes debut and the controversy that followed


Hina Khan on her Cannes debut and the controversy that followed

The actor is unruffled

By Manali Shah  June 10th, 2019

When Hina Khan walked the prestigious Cannes red carpet this year, she looked a picture of elegance. Little did she expect the social media storm it would cause. She was the only Indian actor repping the Indian TV industry at the Cannes Film Festival, which is usually the playground of A-list movie stars. Hina travelled to the festival with her debut feature film, Lines, but that didn’t deter Filmfare’s editor Jitesh Pillai from mocking her on social media by saying, ‘Cannes has suddenly become Chandivali studios kya?’ (Has Cannes suddenly turned into Chandivali studios?).

The comment was met with outrage from the TV fraternity, but Hina remained unruffled. Nothing was going to take away from her big moment. She’d worked too long and too hard for it. She made her TV debut in 2009 as the lead in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, which made her a household name and established her as an actor to reckon with. She also participated in reality shows such as Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi and Bigg Boss, and most recently, starred as Komolika in the reebot of Kasautii Zindagii Kay.

We caught up with Hina Khan after the Cannes Film Festival and spoke to her about fashion, films, and the future.

ELLE India: What was it like to walk the Cannes red carpet?

Hina Khan: It was definitely the experience of a lifetime for me. Taking my country and heritage to such a prestigious platform like Cannes and representing the Indian industry was indeed a proud moment. Cannes is also about diversity in cinema, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Being part of so many different cultures and getting to know more about what each had to offer was a big learning experience—one that I will always cherish.

ELLE India: How did you go about deciding the looks for Cannes?

HK: My team and I had an entire calendar chalked out for all my appearances. We worked on them for almost two months. There were a lot of outfit trials that I went through to get the exact look I had in mind. It had be to be something elegant and classy and, at the same time, something that defined my own style. And all the outfits I chose did exactly that!

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A post shared by Hina Khan (@realhinakhan) on May 16, 2019 at 3:37pm PDT

ELLE India: Did you feel discouraged or upset by the social media trolls and the comment made by Jitesh Pillai? How did you deal with it?

HK: Honestly, it was a bit upsetting in the beginning, but, on the other hand, the love and support I received in return from so many others, was overwhelming. I am just so thankful to each one of them. I have moved on and I don’t believe in playing the victim. Whatever happened should not have happened, but nonetheless I have a lot more to talk about—my projects and the hard work that I have put in. I have a lot of regard for that person and I still respect him, so no hard feelings.

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A post shared by Hina Khan (@realhinakhan) on May 22, 2019 at 12:46pm PDT

ELLE India: How did Lines come about? Tell us about your role in it.

HK: Lines is a story of a smart, independent village girl named Nazia. Her journey is showcased through the backdrop of the Kargil War. It’s a tragic story set on the life and plight of people on the border.

ELLE India: What was the response to Lines like at Cannes?

HK: The opportunity to reveal the first look of Lines at Cannes was a huge step forward for the entire team. It was received very well. We had international media covering the launch event. I couldn’t have asked for a better launch.

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A post shared by Hina Khan (@realhinakhan) on May 18, 2019 at 1:52am PDT

ELLE India: You began shooting for your next project in Europe post your Cannes appearance. Tell us a little about that.

HK: I shot for my upcoming film, Wish List, which is being directed by Rahat Kazmi in some of the most scenic landscape locations in Europe. It’s a movie with a strong message.

Photographs: Getty Images