Dot on working with Suhana Khan, Agastya Nanda in Netflix’s ‘The Archies’: ‘It was so much fun because…’

Aditi Saigal aka Dot made her acting debut with Zoya Akhtar and Netflix’s The Archies. She’s a musician and with this film that also saw the debuts of Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, and Agastya Nanda, Saigal has dabbled with the experience of being in front of the screen too. In an exclusive interview with Firstpost, she spoke about how she landed a role in the film, her experience of working with Akhtar, and why she rechristened herself as Dot.

Edited excerpts from the interview

Before we talk about The Archies, Everybody Dances To Techno is one of your most popular songs. How did you get the idea for that?

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I love to dance on Salsa and I have done that a lot in Delhi, but when I went to the U.K., I felt nobody really dances their hearts out there especially in the towns. I was also going through love and heartbreak at that time so I kind of combined the two things. That’s how I got the idea for the song.

How did The Archies happen?

Zoya had been following my work and she wanted a song from those days for her film. We were on a Zoom call and reworking on the lyrics of a song for the film. As we were doing that during the edit, she asked me if I ever acted, and I said I did that only in school plays. She asked me to audition for the movie and I got the part. I flew down to India from the U.K. and that’s how it happened.

How did you balance acting and composing for the film, since it was your debut?

It was so much fun because it’s a musical so it’s a perfect starting ground. The film also belongs to the era I absolutely love- The 50s and the 60s. There was always an instrument on sets, when we were shooting at the Lodge Mansion, there was a grand piano there that I used to play in between shots, in our hotel room, there was a guitar. I wrote a lot of music while I was on the sets. The transition was a little easier.

It also marks the debut of Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda. How did all of you prep for your parts and how was the process?

It was like a school trip since we all became really close friends. We used to play a lot of games, we came like a Jhund and used to go like a Jhund. This has been one of the best memories I’ve made.

What’s the one quality of your character that you wish you had?

The main quality of her character that I wish I had was to admit that I’ve made a mistake. She does that with a lot of grace.

Being a complete outsider, do you feel it is still difficult for people to make a place for themselves in this industry?

I’m not trying to make anything, I’m only trying to do good work. People who want to recognize me will recognize me, and people who want to work with me will work with me. I just want to create good art.

Your mother’s scene from Band Baaja Baaraat went viral on social media the day The Archies released. What was her reaction when she saw your film?

My mother is not an actress but from theatre. She has done Dev D too. She is actually proud of me because of the person I am and how I’m growing up to be. She came for the screening and when I saw her face, I just started weeping because it was two years of hardwork we were seeing.

What fascinates you about the world of The Archies?

It’s such an idyllic place. There’s no person who’s grey. Even the villains are likable, this is a world where you’re connected with everyone.

And lastly, what made you change your name to Dot?

Dot is my stage name, it’s like Madonna or Beyoncé. The story is that my mom and I are very close, and when I around 9 or 10 years old, we used to fill these coloring books and I’m a perfectionist, I used to get upset every time I used to go out of the line or something like that. But she used to make dots and different designs and do whatever she felt like, and she told me a little dot never hurt anyone but it made a difference to the whole picture, it may be small but it can be significant too.

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