Wamiqa Gabbi Was Rejected for Vikramaditya’s Jubilee in 1st Audition, Says ‘Told Myself…’

Wamiqa Gabbi can be seen in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Jubilee

Wamiqa Gabbi can be seen in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Jubilee

Bagging Jubilee hasn’t been a cakewalk for Wamiqa Gabbi. In fact, she reveals in an exclusive conversation with us that she was rejected the first time she auditioned for it.

Wamiqa Gabbi might have been around since 2007 when she made her screen debut with Jab We Met in a small role but in the past couple of years, she has captured the attention of acclaimed filmmakers and emerged as one of the most sought-after young actors. While 83 (2021) saw her being directed by Kabir Khan, she turned Vishal Bhardwaj’s muse in Modern Love Mumbai (2022) and Fursat (2023). All set to score a hat-trick, she will soon be seen in Vishal’s upcoming neo-noir spy thriller, Khufiya. Currently, she is basking in the success of Vikramaditya Motwane’s latest release, Jubilee, which released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday (April 7). The series has her playing a stunning, ambitious, headstrong and no-nonsense courtesan Niloufer Qureshi, who also harbours the dream of becoming a Bollywood star.

In an exclusive chat with News18, Wamiqa shares that getting to work with the likes of Vikram and Vishal so early on in her Hindi film career as a leading lady seemed like an unachievable aspiration. “I never thought that I would get to work with Vikramaditya Motwane and Vishal Bhardwaj and that too, so early on in my career. So, I can’t even say that I had a dream of being directed by them. I love their films,” she tells us.

She continues, “When I actually got the opportunity [to be a part of Jubilee], it was truly overwhelming. I went like, ‘What’s happening? This can’t be true.’ Even when I was auditioning and giving a screen test for Jubilee, I constantly kept thinking if my being in the show will eventually materialise.”

Bagging Jubilee, which is touted to be Vikram’s ode to Bollywood and its magic, hasn’t been a cakewalk for Wamiqa. In fact, she reveals that she was rejected the first time she auditioned for it. “In the beginning, I was rejected for the part of Niloufer. I told myself, ‘Obviously! Yeh thodi na ho sakta hai mere saath!’ Then after the pandemic, things changed and sir thought that I can play Niloufer and so, I was called again,” she recalls.

The 29-year-old says that getting to collaborate with Vishal hasn’t been easy either. Though a certain project that she was supposed to do with the filmmaker didn’t materialise, it didn’t deter her spirits. “The same thing had happened with Vishal sir. I was supposed to do something with him before the pandemic. But at the back of my head, I kept wondering, ‘Yeh kaise ho sakta hai? This isn’t possible!’ In fact, Sidhant (Gupta) was also supposed to be in the same show for which I was auditioning. But that didn’t come to fruition,” she states.

However, it was destined for her to work and share screen space with Sidhant, who plays Jay Khanna, a happy-go-lucky and philandering but enterprising playwright in Jubilee. Talking about it, Wamiqa remarks, “Sidhant and I’ve had very similar journeys and I personally relate a lot with him. It’s so weird that we were supposed to do a series together earlier but that didn’t happen and we ended up doing Jubilee together, playing these beautiful and overwhelming characters!”

A self-confessed fan of Devdas (2002) and Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994), Wamiqa hares an intense and emotional connection with Niloufer. “Some people just don’t know how to give up and that’s how Niloufer is. She’s a survivor. She doesn’t know how else to be. It’s her instinct to just find a way to make things work. Giving up is just not in the dictionary of her life,” she avers. Reacting to the love that’s coming her way for Niloufer’s scintillating chemistry with Jay, the Grahan (2021) and Mai: A Mother’s Rage (2022) actor beams, “That’s also one similarity between both of our characters. Their energies are very similar and they just connect. Interestingly, I connected with Sidhant because of the same reason. It’s so bizarre, magical and beautiful.”

Niloufer may not be afraid to speak her mind and voice her opinions but is Wamiqa the same? “If you don’t state your opinions very often or don’t say things where you may end up siding with one person over another, then you might sustain longer. I believe in this,” she signs off.

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