The only effective kind of marketing is word-of-mouth advertising, and CAT, a new crime thriller on Netflix, is a prime example of this. The primary characters Randeep Hooda, Hasleen Kaur, Geeta Agrawal Sharma, Suvinder Vicky, Pramod Pathak, and Sukhwinder Chahal, together with actors who speak a mixture of Hindi and Punjabi, give great performances in the series, which has continued to draw attention even after a month. The series' suspenseful turns make it stand out despite its conventional premise.
Hasleen's portrayal of Babita, a young police officer who joined the Punjab Police with an ambitious streak to reduce crime, has drawn attention in addition to Randeep's performance, which is the highlight due to its continual stupendousness. Babita's portrayal is anchored by the actor's commanding screen presence and her reserved demeanour. One would never guess from her unglam rural appearance that she was once Miss India Earth! We called the model-turned-actor to ask her about her experiences in the business as the part ultimately marks her admirable entry onto the acting stage. In an interview, she explained what first piqued her interest in the series. "I had a lot of faith in the storyline," Hasleen says. "It is very well written, and the casting is excellent. Honestly, I didn't think it would reach the top of the Indian trends. The response has been quite positive!”
The 34-year-old actor performs the role of a plain and severe Babita who assists in catching criminals. Although she puts a lot of effort into her career, she is frequently mistreated by her peers and society because she is a woman and because she is divorced from her husband.
Hasleen describes her preparation for the part."The part tested my acting abilities. As the Punjabi dialect varies after every 20 kilometres (km), if you traverse the state, it was difficult to pull off. As a result, it took ongoing effort for Babita to feel like herself. I would occasionally go so deeply into her psyche that it would give me headaches. I carefully observed ladies in Punjab and Haryana to depict Babita's firm side. They don't have a quiet voice. They are strong, and you cannot ride them. Additionally, the moment you put on a wardi, you begin to radiate power automatically,” says Hasleen.
The actor, who was born in Binnaguri, has mostly lived in Delhi. She was an army child who gained notoriety after winning Miss India Earth in 2011 and moving on to a career on the catwalk. Karle Pyaar Karle (2014), which failed to do well at the box office, marked her later Bollywood debut. "I made a deliberate decision to return to modeling after Karle Pyaar Karle. I just wanted to concentrate on myself and improve my acting. I was inspired to read literature, go on auditions, and start a YouTube channel during COVID, when we were all imprisoned inside our homes. I also began to record my own monologues for practise, share them with my family, and get their criticism. I believe that exercise, along with the correct time, helped me land a role in the series," she claims.
Hasleen has persevered for all these years because she is driven to succeed. "One needs to deal with a lot of rejection in our industry. The only way to deal with them is to keep improving yourself and not take them personally. I eventually came to understand that there are career difficulties and that what you do at the time is what counts.”
She tells us how the unlearning took place on the CAT set under the guidance of its stellar cast now that she has made her acting debut with an impressive performance. "CAT showed me that the majority of learning actually takes place on the sets. I felt they were all pretty adaptable performers after working with excellent actors like Randeep, Pramod, and Sukhwinder; this is a skill to imitate. Depending on what the script calls for, they can instantly change. “
Hasleen goes on to say that Randeep was a kind performer to chat with in between takes."He would offer advice on how I could improve my shooting and do more experiments. He didn't give the impression that he was so preoccupied with acting that he didn't care about his fellow actors.” She continues, "The other actors were also incredibly helpful.” Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, Hasleen's next romantic comedy, features Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in the key roles. "I try to grasp the character I am being picked for, its depiction, and how crucial it is for the curve of the plot," she adds when explaining what’s important for her in a project before signing it.
Hasleen is an expert in the field because she has worked in movies and fashion for ten years. She claims that both industries have advanced significantly and have disproven representational stereotypes. "Now that it's more widely accepted, there's a lot more work available. In the fashion sector, we are prepared to accept people of all genders, sizes, and forms. We now have newcomers in the film industry from a variety of backgrounds. The fact that movies are no longer completely imaginary or the product of the mind is another significant development.
CAT is available on Netflix.