Actress Pooja Chopra, who features in Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaari, says it was a huge compliment for her when the filmmaker got her on board for the movie without an audition.

Pooja was earlier a part of Pandey’s short film Ouch.

“I think it is a huge compliment that he showed faith in me and trusted me to play such a strong character. When we were doing workshops, he praised me for my work. But the fact that he called me for his next immediate film without an audition, that’s a huge compliment,” she said.

Was there performance pressure when working with a filmmaker like Pandey?

“I was very happy because I felt the pressure during Ouch and he had seen my potential and talent at that time. I just didn’t want to disappoint him and his fate in me. And I am glad to have had the chance to work with him again.”

Pooja, who debuted in Bollywood with Commando, was asked how were the characters of Aiyaari and Commando different.

She said: “My character in ‘Commando’ was that of the girl next door. She was just a normal girl. There was no need to transform myself.

“But here, Maya Semwal exhibits no girly traits. She is a man among men. Both the characters are very diverse. In fact, the character I played in the short film Ouch, is also completely different.

“In Ouch, I am a lady who has an extramarital affair. I am glad I got to play three different roles and they were all challenging in their own way.”

On what makes being a part of Aiyaari special, the former Miss India said: Aiyaari is very special because it is with a director I always wanted to work with, which is a very rare chance, especially for a girl to get a chance to play such a strong performance-oriented character is not easy.”

The movie features Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee as army officers in a storyline that brings corruption within the system to the forefront.

The film also features Rakul Preet Singh, Naseeruddin Shah, and Anupam Kher. It will release on Friday.