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Meerra Chopra: I'm the actress who does a role with real-life perspective, but 1920: LONDON didn't have scope for that

May 6, 2016 2:55:41 PM IST
By Shaheen Irani, Glamsham Editorial
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If Priyanka Chopra and Parineeti Chopra have made their mark in Bollywood, then Mannara and Meerra Chopra too have tried their luck here, but somehow they just couldn't stand up to the mark. Meerra however is again seen on the big screen in 1920: LONDON with Sharman Joshi and Vishal Karwal. In an interview, the actress spoke about her journey, past experiences and more…

Here are some excerpts from the interview:


How's your experience been in Mumbai?
It's been 2 years now. Initially I hated it. Delhi is a livable place. It doesn't stink. But Mumbai is a good place to work. I would've loved to stay in town and find it real Mumbai.

How was your experience working on the film?
It's probably my first and last horror film.

Are you scared of horror films?
I'm not scared of it. In fact it's my favourite genre. Since my childhood, I have barged on every Hindi and English horror film. In fact, 3-4 years back I had gone to US (I make it a point to go there every year) and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1 released that time. It was about real incidents. I was staying with my cousin, whose basement was wooden and it had very narrow stairs to travel there. I wasn't sleepy and at 1 o clock in the night, we saw PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. When I got up in the morning the next day, my whole family was like are you mad? I don't get scared of, but thrilled with horror films. So when 1920 was offered to me, obviously horror wasn't the factor. It was the first Hindi movie I said yes to. It was a successful franchise and I even messaged Vikram Bhatt calling this his most well-written script. I had an extremely strong role to portray as well. I wasn't playing the ghost and was working with Sharman. I always looked up to him. I've been his fan in 3 IDIOTS, FERRARI KI SAWAARI and RANG DE BASANTI. So for me, there was no reason to say no to the story. In fact this was the kind of project I was waiting for. It was a win-win situation so I went ahead with it.

'Horror movies are very difficult for a girl to enact'

Do you think Bollywood would typecast you?
GANG OF GHOSTS was a comedy and I didn't need to do that movie because I was anyways coming as a solo lead in 1920: LONDON. I asked Vikram about GOG and he told me to go ahead. I did because I trust him blindly. Also, I was excited for it because as a newcomer, I was excited to work with so many people in one movie. I got to know almost everybody. It was a good experience because I was working with so many senior artists in that movie and now I'm friends with all of them. Not everybody gets the chance to work with so many people. It was one of it's own kind of experience.

Why is 1920 your last horror movie?
Because I have realized that horror movies are very difficult to do for a girl. My role was really difficult because it's very stressful. You don't behave like this in your real life. Your body language and everything changes and it's completely different from what you are in everyday life. When you do those things for 70-80 days, it becomes so stressful and heavy on your head that you almost give up. In the 40 days schedule in London, I was only crying or getting scared. There's not even one scene in 1920 where I'm laughing. I remember telling my director to include that scene, but it's not there because there's no scope for it. As an actor you don't feel free because you're limiting yourself to certain expressions only. But shooting for horror movie is funny because it's the genre where you completely have to act. So it's a very difficult genre to perform and I wouldn't want to do it again. When I took the narration, I didn't know it was going to be very difficult. I've always been a very over-confident actress. Coming after working from the South, I thought I can do any role very easily. I'm the kind of actress who thinks about a role with a real-life perspective, but one cannot behave like I do in 1920: LONDON. If the lights are off and you hear something, then you wouldn't go and check things only by yourself. So when I started working, I did wonder how would I do it. But Tinu, our director, helped a lot. He's by far the most talented director I've worked with. He knew exactly what he wanted from us in the movie. Probably we all weren't that prepared when going to London, but he was well-prepared. That is what helped give us guidance of our characters. Vikram gave us a brief about shooting for a love story and we shot only a love story for 40 days of shooting in London. Horror was added later on because we can't deviate from what the franchise demands. It's a beautiful love story, which is where I think it differentiates from the other 2 parts.

Having said that, do you think that if this movie had been your debut, it would've been a better one?
That's what I always wanted. I always say that 1920 is my debut movie because I was sitting jobless for 1 and a half years in Mumbai. I wasn't happy with the scripts I got in that period of time. I never jumped into something I wasn't convinced of. 1920 is the movie which will always be emotionally close for me because I waited for it. Vikram Bhatt will always be the special one in my life because he was the first one to give me my first break. It was because of circumstances that the movie didn't release earlier, because we had worked on this film earlier to GOG.

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