Here are the excerpts.
How you bagged DAM 999?
I received a call for an audition after I was spotted on a television commercial. I went through a look test and performed important scenes from the film for the directing team. 3 days later I was informed that they wanted me to portray Raziya- my character’s name in DAM 999.
What fascinated you about DAM 999?
The screenplay. The Plot. The characters. The research and passion Sohan Roy put into the film, fascinated me from the word ‘go’.
Why you chose an unconventional film to make your debut than going for a typical commercial film?
I have no regrets. It has been an honor for me to be associated with such acclaimed industry professionals. DAM 999 has been written and directed by Sohan Roy with immense passion. He is very knowledgeable and did extensive research.
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What is DAM 999 all about?
DAM 999 holds a lot of significance. It highlights a socially relevant issue -age old dams that are reason of concern today. A story about 9 characters each representing a dam within and what happens when the emotions like the water reach a breaking or leaking point. The film has woven the concept of the ‘Navarasas’ or the 9 major human emotions beautifully. Each character symbolizes a rasa. There are many other elements in the film that would be best enjoyed in 3D.
There are too many characters in the film. How will you make mark among them?
Stanislavski said, ‘In art you do not command you persuade’. If I have managed to achieve even half of what I set out to do with Raziya then I am happy. The quality of work is more important than the number of scenes. All the nine characters have a very important part in the film. No one over shadows the other.
What’s your role in DAM 999 and how significant it is?
I play a Muslim girl named Raziya. She portrays the Shringara Rasa. She is the epitome of romance and love. Raziya grows very fond of the little boy Sam, and takes care of him like she would her own child. Freddy and Raziya besides being lovers share great camaraderie.
What are you plans for Bollywood?
I am not good at making plans. (Smiles) All I know is that I want to keep working at my craft, facing challenging roles, growing as an artist and a human being, and be able to pay my monthly bills. I just want to act whether it be in Films or on the stage.
You play a Muslim girl in the film so how you prepared for the role?
I read the script several times. Then I started working from the inside. I started with her inner characteristic traits, her history with her parents, her emotional bond with Freddy. How she should cover her head and wear her clothes, how she should walk and talk.
Your entire experience working on this project.
DAM 999 has been a great opportunity and lovely learning curve in my life. It was my first experience working with sync-sound, on a large set, shooting in multiple locations in a culturally diverse working environment.
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What was most challenging part of DAM 999?
Some days were more demanding than the others, but that’s how film-making is. The stakes are always high. We witnessed several days of organized chaos, which is inevitable on any set. (Smiles) We joked about the choice between the humidity in Cochi and the dry-heat in Dubai.
‘I am not related to R.D Saab’
Some more about your background? Any connection with R .D Burman?
It all began with the Bru commercial, which was luck by chance. My friend was going for the audition and asked me to come along. 5 days later I was at the shoot. I would receive audition calls asking for the Bru Girl. Work opportunities streamed through, but I felt the need to train. So I enrolled in Roshan Taneja’s Acting School in Mumbai. My approach to the art went through a drastic change. Roshan Sir has a unique teaching style, and I look up to him. After completing my work on DAM 999 I enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.
(Laughs) Unfortunately, I am not related to R.D Saab.