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After KALYUG, your second film YMI is now releasing. What is the movie all about?
YEH MERE INDIA is a typical N. Chandra film. It will bring back the old N Chandra of films like TEZAAB, ANKUSH, KAGAAR, TEJASWINI, NARSIMHA, PRATIGHAAT etc. Like them even YMI is a hard hitting real film which was also shot at real location. Anybody can relate to the characters shown in the film. It deals with many different issues but at the same time it will be a paisa vasool for the viewer. I am glad that I am a part of this movie. After KALYUG I was waiting for a good script with a strong role for me.
Tell something about your character? How did you prepare for your role?
In Y.M.I., I am playing a totally different character than that of Renuka of KALYUG. Renuka commits suicide after facing sexual harassment. My character Asha in Y.M.I. also goes through the harassment but she fights backs with the people and the circumstances. She is very sweet simple Maharashtrian girl and works in a call center. But she is very strong and unwilling to give up or accept defeat. However, when you talk about my preparation for role, I have been in Mumbai for a very long time now and my interaction with Maharashtrians too, has been in depth. I just had to look around at my friends and known people to adapt the body language and characteristics. Then we had shot at real locations that too added to my learning experience.
What is your look in the film?
This is the story of 24 hours. Since I am a simple middle class Maharashtrian girl, I’m wearing Salwar Kamiz at work. But in 2nd half of the day I’m with my boyfriend played by Purab Kohli. So I suggested to Chandraji to let me wear long skirt and top. He liked it and accepted it. So there are only two changes in the entire film.
Title is, YEH MERA INDIA. It suggests nationalism. Comment.
There are five different stories in one movie. All are inter connected and influence each other’s life. People from different places come together as one story eventually. While watching it you will definitely think that this kind of situation and reactions can happen only in India. You will walk out with the feeling of pride at being an Indian. It’s the story of people and their reactions. It is not about patriotism but it will invoke the feeling.
How was the experience working with such a talented director like N Chandra? What did you learn from him?
Well Chandra ji is a very experienced director, so naturally my exposure to his style of acting has been really very big learning curve. He prefers to enact the scene for his actor. May it be me or any other senior actor. I realized that in this manner, he is able to draw exactly what he wants. In fact I had to give such fewer retakes for most of my shots because of this. His excitement and energy level, while demonstrating, used be exactly as per the age of the character, which was really amazing. He is always open to suggestion.
On the contrary, he is so patient with his artiste and he really pampers them like a baby. I remember one incident very clearly. We were shooting the film on Synch Sound, so there used to be big mike and many wires on us for proper recording of the dialogues. For one particular scene, when I was putting the mike in my clothes, zip broke. Naturally we had to re-stitch it and this took about 15 minutes. When I reached the sets I was 20 minute late and was scared that Chandra Ji would be angry. Instead he called me to ask if I was ok and needed more time. He used to pamper me.
You have worked with two directors. What is the best about both?
As an actor I have worked with three directors by now. Mohit is young and very intense about his projects. He is totally focused on the story while shooting. Chandra ji is also very focused but takes it slightly easier. He would enact the scene and then let us take off from there. Andalip Sultanpuri ji has different way. He would explain his expectations and then let you do the scene. All three are useful for the growth of an actor. I am lucky to have worked with them.
Who are the other co-stars in the film?
We have five different stories dealing with different issues in the film, so we have huge star cast in the film and all of them are great actor. Anupam Kher, Seema Biswas, Rajapal Yadav, Purab Kohli, Shivaji Shinde, Parveen Dabbas, Rajit Kapoor, Parizad Zorabian. But in my story I am playing main protagonist and Purab is my love interest while Rajit Kapoor is playing my boss.
Now a days, link up between lead pair is so common. Anything brewing between you and Purab?
No baba. No link ups. We are great buddies but that is all. Since Purab has worked in Mohit’s film WOH LAMHE, I know him well. So from the first day itself, we were together on the sets. We would also rehearse our lines together before the scene because in synch sound, there isn’t any dubbing. Sound and dialogues are recorded at the shoot. So we had to practice and rehearse, but all was in good faith and only as friends. It’s like two guys together. There are some scenes where I had a long monologue but still he would come in my vanity van to help me learn and practice.
Is there any song in your film which is related to India? ‘phir bhi dil hai hindustani’ type?
No we don’t have any song like that but yes we have one background song which comes on particular time in the each and every story.
Why is there such a long gap after your first film? Why were you not seen in any of Bhatt film?
I was getting offers of same lovely sweet simple girl of Kashmir which I have played in KALYUG. I had no intentions of getting type cast. So I preferred to wait instead. When YEH MERA INDIA came, I accepted and the film was shot a little while back. It has taken little longer to release. Another film DOWNTOWN is on floors. As for not repeating Bhatt camp, they don’t really repeat their heroines. I was no exception.
Any future project you are working on after this?
After this DOWNTOWN is coming starring me opposite a actor, Rati Agnihotri, Vinod Khanna and its directed by Mr. Sultan Puri who has directed Salman Khan and Urmila Matodkar starrer movie JANAM SAMJA KARO. Few other projects are under discussion.