For petite Tia Bajpai, playing a possessed girl in 1920 – EVIL RETURNS was a reason good enough to be quite shaken up right through it's filming. However, her co-star Aftab Shivdasani went a step ahead by not just narrating a few ghost stories to her; he also showed her some explicit videos of real people who were not under the control of the spirits.
'That was enough to spook out Tia,' informs a unit member, 'Tia was going by the script and as per director Bhushan Patel's instructions. However Aftab, in all his right earnest, wanted Tia to get further familiarised with how a common man could be actually brutalised in the event of getting possessed. He went on the internet and selected quite a few videos from world over where people were possessed by spirits.'
The visuals and the voices on play were heart stopping indeed and after a while, Tia had to politely ask Aftab to stop playing these videos any more.
Says Tia in an animated tone, 'I was anyways a nervous wreck playing this part because in subjects like these, switch off-switch on isn't that easy. Moreover, hum ne spirits wagairah movies mein toh kaafi dekhi hain, stories bhi padhi hain. However when it is shown to you in real life scenario, it is a different ballgame altogether. That was the case with some reality videos that Aftab showed to me. It is scary when you realise that someone normal could be trapped in such terrible situation. After a while it became too much for me to absorb what was going on screen. I just decided to go by my instinct during rest of the shoot.'
Incidentally Tia is not new to hearing such real life horror stories. Even during the making of HAUNTED, her debut film, she had to go through the ordeal when her director Vikram Bhatt narrated to her such true tales and some personal experiences.