BEGUM JAAN, the highly anticipated film of Vidya Balan has hit silver screens today. The film showcases the fight of 11 women against the judiciary system in order to save their home.
In this last part we introduce you to Mishti (she plays Shabnam) and Raviza Chauhan (she plays Lata) from the film. Read on to know what they have to say about their experience working in this film, their role and why BEGUM JAAN is so special for them...
How did you bag this project?
Mishti: I know director Srijit dafrom long time back. So when he told me that he is doing this movie I was like okay okay good congratulations. Then suddenly one day he called me and asked me if I am interested in doing this movie. I am a big fan of Srijit Mukherji movies so I knew that if he is offering me something then it must be good for me. So I told him that I would like to be a part of this film so he said go and audition for it. Then after giving my audition I got selected for this part.
Raviza Chauhan: I was already searching for a good script and giving audition for the same, I went through Mukesh Chhabra's casting agency and I got a call that I have bagged this role.
The first thought that came to your mind while taking up BEGUM JAAN?
Mishti: I was little hesitant as it was a big ensemble cast there's always a chance of getting lost. But then I had faith in the director and thought that at some time you should rise above pettiness of being a heroine and think as an actor. And this movie was definitely a step towards growing as an actor
Was your family apprehensive regarding the subject of this film?
Mishti: No no not at all I belong to a very progressive family and they are not apprehensive about anything that I do in my career. I have a very liberal family.
Raviza: No, in my last short film which was directed by Imtiaz Ali' I had played the role of prostitute and in BEGUM JAAN, I wasn't apprehensive off anything.
What was your reaction when you came to know that Vidya Balan will be your co-star?
Mishti: I always knew that because the moment Srijit da came to Mumbai he told me that he has signed Vidya Balan for a movie. So it did not come as a shock or big surprise to me but working with her was an amazing experience.
Raviza: I was happy and delighted to share screen space with her.
So tell us how is Vidya Balan as a co-star?
Mishti: She is one superstar who is extremely grounded so humble so down to earth but with this immense aura of power around her and her power comes from her simplicity she is one of a kind I have not seen anyone like her. She is somebody who can make a mark in your life.
Raviza: She is an amazing person. She never made any of us feel that we are new. Thanks to the workshop we all shared a wonderful bond.
Tell us about your character in the film
Mishti: My character is very different from all other characters, it's completely on a different track and my character lends a new dimension to the story as well as the character of Begum Jaan. It's more of a silent character, acting with lot of expressions than words. It's the most detached character from the rest.
Raviza: I play one of the girls named Lata who stay with Begum Jaan in Brothel.
How did you prepared for this intense character?
Mishti: Intensity comes to me more naturally than quality. Intense emotions comes to me very naturally so I never thought of preparing for it but yes our director has held many workshops that helped us to get into the character. The workshops were not meant to make you learn acting as it is an art and cannot be learnt, but yes the workshops helped us in understanding the back story and psychology of the characters, how they feel and why they have ended up in the brothel so everything which would make us the character and live it rather than just act them.
Raviza: We had months of training at workshop before we actually started with the shooting.
Is director Srijit Mukherji a task master?
Mishti: No he is very doting actually, especially me and my co-star Poonam; he has always doted upon us, we being the youngest of the lot. But he was strict with the no make-up look if someone looked glamorous he would have her make up changed ''agar koi thoda sa glamourous without make up dikhta hai toh usko ganda make up laga do'' it was like that (laughs). He was also strict for the timings which is same with all directors as they have to keep in track of the time and for actresses it's like ''Hum thik toh lag rahe hai na?''
Raviza: No, in fact he is so easy going person to work with.
With so many women together, catfights must have been quite often?
Mishti: Not at all, we have this BEGUM JAAN group on WhatsApp where we talk rubbish and keep on chatting and we have lived like how friends live with their school-college mates, every day we used to have our food together then gossip among ourselves so it was lot of fun, there was no cat fights at all. When someone gave a good performance then everybody used to applaud for that person and if someone didn't performed well then everybody would motivate that person. I don't think any good film can be made by a single person it has to be a combined effort.
Raviza: (Laughs), so many people have asked me this question .Nothing of this sort happened, we knew each other well in fact we would help each other.
Why people should watch BEGUM JAAN?
Mishti: Firstly because of Vidya Balan for the kind of character that she portrays is commendable and this is one character that people are going to remember for many more days to come they are going to come out of the theatre with goosebumps. It's very rare the way this script has been written and conceived. It is also an opportunity for them to experience such a great master piece of art.
Tell us about your next project?
Mishti: Right on I am working on five projects down south and in Bollywood there is something very special in the pipeline but this is not a very good time to talk about it. I will talk about it at right time.
Raviza: I will soon be doing a Bollywood movie.