Habib Faisal’s recently released web series ‘Dil Bekaraar’ tells the story of the Thakur family. Peppered with comedy, drama and love, it travels back in time to the era of the 1980s when India was witnessing tectonic shifts in its social, political and economical landscape.
The series, which stars a balanced mix of young crop of talents like Sukhmani Sadana, Akshay Oberoi, Sahher Bambba and Anjali Anand, and veterans like Poonam Dhillon, Raj Babbar and Padmini Kolhapure, is based on the book – ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ – by Anuja Chauhan.
Sukhmani, who plays one of the Thakur girls in the series, recently spoke with IANS about her association with the series, being in the company of veteran actors, taking a trip down memory lane with the show’s setting and Habib Faisal’s process as a director.
Revealing how she became a part of the show and what made her sign on the dotted line, Sukhmani said, “‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ is one of my favourite books. I have always been fond of it, and I have been waiting for years to watch it get adapted into a series. It was my pure luck to get a call to audition for one of the sisters’ characters. The only reason I wanted to do it was because of the brilliant book.”
Artistes refine themselves in the company of veterans, talking about her equation with the senior actors of the show, she says, “I have worked with a lot of artists in many web series, but I don’t think I have ever worked with anyone so senior, who I have grown watching. So, it was a surreal experience to work with them (Poonam Dhillon and Raj Babbar) and have them essay the roles of my parents.”
She adds, “It was hard to sink in because I have watched them growing up on the screen. I made sure to observe them closely while they were acting. They are brilliant actors, and I have so much to learn from them. They were sweet, patient, and loving. We literally became like a family by the end of the shoot. I call them ‘Maa & Paa’ now.”
Explaining her preparations for the part, the actress states, “I thought my character was a lot like Sridevi. I watched a lot of films from the ’80s, and I also danced a lot to the ’80s songs because I had a scene where I had to dance. It is nice to watch things from that era because it gets into your skin, and you start breathing it. Before you realise it, you are subconsciously there.”
The show’s director Habib Faisal is widely recognised for crafting compelling stories from the most simple subjects. Shedding light on his process and what sets him apart from other filmmakers, Sukhmani says, “I would literally fall short of words if I had to explain the beauty of that man’s craftsmanship. He knows exactly what he wants.”
“His clarity of mind is very comforting, and it gives me so much confidence as an actor. Because when you know what your director wants, you win half the battle. It was a delight and a complete pleasure to work with him. I have heard wonderful things about him but working with him was an experience. I would give a lot of credit to him for my performance in the show,” she signs off.
–By Akshay Acharya