A Thursday was a very thrilling and entertaining show. The show had commendable performances by the actors giving their best, to get more insights about these performances we talked to the actors. Here is a conversation with Yami Gautam, Neha Dhupia and Behzad Khambata helping us understand what goes into playing a serious character like that.
Behzad Khambata: How do you think this film is different from the flood of thriller that we have on OTT?
Those aren’t popular, but this one is. Jokes aside, there are some excellent thrillers available online, and because to the power of OTT, you can now watch four films per day. These can be watched from anywhere, so OTT is a terrific place to be if you’re looking for a good thriller.
Yami Gautam: how do you see yourself amid actresses who have made an identity of themselves in these times when actresses are really getting meaty roles?
Yes, that is the concept. Vicky Donor was my debut ten years ago. It sounds like it’s been a long time, but it feels like yesterday. You don’t always get to choose what kind of parts you wish to play. It took me ten years to reach a place in my career where I feel confident enough to play truly significant roles, and I hope that filmmakers would trust me with them as well. It provides me the opportunity to try something new and surprise the audience. This is a fantastic time to be alive since there are so many opportunities. It’s because the audience is ready; they’ve been waiting for terrific content, and all we must do now is deliver it. Gone are the days when only movies starring particular celebrities could capture the attention of the public; nowadays, everyone is a star in their own right, and the hardest struggle is to stand out. I’m glad I was able to express what I wanted to achieve with characters like Naina and others that I’ve performed in the past. I’m hoping that this trend continues.
Neha Dhupia: you have been into reality television a lot, So, how is it different from acting in fiction?
I believe it is the polar opposite. Whatever you see on a reality show is more or less accurate to what is going on in the actual world. A director’s fiction is stuff that he or she has written and directed. I’ve only been on one so far, and it’s the one where I feel the most like myself. I tell everyone that you don’t have to be like me on a reality show, that you don’t have to be feisty or competitive, that you don’t have to stand up for what you believe in or have an opinion. When people see me on reality TV, the one thing they should remember is to be themselves. That’s who I am; I’m true to myself, and they should be as well. Second, when it comes to cinema, I try to stay as far away from myself as possible. However, Behzad cast me in a part that was comparable to mine. Films, in my opinion, are an entirely other animal. You must switch it up, switch it down, and follow the director’s instructions. It is best to be oneself.
Yami Gautam: how much time did you take to prepare for this character?
Due to the circumstances of the previous year, there was a backlog of work, therefore time was of the essence to prepare each function in which I was involved. I wish I could have X amount of days to prepare for a film to make it easier, but I can’t since it would disrupt my entire line of work. Behzad and I worked on improving the amount of time we spent working on and understanding the script. It was quite significant. Every actor has their own tone, and we all contribute something unique to the table, so in my situation, I had to bring my own uniqueness to the character, and it had to be in sync with the writer and director. In addition, because my character is in a set geographical place, blocking was done with care. However, the audience should not feel as if it is static or without movement. It’s because everything was meticulously planned and discussed, and I’m delighted it was worthwhile.
Behzad Khambata: What made you choose this story?
Well, the narrative chose me, not the other way around. Because it was written in collaboration with a pal. The idea was what would happen if a teacher kidnapped his or her students. What would happen if someone did that, and why would they do it? We considered a variety of social causes before deciding on the one that impacts us all. In every manner, it impacts our country and every woman. That, I believe, is how the entire framework came to be.
Behzad Khambata: How did the idea of making children hostage emerged?
I believe that including children attracts a lot of attention. Everyone’s attention was drawn to the trailer when it was released and indicated that 16 children had been kidnapped. And that hook at the start drew viewers in for the duration of the movie.
Neha Dhupia: It must have been challenging while being pregnant, what were those difficulties?
It was extremely difficult because there was a 1.5-2-month gap between when I was cast as a pregnant cop and when we ended filming. There was a lot going on, and I was growing every day, which was becoming unpleasant, but what is life without a little challenge? We made it because the team was wonderful. In addition, I enjoy being on a film set in whatever capacity.
Yami Gautam: How is this role different from the ones which you have done earlier?
More than words, I believe the reaction I’m getting is the way it is because people haven’t seen me in this type of position before because it hasn’t been written before. This storey and film have never been done before. As a result, it’s quite distinct. It has a lot of layers and complexity to it. This part demanded a lot more; it’s not just a thriller. I’m sure you agree with me now that you’ve seen it twice. You must let rid of all inhibitions to prepare for a character.
The concept is to let go, and I’ll have to learn how to let go for this character. This was a revelation for me on many levels. You can’t cheat those emotions if, as an audience, you engaged with particular aspects of a film because there was no pretence of any type. It’s also fortunate to have a filmmaker that knows your viewpoint on the role. It would not be possible otherwise; if people find the performance unique and refreshing, it is due not only to the actor, but also to the director and the team. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and my role is not simply to show up on set and read my lines. I’m also curious about other aspects of the production, such as the camera or how my co-stars are portraying their characters. I’m invested in the entire movie. That’s how I learn, and it’s how I improve at what I do.
Yami Gautam: What are your upcoming projects?
There’s a film called ‘Lost,’ which is an emotional drama with an investigative thriller undertone. That’d be a different kind of suspense than this one. I’m portraying the role of a reporter. Then there’s ‘Dasvi,’ which is about education with a humorous undertone. Tushar Jalota is the director. The next one is ‘OMG 2,’ in which I play the role of a lawyer.
According to me, some great things are on the way.
Neha Dhupia: Don’t you think you haven’t explored yourself enough as an actor? Why so?
I believe that every actor has a long way to go, and I will continue to work hard if I am given further opportunities.
“I recognise that we have to prove ourselves with each film that we do,” Yami said, “and I’ve moved past the stage where I was frightened of being asked, ‘What do you think of it, when this person is doing so well?’ or ‘Your film didn’t perform well, how are you feeling?’ I just have one piece of advice: take it one step at a time. Also, as an actor, Neha has taken a significant step forward with this film.”