Whether it’s about playing a Hindi journalist in Global Baba, a cop in 7 Hours To Go or a crass person who runs away from her home in search of her hero in Gollu Aur Pappu, Sandeepa Dhar is excited about her never seen before avatars in Bollywood. She talks to Sangeeta Yadav about her upcoming projects, working with different directors, Broadway musical scene and much more
- Cannes has become more about fashion and less about parallel cinema. What do you have to say about it?
If there was no fashion involved in Cannes, people would not be talking so much about it. Five years back, how many people were actually talking about Cannes. It’s great that Indian films are been screened at Cannes and with each year, the participation is growing. That Richa Chadda starrerMasaan got a standing ovation proves that though we are not at par with international cinema yet, but we’re making huge strides.
- Your upcoming film Global Baba is a satire on the religious gurus. What role do you play in it?
I play a journalist, Bhawna who works in a small-time news channel. She hails from a middle class family based in Uttar Pradesh and is the one who uncovers the entire racket of so-called religious babas. It’s the first directorial debut of singer, actor turned politician Manoj Tiwari. The movie has got an ensemble cast that includes Abhimanyu Singh, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi.
- What was the biggest challenge for you while playing a journalist?
There is a long monologue in the film which is in chaste Hindi. It is supposed to be a speech that I was giving to a gathering of hundred people. I am pretty good at mugging up lines and do not easily forget, so that helped me a lot. But it was a nerve-wrecking scene to do because there were hundreds of extra actors creating a lot of commotion. It took us two days to shoot that scene.
- You will be playing a cop for the first time in 7 Hours To Go. How is it shaping up?
It is a contemporary thriller directed by Saurabh Verma who directed Mickey Virus and starres Shiv Pandit. I was wanting to do a full action movie and this is exactly what it is. I have even trained in martial arts.
- When is Gollu Aur Pappu releasing?
The movie is under post production. It’s a comedy film with Kunal Roy Kapoor and Vir Das which has been directed by Kabir Sadanand. It’s about this girl who runs away from her home to New Delhi. Here she meets with a boy and decides to get married. She is a crass local girl who is very abusive in nature. It was fun to play this role because I am nothing like her!
- How is it like working with three different directors?
Kabir Sadanand is an actor himself and his approach to direction is from an actor’s perspective. He understands why you are not able to get a particular scene right. He puts himself in that situation and decides what and how things should be done.
Saurabh Verma is like a joker and the most distracting person on the set. We have to remind him that we are in the middle of a film. He keeps the atmosphere so light and fun that you automatically don’t feel the pressure.
Manoj is a more serious person maybe because he comes from a different school altogether. He helped me to work in sync with the seasoned actors like Abhimanyu Singh and Sanjay Mishra.
- What kind of an actor do you consider yourself?
I’m still too new and learning. For me, it’s very important to have a good co-actor. Acting isn’t only about you, it’s an art what you’re doing with the other person in the scene. Acting is reacting and it’s very important to get the right reaction with the other person. I keep adapting depending upon the kind of director I’m working with.
- Tell us about the international musical theatre that you are doing?
We are doing a Broadway musical which is called West Side Story. It’s based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julietand is choreographed and directed by famous Australian choreographer Garry Stewart. I am playing the role of Maria and it’s a complete sing, dance and acting performance.
- Being a professional dancer, you never showcased your dance skills in Bollywood. Why?
I keep telling people that I am a dancer first but no one takes me seriously (laughs).
- Would you be interested in doing a dance movie or TV show?
The dance shows in India are not so much about dancing but more about gimmick, doing lifts and aerial work. This has restricted dancing to just that and it’s always about wao moment and that’s sad. If you watch international shows like So you think you can dance, it’s not so much about how many aerial acts you can do. It’s more about dancing and that’s lacking on our television.
(The interview was published in The Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/multi-talented-dhar.html)