Polish actress Erika Kaar, who has done a few English TV series like The Passing Bells, is the new face in Bollywood. She is being launched by Ajay Devgn in Shivaay. She talks to Sangeeta Yadav about her Indian journey
- Tell us about your role in Shivaay?
I play Olga, Shivaay’s the love interest. When I was narrated about the role, I was intrigued and excited to play her and act opposite Ajay Devgn who is a versatile actor and filmmaker.
- Did you have to struggle for your debut?
Not at all! I was not even trying to bag roles in films. This project fell into my lap. I was in Poland when the producers of Shivaay approached me with this film. Looking at my previous acting background, they thought I would fit in the bill perfectly. I thought to give it a try and went to Mumbai for workshops. I was looked after very well by Shivaay’s team. Because of them I was never lonely. Though there was no struggle, the journey was all about hard work. I spent almost one year to prepare for this project ever since I came to India in January 2015.
- How did you prepare for the role?
Being new in Bollywood, I had to work a lot harder to understand my character. Apart from script coaching, I also had a Hindi teacher who helped me in getting the right ascent and dialogue delivery. Everyday, I used to make notes about what kind of person Olga is and her background.
- What about the stunts?
I did some of the stunts by myself. There are a few scenes that were shot in the mountains and for that the makers roped in professional mountain climber cum professional body doubles. There is a scene where the tent is falling off the mountain cliff, that was pretty scary.
- One thing that was out of your comfort zone.
Walking down the stairs in high heels and elegant outfit! The scene required a lot of focus because I didn’t want to fall.
- Did you watch Bollywood films to get a hang of how things work here?
No, because Ajay Devgn wanted everything to come out naturally, instead of looking copied or influenced from something. He asked me to go with the flow and how I perceived the character.
- Can you share some anecdotes?
Everyday I was learning something new on the sets by observing people and their work. If I was not able to perform a scene properly, I used to talk to the team and try to understand what I was required to do. That had some fun moments while I tried to understand why certain things were happening.
- How comfortable were you doing intimate scenes with Ajay Devgn?
He and the entire crew made it very comfortable. We shot it professionally. Ajay was keep asking me if ‘I was comfortable? Is it ok if we can take another take.’ If I did something wrong, I was corrected. I was not mollycoddled, yet had everyone’s support. This made everything easy for me. After shooting the scene, we would watch it over on the screens to see how our ideas had come out on the screen. When you shoot an intimate scene, it’s important for the co-stars and director to make you feel comfortable so that it looks natural and not put on or forced.
- What next?
Right now I am waiting for the release of Shivaay. I love my work and I want to let my work speak for itself. I don’t believe in waiting for opportunities to come to me. Instead like a seeker, I am always in the search of something new to learn. This project has been a great learning experience.
(The article got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/shivaay-has-taught-me-a-lot.html).