In a natural avatar

Exploring Self

In a natural avatar

Actress Shriya Saran cannot stop thanking her lucky stars for being part of a Deepa Mehta film. The fact that she was able to rub shoulders with Salman Rushdie was a dream come true for the young actress. In the City recently, she was beaming with pride, thanks to ‘Midnight’s Children’.

“I feel I am lucky. I cannot thank Deepa enough for teaching me so many things. This film has really been a wonderful experience and showed me a different side of myself,” she says.

About her experience of working in the film, she says that the workshops, which had been organised by the
director before the actual shoot, were quite a bit of challenge. “Every actor did a brilliant job in the film. I am a huge fan of Seema Biswas and admire her work. She had an injury during the workshop and could have easily avoided coming to the workshops, but she made it a point to not only attend the workshop but also give her best in it. The same goes for Satya, who plays the role of Saleem. He was extremely innovative and worked very hard for the film, in fact, some of the exercises that he did were brilliant,” she adds.

She goes on to add that the workshop demanded that the actors be emotionally naked in front of the others. “It made me see different layers of myself, it was like looking at the mirror and realising things, Siddharth who is playing the role of Shiva, was very imaginative and everyday we explored new depths in ourselves. In one of the activities, Deepa divided the floor into navarasas and every actor had to jump into a box and act out a line according to the rasa, she notes.

The pretty actress is thrilled about her role in the film and does not forget to mention that her character was different in many ways.

“We didn’t wear any make-up in the film. My look in the film is very natural and there have been times when I have oiled my hair and painted my self black for the role. In fact, we even used artificial eyebrows to bring out the natural look,” she explains.

Her admiration for Deepa Mehta is quite obvious and she is vocal about it. “I have seen all her movies and had an opportunity to work with her earlier as well. I was very excited to work with her again. I am grateful that I could be a part of the movie and she made me work with all that I had. After the workshop, when she told me that I could play the role of Parvathy, it made me look at myself in a new light,” she says. “The role is immensely intense and I had a lot of faith in Deepa and myself to portray it. I feel it is a huge responsibility for me and since Deepa had the trust in me, she gave me the opportunity. I could call her and talk to her anytime. She is someone whose sensibilities I really related to,’’ she notes.

Language has never been a barrier for her and she says that her stint in the Southern film industries has helped her career. “Learning a language was never tough for me as I have grown up learning languages. I am glad that I did films in the South. I have always done different kinds of movies and they have taught me a lot,” she states. For now, she is all set for the release of ‘Midnight's Children’ in the country.

Appreciating the hospitality of the City, she says that the weather is a welcome change for her. “Bangalore has amazing weather all year round. People here have been very nice to us. Many have come and met us and it was a pleasant experience,’’ she says.

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