A far cry from the ordinary

A far cry from the ordinary

By all appearances, she doesn’t take vanity seriously. Not as much as acting. Ever since Anjali Patil turned Naxalite for Chakravyuh, she has not looked back.

“It’s nice to break expectations,” the National-Award winner is candid. But life has changed since then.

“In good ways. There are different types of roles coming in now,” she avers. Given how well her career is going, the confidence is only incidental.

The former student of National School Drama, films were not where she intended to be, but where destiny took her.

In a career marked with honours, the importance of the film, ‘With You, Without You’, cannot be understated.

In it, she plays Selvi, a Tamilian girl who falls in love with a Sri Lankan man.

It’s only later that she finds out that he is an ex-militant.

The film, with its gamut of emotions, must have posed unfathomable challenges. “I won’t say it was very easy.

Portraying emotions can be difficult,” she says. And then there’s her analysis of the character.

“Your past and the experience you garner at a particular stage makes you what you are. My attitude of receiving love is different from hers. For Selvi, there is a loss of security. I am always into improvising, but here I was, tied up in chains. The script was one of the most beautiful ones that I had read,” she says.

She admits she didn’t do any background research before the shoot.

“I didn’t want to get into too many facts as it would have hampered the acting process. I just saw some of the documentaries and some images were heart-wrenching,” she adds.

Anjali, by no means, is letting herself be confined or stereotyped. In ‘Finding Fanny’, she gets into the garb of Stefanie ‘Fanny’ Fernandes. She plays an old postman’s (Naseeruddin Shah) childhood sweetheart.

So how was it acting with Shah given the fact that he was her teacher?

“Naseer was so amazing, he used to teach us at NSD when I was a student of direction. In the class, he used to be furious. We were really scared of him. However, on the sets, he was cool, different...We were colleagues and he was happy to see me working,” she recollects.

More on those who have inspired her, she says, “I met Girish Kasaravalli recently, someone I admire a lot. I told him – ‘I need to be on your set. Even if it is just to serve tea, I’ll be there’,” says Anjali who is open to doing South-Indian films.

For a thinking actor, has she ever felt the dearth of good scripts in Bollywood?

“Scripts are always lacking mettle. Every actor looks for a good director. Most of us are crying for good scripts. But the ones which are written well do not get buyers.”
But there is optimism and she is willing to wait. “Times are changing. I have good scripts. I feel good days are coming,” she says.

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