'I love the work culture here'

Exciting role

'I love the work culture here'

Actor Flora Saini has had a roller-coaster journey in the film industry. Though she is predominantly known for her roles in Tollywood, she has also acted in a few Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films.

Having done over 50 films so far, she has worked with popular actors like Rajinikanth, Prabhu, Karthik and Rajasekhar.

She will now be seen playing the role of Maina in Bollywood film ‘Begum Jaan’ alongside Vidya Balan. In a tete-e-tete with Anila Kurian, she shares some fun moments on the sets and talks about her future projects.

How did you bag the role in ‘Begum Jaan’?

‘Dhanak’, which is one of the Telugu movies that I worked in, was being screened when Srijit Mukherji, the director, took notice of me. I met him, auditioned for the role and heard the storyline. I knew I had to be a part of it.  

How did you prepare for your character?

The movie is a period drama set during India’s partition in 1947. I play the role of Maina, a Gujarati tribal who works in a brothel. I spent time with the women in the brothels in Delhi. They are fearless and unabashed warriors and rulers of their world. That was amazing to learn.

What was it like working with Vidya Balan? 

She is such a sweetheart! The set was a lot livelier because of her.

A memory from the set that you fondly recall...

Vidya Balan is the kind of person who becomes friends with everyone on the set. So Srijit sir kept her away from us as much as possible so that we could prepare for our roles. But she came to the workshop one day and we started hooting and cheering; we were so excited to see her. Since we shot in such extreme conditions in Jharkhand, she always made sure that we were hydrated and provided us with fans.

How did your interest in Telugu films come about?

Oh my! Long story short — I participated in a few beauty pageants and someone told me that I should work in movies. But my dad wanted me to continue my studies or go to Mumbai and pursue an acting course before looking for a role. During the course, I was offered ‘Prema Kosam’ as they wanted a fresh face.

Your opinion about the South Indian film industry.

I love the work culture here. It’s so well-planned. There are no long breaks during the shootings and that is great for an actor. You don’t have to worry about getting out of your character or growing your hair.

Your upcoming projects... 

I’m part of a web series called ‘A.I.SHA: My Virtual Girlfriend’. I am also working on another web series called ‘Maid in India’. There is a project with Ram Gopal
Varma which will be announced soon.

How do you spend your free time? 

I love baking. It helps me destress. I am planning to attend classes to learn how to make cakes, chocolates and cookies.

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