Actress Vishakha Singh, who plays a ghost in a forthcoming Tamil horror-thriller, describes it as the most exciting role of her career. She says it was emotionally as well physically taxing to essay the character.
"I don’t think this is my most challenging role. I had done a very emotionally challenging role of a freedom fighter in 2010 Hindi film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. I think the role in this new film has to be the most exciting till date," Vishakha said.
Asked what makes the role of a ghost so exciting, she said: "For once, I did not have to look pretty. I didn’t have to worry about my hairstyle or my clothes or the make-up. I didn’t have to be all cute and try to be bubbly.
"I just had to explore another side of my personality. I have never scared anybody, I have never yelled at anybody, screamed at anybody. So, I decided to accept the challenge. It was fabulous to not play the damsel in distress."
The film, which is directed by Mani Sharma, also stars Bharath Reddy and Meenakshi Dixit in the lead.
Recalling how emotionally and physically taxing it was to play a ghost, she said: "We were shooting in jungles of Kerala, in the cold, mostly during night shifts. We were shooting for 19 hours a day, sometimes even 21 hours a day and we were shooting back-to-back," she said.
"To add to the tough schedule, I was constantly running or chasing. I was constantly screaming or crying in the shots. So yes, physically and emotionally it became very, very taxing," Vishakha added.
Vishakha said the entire team braved snakes, leeches and insects and shot in the interiors of Kerala.
"Each day, the entire unit in the morning would apply a lot of ointments to prevent leech bites. However, everybody got bitten except me because my assistant used to give me eucalyptus oil to apply on my legs and hands first.
"Then, I used to apply salt on my skin to keep the leeches away. Lastly, when I would get into my costumes, we used to use Hit spray on my clothes to keep insects away," she said.
Post the shoot, Vishakha faced difficulty adjusting to normal life.
"I did have with withdrawl symptoms after the shoot. I was genuinely missing the fresh air and the natural beauty of Kerala. However, when I came back home to Mumbai and started living a normal life, I began to appreciate all the comforts and all that we enjoy and take for granted on a day-to-day basis," she said.
One thing that has happened after the shoot is that Vishakha has stopped being afraid of horror films.
While she hasn’t signed any new southern film projects, Vishakha is looking forward to start shooting for Fukrey 2 from November.