Follow Us:

“Our madness is still the same”

Actress Vidya Balan and director Sujoy Ghosh talk about their latest film and working together after Kahaani.

Tanushree Sen |

While promoting Kahaani 2, actress Vidya Balan and director Sujoy Ghosh were at their vivacious, candid best, pulling each other’s legs while talking about the film. Any signs of the supposed cold war between the two once upon a time are absolutely put to rest as the director tries to teach his actor snatches of Bengali nursery rhymes, and she mocks him with them. Excerpts for an interview:
Q How are the promotions going? What has been the feedback so far?
Balan: I’m thoroughly enjoying them. Unlike Kahaani, this time Ghosh and I are promoting equally, and I realised that he is not as boring as I thought and can be quite fun. I like promotions to be a fun thing you know. And so far, the best feedback has been that people have been trying to come with their own little theories and their own stories of the trailer and they are all trying to figure it out. That is really exciting.
Ghosh: You do promotions before a film, but after a film, you never find out how the film did. But now, during the promotions, we are getting to find out what they thought of Kahaani, which is really nice for me. It is the greatest feeling on earth, when people actually tell you what they thought of the film, as they never got a chance to say it before.
Q So, are these expectations, this pressure more because of the success that Kahaani was? Is it because somewhere there is a need to live up to the first film?
Balan: So, there was pressure, until about the trailer released, people kept wondering or asking “Is it gonna be as good?” But after the trailer, honestly, people have stopped asking questions. They know that it’s a completely different story and they are trying to do their own maths. That’s taken a certain pressure off, and somewhere, they’ve bought into the plot of Kahaani 2. So that way, it’s like the first step has been achieved. But I have to tell you, even before the trailer, I was not nervous. He (Ghosh) was, and I guess he would be, because if it’s my baby, he is that much more when it comes to calling it a creation.
Ghosh: Even when we started the film, I think one of the most pressurising points was to find the right story. But like we told people, we never set out to make a film that would be better than Kahaani. We wanted to make a film which we believe in, a story which we really wanted to tell, and that was the basic intention. It was never made to create history, or some iconic character etc. It was just for making a film.
Q What was the first day of shoot like? Were you comfortable knowing that you were on familiar territory or were you nervous?
Balan: We know each other and have worked before, so there was that comfort. We had shot for Kahaani quite a few years back, and I was wondering whether we had changed or not, and we hadn’t. I think it’s good that there were new people because there was nothing that we could take for granted. We were on our toes throughout, and there was a lot of energy and though we missed the people who were on the previous film, nonetheless, I think it worked well. The madness in him and me is still the same.
Q What was it like, working with Arjun Rampal for the first time?
Balan: I enjoyed working with him. He’s so easy. He laughs a lot and he’s exactly like that on set. And I’m like that too, I like to get along with people on set, and I laugh a lot too, so finally I found someone who’s exactly like me. And as an actor, he’s wonderful. He’s doing a variety of roles, and this will just add to that. And it was interesting to see him in this kind of a space. He gelled so beautifully, that it was great fun. He even talks as much as I do.
Ghosh: And if I want to put it on record, if she didn’t talk or laugh so much on set, we could have finished the movie earlier. (Both laugh).  No seriously, Rampal is a tremendous actor, and even when we were looking to cast someone for his role, he was the first one who came to mind. And he has no airs about himself and a great person.
Q What is he like on the sets?
He’s mad! He’s nothing like the films he makes. Not at all, not a patch. I thi-nk it’s a split personality, that the person who makes the films and the person on set are two different people.
Q It’s been 11 years since Parineeta. What has changed? Do you treat success differently?
What remains unchanged is my hunger, my passion for what I do. A lot else has changed. I don’t treat success differently and I value both my success and my failures as much.
Ghosh: But I think our quota of experiences has changed.
Q You’ve always done films that are very woman centric in nature. Was that a conscious decision or did these scripts just happen?
I think I’m at the centre of my universe, and I am a woman, so I’m automatically geared towards such films. And I’m getting such exciting, varied parts to play, and such compelling stories, I don’t feel the need to stray away from them, honestly. So it’s not a conscious decision, but I’m just happy with the kind of films that I’m doing.
india blooms news service