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‘We had to be cautious

Statesman News Service |

suchayan mandal caught up with Shilpa Shukla before the ‘hot’ BA Pass hit theatres
‘A young college boy and a mysterious, married woman embark on an erotic journey that threatens to spiral out of control”: this defines Ajay Bahl&’s upcoming movie, BA Pass (set for a 12 July release). A small town youngster moves to Delhi to stay with his aunt and finish college. He is, soon enough, seduced by this mysterious, married woman who he knows as “Sarika Aunty”. Set amid the neon-lit bylanes of Delhi&’s Paharganj, an erotic human drama unfolds between the two.
As he gets more and more entrenched in his surroundings, he discovers a city that thrives on corrupting even the most naive and innocent. “Sarika Aunty” is played by Shilpa Shukla, dusky diva of B town, and she unwinds on how it all came about. Excerpts:
Your character in the movie…
It&’s basically the story of an unhappily married woman. Her husband has a government job and there is some pain she is hiding. So she seduces a young guy who comes to Delhi for studies. She doesn’t realise that she is doing something wrong because it&’s the circumstances that force her to do so. Her own loneliness is the reason for indulging in carnality. I understood there was scope for redemption in Sarika.
From a stubborn role in Chak de India to seductress in BA Pass…
It&’s a definitely a good transformation. From a realistic character to becoming someone who is conventionally beautiful. Otherwise, I have actually stepped out of my comfort zone. In that sense, even before Chak De I had never played hockey, but here I never thought of getting this opportunity ever. So the transformation was lovely. I never imagined I’d play this kind of role. For one year, Sarika was in me. But now once it&’s on posters and teasers. She is no more in me. I have loved everything about Sarika.
The difficulty level of playing this character…
This role was definitely my most challenging till date. In a sense, sometimes it was obviously easy because she is so luxuriant with her body, but again the dialogues were quite tough. It wasn’t the love-making scenes that bothered me, it was how she would speak, sit and walk that concerned me. But after the first day of shooting, once we were on the floor, it just flowed.
Remarkable event during shooting…
We were shooting and Ajay (Bahl) was directing. Every day something happened. The funniest moment was when we were having a briefing before going for a shot. I have a tendency to hold the script till the camera starts rolling. It&’s not that I’m mugging but just for the sake of confidence. At this, Ajay got pissed off and said, “I’ll screw the script.” This hurt me a lot and I just walked off the set. The director didn’t try to persuade me, rather he said he would do away with me. He was talking to everyone when the shooting stopped but not to me. Later we both calmed down and resolved our issues. I still laugh a lot remembering this.
Family issues in the bold scenes…
My husband Mohit is the associate director of this movie. But he and I are very good friends above all and he had no issues. I told my parents about the scenes. My mother liked it and watched the movie at Osean and she advised me not to be impulsive while talking to people on this issue. Unfortunately, I lost my dad before the film was completed so he couldn’t see it.
Preparing for the scenes…
We had a personalised workshop in the middle of Connaught Place, soaking in the summer sun. Ajay only gave one instruction: whether you’re shooting or off, a professional distance needs to be maintained. I agreed. We didn’t lunch together or have dinner together, we maintained the distance. Once we entered the character, love-making and seduction scenes were done with ease. It was such a great high. The second chunk of love-making was very aesthetic. In foreign films, you can have frontal nudity but at home we had to be cautious.
Your comeback after so long…
It was not planned. I was happy. BA Pass just happened to me. Before signing, I was asking myself if it was something I wanted to do. I took a break. I extended my other areas of work. I don’t understand why some actors choose the same lifestyle and thought process! I thought that if I could do this, I’d excel in it. I come from a theatre background so I analyse roles before going for it. Just looking at myself from that corner, I decided to do this.
Upcoming ventures…
Veena Bakshi&’s The Coffin Maker. Based in a small village in Goa, this is about Anton Gomes, who comes from a family of carpenters and takes to making coffins. He is disillusioned and is challenged by death. I play a Konkani drunkard here.
Dream…
I would like to work with Rajnikanth. If I have a dream, it&’s certainly to work with him.