Women Like Never Before – Angry Indian Goddesses
They are fiery, intelligent, talented and witty. That’s the power house cast of Angry Indian Goddesses – seven actresses that are scorching the screens, not with their sex appeal but their fearless attitude and power-packed performances. Pandolin meets the goddesses.
You’ll had to undergo some unique preparation exercises. Tell us about them? And how different was the experience from your other films?
I have never been in such a non-judgemental environment before. It was very liberating as an actor. We were made to act out scenes that weren’t even in the script but scenes that were situations that could have possibly played out in these character’s lives in the past. This contributed immensely to our belief in our bond with each other and our characters.
What was the most challenging aspect of this entire film?
It was all very challenging honestly…but it was all equally rewarding.
You’ve normally been associated with a serious genre of cinema. What struck you about AIG and your role?
Angry Indian Goddesses (AIG) is a fun film, which does not mean that it is frivolous. So the film is very much on the line of films that I have done in the past. And AIG is an international film. Pan Nalin is of Indian origin, but he is an international director. All his previous films have done very well internationally. He is very well-respected and known.
Having done a host of films in India and Internationally, what according to you makes AIG a unique film? Was a female buddy film much needed in our country?
Yes a female buddy film, I think everyone would agree was much needed.
From a commendable career in singing to the transition to acting, what prompted this change?
I wouldn’t call it a change, I would say it is an extension of my expression as an artist. I don’t differentiate between the mediums. I do what feels right. And this project just felt right.
Since it’s your maiden acting venture, what kind of preparation did you undergo to get into the role? Also having been a VJ and host, was it easier to face the camera for the film too?
I am very comfortable around cameras. I was however nervous when I got to Goa for the shoot. That lasted all of two days. We were put through extensive workshops where we learned and unlearned many things. These were intense sessions, and it is during these workshops that our characters came to life. I lived moments of Mad’s life, acting out scenes from her past as Dilip Shankar, our casting director and acting coach, took me through the key moments and relationships in her life. I got to know her so well that I could be her in an instant!
You’ve largely played bold and fierce roles on the big screen. Is your character in AIG also outspoken and fearless? Tell us about it?
She’s outspoken & fearless, yes. She’s a fierce and highly successful business woman but is ridden with guilt because she feels she’s failed at home. Failed in her marriage and her role as a mother because she could never make the balance and play all the roles in her life successfully. Every successful working mother’s malaise.
What would be the one reason you’d give audiences to go and watch this film?
It’s the most fun and real portrayal of women that you’ve every seen on screen with relatable characters and palpable performances. And it’s an important film today. It’s the Change.
From fashion to films, how has your journey been? Why did you say yes to AIG?
I think for me it was a natural progression. I have always enjoyed performing, especially for the camera. I did a lot of ad films and photo shoots where I would use my imagination to give what was required for the end result. The moving image was always something I loved, more than static photo shoots, and the ad film directors I met along the way encouraged me to pursue an acting career. I think modelling has definitely helped me as it made me aware of what my body was doing, which is important for an actress as it’s your instrument, and it also gave me confidence. All in all its been an unpredictable, exciting and enriching journey.
I said yes to AIG because I got such a great vibe about the project from the start, right from the minute I met our wonderful casting director, Dilip Shankar. I also really wanted to work with Pan Nalin after watching Samsara. Everything about this film made me say yes, from the fact that it had no hero, to the director, to the way it was executed. I just went with the flow for this film and I’m so glad I followed my gut instincts because it is truly one of the most precious experiences of my life.
How would you describe Pan as a director?
Exciting, experimental, patient, funny when needed and serious when needed, gentle, caring, non fussy, effortless, brave, instinctive, we all trusted him 100% and gave ourselves completely to this film. He let us be creative and free.
How did you come to be part of AIG? What was Pan’s brief for your role?
I think it was a stroke of luck but Pan says that I was destined to be part of this adventure called AIG . My first meeting with him was a long conversation about life, love, childhood, politics, not your typical audition. He was looking for real women rather than actors thus my background and history didn’t really matter. The role was a work in progress throughout the duration of the movie but since I’m from Delhi, I had so much inspiration around me to play a typical Delhi socialite.
How was the experience of working with an ensemble cast that had six other women? Since it’s a buddy film, was the bonding easier?
It was a blast working with these women, in fact it was a pleasure and a learning experience with this cast and crew. The bonding was instant, which although was very rare but was predicted by Pan, Gaurav (Dhingra) and Dilip as that’s the reason they chose the women they chose.
How close is your reel character to your real life persona?
Laxmi has a zeal to fight against all the odds and that is what I have been doing all my life.
AIG does try to capture several issues through its narrative. What are the issues that make these seven girls turn into angry goddesses?
It’s the kind of pathetic treatment that all these seven goddesses are getting at home, their community, their workplace. At every place they have to deal with situations that have been created by society.