This Is The First Time That I Am Rep­re­sent­ing A Char­ac­ter That Ac­tu­ally Ex­isted

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY - e

Bub­bly and ver­sa­tile, alia BhaTT has surely made her mark in B-town and, how! She’s just 25 but this Lad­kibeau­ti­ful’s pow­er­ful roles have made her a part of every film­maker’s wish list. With a lot of big ban­ner films in the gal’s kitty, 2018 can surely make her say LoveYouZindagi once more! In a can­did in­ter­view, the hit­maker talks about her lat­est film Raazi, her prepa­ra­tions as an ac­tor, work­ing with her mother and more… In the film Raazi, you play Sehmat, who is not only a spy but also a wife and a daugh­ter. What kind of train­ing did you have to un­dergo to pre­pare for this role?

I had to do a lit­tle bit of tech­ni­cal train­ing like un­der­stand­ing Morse Code which is ba­si­cally learn­ing a pat­tern of dots and dashes used in the in­tel train­ing, jisko hum dik da ke­hte hain. I don’t know kitna farak pada hai that I ac­tu­ally mem­o­rized those codes as the scene didn’t have sound but the as­sis­tant direc­tor of the film Ar­zoo in­sisted that we should learn the codes. I said, ‘ Theek hain, these are codes and I am an ac­tor and I am not go­ing to join the army. So why should I learn these codes?’ But he in­sisted that we should go ahead and learn the codes, and so we did. And even though every­one started pulling our legs on the sets, but even­tu­ally they re­alised that I was very happy to have learnt the codes be­cause when I watch the scenes, I know for a fact that I didn’t come out of the char­ac­ter for even a sec­ond. I could have ran­domly typed some­thing, which I didn’t do. So I can help any­one who ac­tu­ally would like to join the in­tel (laughs). Then I also learnt how to drive a Jonga. Every day at seven in the morn­ing, I used to prac­tice driv­ing it in the park­ing lot of Dharma Pro­duc­tions. Also, Meghna (Gulzar) wanted me to have a clearer Urdu dic­tion so I prac­ticed the pro­nun­ci­a­tions with her. And she re­quested me to watch a few old films like Kabhi Kabhi and Sil­sila. And I don’t think I should say more kyuki mer­a­to­hwaiseb­hisatyanash hogaya­ha­iaur­satyanash ho­jayegaduniya­main!

Your mother Soni Raz­dan played your reel life mother in this film and this is the first time that you both have worked to­gether in a film. How was the ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with her?

Ac­tu­ally, ini­tially I was ner­vous, not for my­self but for her. I used to worry about my mother mem­o­riz­ing her dia­logues and if she for­got her lines, I would get ner­vous for her, which was re­ally weird. It was like how par­ents are wor­ried about their kids, and I was feel­ing the same for my mother! But af­ter do­ing a scene

with her, I un­der­stood that she’s worked way more than I have and she’s a much bet­ter ac­tor than I am. In fact, she was pretty chilled out and I was like ‘wow!’

How was it shoot­ing at a beau­ti­ful place like Kash­mir?

Every­one had gone into a hol­i­day mode when we were shoot­ing in Kash­mir as we were dy­ing of heat in Pa­tiala be­fore that. It was like com­ing back to heaven. I was eat­ing Kash­miri Pu­lao al­most every day. I had put on three ki­los when I came back. So it was a very beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.

This is your first ‘true story’ film. Was there any pres­sure?

There was pres­sure be­cause the film is based on a true story. For me, this is the first time that I am rep­re­sent­ing a char­ac­ter that ac­tu­ally ex­isted. So that comes with a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity, which is to be able to put forth the right amount of rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the char­ac­ter and her emo­tions and the ex­pe­ri­ences she has gone through

This film is based on a book named CallingSehmat. Did you read the book to un­der­stand your char­ac­ter as a part of your re­search?

I had skimmed through the book. But I al­ways be­lieve that less is more. The script was the only Bi­ble I ref­ered to. I didn’t feel the need to go through the whole book, I just read it for fun.

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