Smilie Suri-Yeh Mera India-Interview
Bollywood actress Smilee Suri talks about her upcoming movie Yeh Mera India, directed by N Chandra, co-starring Anupam Kher, Atul Kulkarni, Seema Biswas, Milind Gunaji, Rajit Kapoor, Rajpal Yadav, Sarika.
Smilie Suri, the pretty petite girl, had left her indelible mark as an actress in her debut film Kalyug. Despite being from the Bhatt camp and sister of talented filmmaker Mohit Suri she preferred to prove herself independently. Now her next film Yeh Mera India (YMI), directed by N Chandra, is ready for a release on August 28.
In a candid interview she talks about her experience in YMI and also, about her independent nature.
YMI is your second film post Kalyug. Why such a long gap after your first film? Why weren’t you seen in any of Bhatt camp films, since they are a family to you?
I was getting offers of same lovely sweet simple girl of Kashmir, which I have played, in Kalyug. I had no intentions of getting type cast. So I preferred to wait instead. When Yeh Mera India came, I accepted and the film was shot a little while back. It has taken little longer to release. Another film Downtown is on floors. As for not repeating Bhatt camp, they don’t really repeat their heroines. I was no exception.
What is the storyline all about?
Yeh Mere India, is a typical N. Chandra film. It will bring back the old memories of N Chandra films like Tezab, Ankush, Kagaar, Tejaswini, Narsimha, Pratighaat etc. Like them even YMI is a hard-hitting real film, which was also shot at real location. Anybody can relate to the characters shown in the film. It deals with many different issues but at the same time it will be a paisa vasool for the viewer. I am glad that I am a part of this movie. After Kalyug I was waiting for a good script with a strong role for me.
Shed some light on your character? What preparations did you do to get into the skin of your character?
In YMI, I am playing a totally different character than that of Renuka of Kalyug. Renuka commits suicide after facing sexual harassment. My character Asha in YMI also goes through the harassment, but she fights backs with the people and the circumstances. She is very sweet simple Maharashtrian girl and works in a call center. She however, is very strong and unwilling to give up or accept defeat. As far as my preparation for the role is concerned, I have been in Mumbai for a very long time now and my interaction with Maharashtrians too, has been in depth. I just had to look around at my friends and known people to adapt the body language and characteristics. Then we had shot at real locations that too added to my learning experience.
How do you look in this film considering your still Indian girl image wearing salwar suit?
This is the story of 24 hours. And yes, audience will get to see me yet again in salwar kameez in the first half, since I am a simple middle class Maharashtrian girl who goes to work everyday. However, second half of the day features me with my boyfriend played by Purab Kohli. So I suggested to Chandraji to let me wear long skirt and top. He liked the idea and accepted it. So there are only two changes as far as my costumes in the film are concerned in the entire film.
Title of the film suggests Nationalism. What’s your take on that?
There are five different stories in one movie. All are inter-connected and influences each other’s life. People from different places come together as one story eventually. While watching it you will definitely think that this kind of situation and reactions can happen only in India. You will walk out with the feeling of pride for being an Indian. It’s the story of people and their reactions. It is not about patriotism, but it will invoke the feeling.
How was the experience of working with such a talented Director like N Chandra? Any tips form his end?
Well, Chandra ji is a very experienced director, so naturally my exposure to his style of acting has been a really very big learning curve. He prefers to enact the scene for his actor. Then it may it be me, or any other senior actor. I realized that in this manner, he is able to draw exactly what he wants. In fact, I had to give much fewer retakes for most of my shots because of this. His excitement and energy level, while demonstrating, used be exactly as per the age of the character, which was really amazing. He is always open to suggestion.
Most of the directors are known for their temper. Is N Chandra also prone to such tantrums?
On the contrary, he is so patient with his artiste and he really pampers them like a baby. I remember one incident very clearly. We were shooting the film on Synch Sound, so there used to be big mike and many wires on us for proper recording of the dialogues. For one particular scene, when I was putting the mike in my clothes, zip broke. Naturally we had to re-stitch it and this took about 15 minutes. When I reached the sets I was 20 minutes late and was scared that Chandra Ji would be angry. Instead he called me to ask if I was ok and needed more time. He used to pamper me a lot.
You have so far worked with two directors. One of them is your brother, what is the best about both of them?
As an actor, I have worked with three directors by now. Mohit is young and very intense about his projects. He is totally focused on the story while shooting. Chandra ji is also very focused but takes it slightly easier. He would enact the scene and then let us take off from there. Andalip Sultanpuri ji has different way. He would explain his expectations and then let you do the scene. All three are useful for the growth of an actor. I am lucky to have worked with them.
Nowadays, link up between lead pair is so common. Anything brewing between you and Purab?
(Laughs) No baba. No link ups. We are great buddies but that is all. Since Purab has worked in Mohit’s film Woh Lamhe, I know him well. So from the first day itself, we were together on the sets. We would also rehearse our lines together before the scene because in synch sound, there isn’t any dubbing. Sound and dialogues are recorded at the shoot. So we had to practice and rehearse, but all was in good faith and only as friends. It’s like two guys together. There are some scenes where I had a long monologue, but still he would come in my vanity van to help me learn and practice.
Is there any song in your film, which is related to India?
No we don’t have any song like that, but yes we have one background theme song, which comes on particular time in the each and every story.
– Bollywood Interviews / Sampurn