Suzzanne Bernert is currently working in Bollywood Movie ‘No Problem’, a Zee TV show and another movie with Aparna Sen and Konkona Sen Sharma. Here is an intimate interview with Suzanne.
Actor Suzanne Bernert is playing the role of Paresh Rawal’s wife in Anil Kapoor Production ‘No Problem’. She is portraying a very loving caring mother, with three adopted kids, one black, one white and one Indian. It’s love marriage but in this comic caper, there are lots of ups and down.
Directed by Anees Bazmee; the film stars Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Neetu Chandra, Kangana Ranaut and Paresh Rawal along with SUZANNE BERNERT. Unit has already left for South Africa for a 50 day shoot.
Actor Suzanne Bernert might not be a name on the tip of your tongue, but she has a face which you’d definitely recognize on your TV screen, a film, or on stage. When she visited ‘TAJ MAHAL’ and ‘KHAJURAHO’ she was surrounded by fans and had to give numerous autographs. She loves Indians and has made India her home.
From Ajai Sinha’s ‘Astitva-ek Prem Kahani’ to being the first foreign bahu in a prime-time soap in ‘Kasauti Zindagy Kay’. Lekh Tandon’s ‘Esa desh hai mera’ to Honeymoon Travels (Boman Irani still calls Suzanne by her character’s name ‘Ditta’) via Titan Ad opposite Aamir Khan to ‘Jeevan Sathi’ on Colors… Many different characters, many different personalities she has played to earn her place in the hall of fame with other Bollywood personalities.
Let’s have a look into her journey from Germany to Bollywood..
Any formal training in acting?
Three years of acting training under the guidance of Heidelotte Diehl, a well-known TV, movie and stage actress. She recommended a course in Berlin with Susan Batson, who came over from America to conduct a two week intensive workshop (Susan Batson worked with many of the big names in Hollywood like Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts)
Recently your Lavani Dance Number in the Marathi movie Gallit Ghondal, Dillit Mujra became a sensation. How come you fitted so well into the movie and could dance it so well?
My formal classical ballet dance background helped immensely plus the full conviction of my director Nagesh Bhosle plus the whole team (choreographer, co-actors, DOP) made it possible for me to do it. With lip-synch and the dance movements I could do it in two days. I even performed at Andheri Sports Complex as part of a Marathi show; I really loved it, as a live audience is something special…
Being a German your English is very good and your Hindi is surprisingly better than any other non-Hindi speaking Indian actor…How come?
Guess languages are my forte. As for my Hindi, I had the same teacher that taught the likes of Katrina Kaif and Yana Gupta. He specializes in bringing you very fast on a reading, writing and speaking level.
Languages are your forte?
Yes, I also speak French, conversational Italian and Spanish.
So it would be safe to say you would be open to act in other Indian languages?
Definitely! Where in the world can you act in another language, in another culture and still be in the same country? I find it intriguing, and I found that working in a Marathi movie gave me the feeling of a new place even though I was just 50 km away from Pune…so it would be indeed very interesting to maybe act in a Telugu picture.
Great! What are your current assignments?
On serial front, I am doing Contiloes “Jhansi Ki Rani” for ZEE TV. My next movie project, which also I am very happy about is- an Anil Kapoor Production, Director Anees Bazmee opposite Paresh Rawal. It is a comedy called “No Problem” and being shot in South-Africa. And hopefully Makarand Deshpande’s movie “Shah Rhuk Bola Khobsurat Hai Tu”, where I’m playing a very important character, is ready for release, as Mac just finished shooting the missing portion with Shah Rukh.
You have done so much diverse work here and still going strong. How come you haven’t got a lead role yet?
You have to have someone like Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir, Saif or equally famous to pull you along.
But you worked with Aamir Khan?
In an AD- TITAN AD! Ad’s have a very strong star impact, and if you work with a big star like Aamir people are bound to look at him, not you. And I was playing a character, a French artist so audience was seeing the character not Suzanne Bernert. (smiles) While Aamir was Aamir, the ‘STAR”. I am an actor, I change with every character, but that can be a problem as well. Being a foreigner it’s like a friend of mine always says…two beautiful white horses. Don’t ask me which one is Geeta and which one is Seeta. For many people, we look all the same and they are so many junior artist and dancers now in India marketing their color and sex appeal. So every time I am meeting people I have to cross the hurdle of making them understand who I am, and what work I have done. And that I am not selling my skin nor my body but the full package of a talented actress and glamour. Definitely don’t want only my breast to talk to the audience as, one of a very fine actresses here once said. I’m here to sell my complete talent as an actress which requires charm, glamour, sensuality, dancing (my oxygen and intoxication) and dignity.
Regarding lead parts; I guess production houses want foreign actors, but are confused how to use them. It’s time for “Globalisation” which India foresaw ages ago with the idea of, ‘VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM ’ but yet trying hard to make a film for all.
I’m just talking about my being here and knowing that, up to now whatever I have done has been fine according to the given situation. But what is in store for us who are and want to stay here. Take the example of Kalki Koechlin, who has done a fantastic job in Dev. D. but I wonder what kind of scripts she is getting nowadays. We are actors… not like the person you see on screen at all. That is the allure of being an actor. Not to be you! To slip into someone else’s skin and be that person.
Any other plans?
Yes, I just finished my English script and it is registered here at the writer’s association. I got a very good actor who lives in America and is willing to come and shoot, give his music (he is a musician as well) all on a shoe-string budget. My partner just finished writing his Hinglish comedy where I have one lead part and now we are looking for a producer who is willing and able. Both the movies are low-budget, and I mean low… but the scripts are strong, qualitative which will allure audiences. I am confident that I will find the right person.
She is also doing a movie with Aparna Sen starring her and Konkana Sen.
– Bollywood features and interviews / Sampurn