Home Entertainment Deepika on ‘The intimacy in ‘Gehraiyaan’ – Exclusive

Deepika on ‘The intimacy in ‘Gehraiyaan’ – Exclusive

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Team ‘Gehraiyaan’ is a close knit group. Deepika Padukone, Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhairya Karwa are not just actors and co-stars, they are, by their own admission, friends and like-minded people. They love hanging out, they’re all comfortable in each other’s company and they can all laugh at themselves. Perhaps that ease between the cast members is why the physical proximity, intimacy and emotions in director Shakun Batra’s film look authentic and fresh. In conversation with Deepika, Ananya, Siddhant and Shakun, ETimes discovers the various themes of the film and what makes this passionate romantic story different from other previous films that have spoken about relationships and infidelity. Excerpts:

Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Shakun Batra on love, infidelity and intimacy in Gehraiyaan

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Love, fidelity and passion, what are the central themes of ‘Gehraiyaan’ and what is the message that you want to put out through the film?

Shakun Batra: We are trying to get away from just not talking about any one specific thing and let the film be as open to interpretation as possible. Of course, there are themes of choices, consequences, and there are themes about infidelity and love. But the idea is to not decide for the audience or tune them to feel a certain way. The idea is to, at the end of the film, for the audience to arrive at a question and they can choose to answer it whichever way they want to.
Deepika, Siddhant and Ananya, what was your personal take away from the film? What was that one message that you took from ‘Gehraiyaan’?

Ananya Panday: My biggest take away is to not be judgemental. Before getting into this film, I had a very set idea of what a relationship should be, just because of things that I have observed around me. But I think, after this film, I’ve kind of opened up my horizon in terms of what’s possible in a relationship. A relationship between two people is for them to define what they want that relationship to be. Another aspect is to not have a judgemental view on the things that I am not fully aware about. That’s my biggest take away.

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Siddhant Chaturvedi: My biggest take away would be the process I think. When I signed the film, I was blown away by the story. And for all of us, we had the same feeling that how would we do something which has no reference point. But the process was so amazing that we ended up creating something really special. I will try to use this take away in my coming films. To spend more time with the actors, prep with them and not just readings, not just rehearsals but workshops too. I have a theater background, so this kind of gave me a throwback to my theater days when we were doing those workshops. Trust building exercises, body language, intimacy, learning about that, so we spent a lot of time together and that’s a very important thing. If we do that in every film, the performances are enhanced and it should happen in every film.

Deepika Padukone: I think the people we have met and the experiences that we‘ve had has been the biggest takeaway from the film. It’s not often that we get to work in an environment with like-minded people where everyone understands each other, everyone has a sense of humour, everyone can be self-deprecating, and I think the energy that we had amongst each other, translated into the movie as well. A lot of trust, friendship, and a lot of these things aren’t on paper. And no matter how many readings you do, rehearsals you do, that kind of energy is never really written. So, everything that is intangible, we were able to create and bring to the table based on our friendships and experience.

Deepika, we’ve come a long way from the birds and bees conversation and romance being portrayed in gardens and with flowers. Is it a liberating experience to be able to portray your character and her feelings, no matter how much physical love is involved with authenticity and passion?

Deepika: I won’t attribute it to age and even to gender. If that’s something happening generically, then I would say, fine. But I wouldn’t say that younger filmmakers have a certain sensibility or the female directors have a certain sensibility, I would attribute it from person to person. And I would 100 percent say that, if a film like ‘Gehraiyaan’ wasn’t in the hands of a director like Shakun, either I would do the film and not be able to submit to it, in the way I have. If the director insisted it had to be done a certain way, then I would probably just excuse myself from it. A lot of things we have been able to do in this film is based on the comfort and trust that I’ve had in him. If there’s intimacy, you know that it’s not to titillate or to excite the audience. It’s coming from a very authentic place of what the characters are experiencing and what the film requires. If the film was in anyone else’s hand, then in all probability, I wouldn’t have done it. I would probably push back on certain things.

Shakun, a film writer once told me any writer should never focus on a character having a moral compass. Do you agree? What’s your method for crafting your characters?

Shakun: One of the things I actually love doing is to start from a place where the character’s worldview is different from mine and then see if I can be on that journey with the character and try to understand a whole different idea, because the character thinks the other way. So I think in that way, you open yourself into a newer understanding. I think that for me has been extremely rewarding. And as liberated I may think, I am, when you go on these journeys, you see your own conditioning, you see your own patterns. You don’t have to write characters that are completely opposite to somebody you would have never met. Someway deep inside you know that there is a part of you that thinks about this idea of philosophy and then you give the character an opposite point of view and see where you go with it.

Siddhant, we live in a time when film sets have intimacy directors and coordinators. Has it become easy for actors to perform intimate scenes in films today?
Siddhant:
Yes. When I signed the film and I got to know about the intimacy part, I was panicking, I was very nervous. I couldn’t have done it without the intimacy coordinator. I’m very shy. My idea of cinema is a little different. I have grown up watching romcoms and have been conditioned in that way. So for me to kind of accept and believe in Shakun’s vision, it was just submitting myself. I don’t think this performance would have been possible without an intimacy coordinator. I wouldn’t be comfortable.
Ananya, your character has to deal with infidelity and her reactions are so strong and honest. Do you feel that infidelity is a deal-breaker in modern relationships? Are we evolving as people, as we deal with the grey shades of relationships?
Ananya:
I honestly don’t think it’s a modern issue. I feel like it’s a thing that has always existed in our society. Maybe, we are acknowledging it more now, maybe we are talking about it more now. I think it’s a start, a subject that we are addressing in cinema with ‘Gehraiyaan’. I feel like our film is different from other films that dealt with infidelity, because it’s not about finding your soul mate after marriage, it’s kind of just observing how four people are behaving in such a situation. Personally, infidelity is a huge deal breaker for me. But I have been listening to what everyone has been saying, and I guess it does totally depend on the situation. Maybe when I am older, I might feel differently but I honestly don’t think that I have been through enough in life or I have been through experiences to change that opinion right now. I am constantly evolving, I am constantly changing, I don’t think that even a year back, I would have this much of an open understanding of what modern relationships are supposed to be and I think, one needs to do what makes them happy and what’s gonna help them grow. It might seem selfish sometimes but I feel like, in the long run, it might benefit people, they might not understand in that moment but you might be helping someone when you distance yourself from a situation and you see it from the outside.

Shakun, did OTT give you the liberty to be more bold or to experiment or take more creative risks?
Shakun:
I think we started out, not having any of these ideas. We knew we were making a film respecting the maturity of the audience. So whether it’s on OTT or theater, the intent was the same. Now, given the scenario today, safety being the huge concern for going to theaters and knowing that in the last two years, so many people had been at home and experienced all kinds of stories on OTT, I think the audience is already there. Now we can make a beeline to go straight to OTT. I feel extremely happy about it. I grew up on films that I watched on laptop screens or DVDs and TV. And that’s the reason I wanted to be a filmmaker. So I have never considered the big screen to be the reason why one connects with the film. I don’t make stories that are event films, they are not ‘Avengers’ with big action set pieces. I think you can enjoy emotional dynamics between people as much on a laptop or a TV as you would on a big screen. From my perspective, it’s a win-win. The only hope was to be able to put this film out there, the way we wanted it to be.

Credit Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/deepika-padukone-the-intimacy-in-gehraiyaan-is-not-to-titillate-or-excite-the-audience-exclusive/articleshow/89143613.cms

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