“People often tell me that they wanted a strong female and that’s why they thought about casting me. But I was never this strong. In fact, in my book, ‘Me & Mom’, the first chapter says, I was never a strong woman. I was a timid child; I used to always hide behind my mother’s pallu. She really held my hand through most of the situation,” shares Divya Dutta, with misty eyes, remembering her mother.
Bayside Journal caught up with the wonderful lady to know more about her life, her role choices, her recently released film Irada and a lot more. Excerpts:
What is your role in the film Irada?
I play a politician, someone who calls Arshad to look into the case. It’s like a cat and a mouse chase. She is very authoritative, someone who wants her way. There are various layers to my role. The good thing about a woman writing this film is that she has added many shades to the character.
How did you work on your character?
I think I started working before the film started. When I heard the story, I jumped out of my seat and said, “Let’s just start it because it felt like a very exciting role for me”. Then the director Aparnaa Singh and I started meeting often to work on the role. Then, we added the Punjabi mannerisms, and that made me very excited about working on my character.
You are known for doing unconventional roles, how do you do that?
“Mujhe toh roles aate hai, unconventional I think mein unhe baana deti hoon (laughs). I don’t really think if it is unconventional or not; it’s a role and I work towards it. I often work on making my role different, so people can take it home. Now, I am expected to do something new and different and I love that thing about myself. I look forward to doing different things and don’t intend to repeat myself. I don’t choose those roles; they come to me, I just pick them out and work on them to see how I can make it look special.
How do you take all the viewers’ love and appreciation?
It is very overwhelming. It is great to see that people come to watch you for what you do. I think I have earned that love where I am considered that ‘ghar ka bachcha’. I think I have earned that as an actor.
Why didn’t you take the role in Sarabjit?
The whole world is saying–why I didn’t do it? But I had already done Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. I was an obvious choice for Sarabjit I think. It would be good to be a part of the film like that but I am glad Richa Chadda did it. It was just I had done something like that and it would be in the same zone.
What was the most difficult scene in Irada?
It is a really funny incident. I was supposed to abuse somebody and it was easy to say my dialogues out loud; but every time I had to deliver it to somebody, I used to get conscious thinking he is looking, she is looking. And then I was like, “Hey I am sorry, I have to hit you with this.” After 7-8 retakes, I felt very angry with myself and I was like tujhse ek gaali nahi di jaa rahi? And then when I delivered all the lines, I don’t think anyone was ready for it. They all fell down laughing. And I was like, thank God it’s over! It was doing something that was out of my comfort zone.
How difficult is it to don a new character every time?
It’s a challenge; it’s a trip. Just like you may have your own addictions; I am addicted to this. When I tell people I am very nervous, people always say, how can you be nervous? I think the first day of being around new people, donning a new role, and setting that tone of a new role is challenging. But it is very exciting to look different in the mirror every time.