“When I was working with Pradeep I felt I was working with Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Gulzar,” says Jaya Bachchan about ‘aesthetically perfect’ director of her next film Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. Bachchan has a lot to say about this unconventional film set in Benaras. She had a lot of fun with Konkona and Kunal Kapoor, while in an attempt to dismiss reports of ‘cold vibes’ between her and Rani Mukherji, she acknowledges the ‘Black’ star as a “very good artist” and one of the “most talented girls”. Of course she shared a warm comfort level with son Abhishek. There is a lot more that eternal Guddi has to say in this heart-warming interview….just read on…
What do you think about the music of Laaga Chunari Mein Daag?
I like a few tracks and my favourite track from the film is “Hum to aise hain bhaiya”.
What was it about the script that made you decide to do this film?
Too many things, mainly because of the people involved the producer, the director, the script, the story and then the role.
Can you tell us a little bit about your character in the film?
It’s very difficult for me to tell about the character its better if one watches the film.
How was it like working with Konkana?
This is my second film with Konkana, before this I did a film called Sunglass in Bengali with Konkana. She is playing my daughter in that film so it was easier because I started shooting for Laaga Chunari Mein Daag immediately after I finished Sunglass so there was continuity. It just required me to change the language the emotions stayed on
How was it like working with Rani Mukherji?
I have never worked with Rani before. This is my first film with her. I have always considered her to be a very good artist and she is one of the most talented girls that we have today. Over the years one has seen how she has matured as an actor. I liked her very much in her first movie and I was very pleasantly surprised to see a new girl so young in her first film giving such great performance. When you work with good artist or when you have good actors as your co-artist your performance improves a lot, there is a better standard of give and take in a scene and action- reaction. So I hope that my performance is improved a lot after working with her.
What was it like working with Kunal Kapoor?
He is a very sweet boy. I really I didn’t have a lot of scenes with Kunal. We just did one song together and because the whole unit was together It was nice.
What was it like working with Pradeep Sarkar?
Pradeep has great aesthetic eye and what I like about his aesthetic is that it is so Indian and that is so endearing. Today you do not see filmmakers depicting India, Indian culture, Indian language, Indian clothes and Indian tradition the way it should be. They have become so westernized but I think I loved the way he does that with perfection. When I was working with him I felt I had gone 30 years back and I felt I was working with Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Gulzar, that’s the kind of pleasure I got.
What was the experience like shooting in Benaras?
It was nice, except for the fact that we took turns in the unit and kept falling sick. I think the bonding started with Benaras, we all bonded as a group as a unit and then when we met in Bombay for the shooting which was indoors it was like one big family getting together for a wedding.
What was the experience like shooting in an entirely Bengali set up?
It is always that the captain of the ship that decides the mood and I think that Pradeep is so obviously and so obsessively Bengali that even non-Bengali’s became Bengalis for the entire year while we were shooting for the film like Kunal, Abhishek and the technical unit as well
Any one memorable incident during the shoot of the film?
It was a happy experience, there was nothing unusual but what was interesting is that times have changed today. Film units work very differently but when I was shooting for this film it was not different. There is one big lesson I have learnt while shooting for this film that I am basically a very impatient person but while working with Pradeep I had to use all the patience that I could gather from myself because he is such a stickler that even if your hair is a little out of place it starts bothering him. But I think it’s wonderful to have someone around who is so aesthetically perfect and who wants every frame to look wonderful and so real and nice.
What was it like working with Abhishek?
I have done a Bengali film where he had a small role in which he played my son. I did Drona where again he has played my son I think there is a tremendous comfort level working with him.
How different was it working for Yash Raj Films several years ago and now?
My family has worked so much with Yash Raj Films that I just didn’t realize that this is only my second film with them.
Can you tell us a little about your styling in the film?
The clothes were tailored keeping the character in mind so I don’t think I can wear them otherwise because it was meant more for the mother who lives in Benaras, women who dress like that.