Sixties star Saira Banu inspires Priyanka!


By Hindustan Times

Playing an elaborate character on the big screen is one thing. But essaying three different roles that span across three different eras in one film, is a another ball game altogether.

That’s what actor Priyanka Chopra realised when she got a chance to play the characters of Aradhna, Ruksar and Radha, all of whom belong to different periods in time, in her upcoming film Teri Meri Kahaani (TMK).

To make sure she does justice to one of the characters, Ruksar, who is a 1960s heroine, Priyanka turned to none other than yesteryear icon Saira Banu for inspiration. She spoke to the veteran actor to learn about actors in that era and their lives on and off camera.

“Saira Banu ma’am is a quintessential beauty who has a grace that takes your breath away every time you see her. When I was discussing the character of Ruksar with Kunal (Kohli, director), I felt that I needed to get an insight into the life of a film star from those days.” And Saira Banu was the first person that came to her mind.

“When I called her, she was very warm and helpful. Our chat really helped me stitch together the character of Ruksar. I am grateful to her for that. And I can’t wait for her to see the film and give me feedback on the role. Saira Ma’am was my inspiration for this character,” says Priyanka.

Apparently, her conversation with Banu helped her discover trivia such as the unique make-up techniques followed by the actors from that decade, their favourite shopping haunts, and their intricate hairdos, among other things. Director Kunal adds, “People remake films but we remade an entire era while shooting TMK.

We wanted to learn about the lives of stars from that period. We know how they behaved on camera as we can see their movies, but their off-camera behaviour is what Priyanka wanted to understand.”

Kohli says he was impressed with Priyanka’s dedication to building her on-screen character. “Priyanka did a brilliant job of recreating the aura of a ’60s star in the film,” he says.