For the first time in Bollywood, Gehraiyaan includes credits to an intimacy director, which forms an important aspect of the film.
Intimacy Director Dar Gai is at the helm described the process behind the passionate scenes. The Ukraine-born filmmaker, who is settled in India, was roped in by director Shakun Batra for the film, making Gehraiyaan, one of the first movies in Bollywood to have an intimacy director.
In a recent conversation, Dar Gai got candid about working with her friend and director Shakun Batra, and opened up about her experience of working with Deepika and also, how she believes the role of an intimacy specialist on the set is that of a protector, who understands and respects the performer’s “traumas”.
When asked about her experience of working with Deepika Padukone, Dar Gai admitted the emotion was cheesy but said she "felt at home".
Elaborating on her experience with her during workshops and on set, Gai said,
"Not to sound cheesy, but after my first workshop with her and Siddhant, I felt at home. I felt that's why I'm doing what I'm doing. That's why I'm here. When you work with someone really professional and very passionate about (their work), you feel so grateful for the profession you are representing."
The filmmaker shared that she knows a lot of actors who have had “disturbing” experiences as the directors wanted them to go beyond their comfort zone while doing an initimate scene.
Gai talked about the MeToo movement, which was propelled by the expose of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s widespread sexual abuse and it made people look at actors with a more humane approach. She said,
“The movement made us realise that there are so many different ways in which trust can be compromised. We need to understand that actors are human beings, they have certain trauma and experiences in life, certain things they don’t want to do. All this needs to be discussed with them in order to keep them stable, happy.“It also makes the entire process easier, more professional and gets an outcome which can create much more connection with your audience than if you just push your actors to do whatever you’d like to."
Dar Gai revealed, when she came on board for the project, Neha Vyas had already conducted certain workshops and because of that, she could push Deepika and Siddhant slightly more.
The intimacy director said they started with understanding what exactly they had to bring on screen and accordingly designed workshops for the four leads. Dar said,
“We sat with our actors and took them through each and every shot that we thought could be complicated. And if they’re uncomfortable with something, i.e they didn’t want to do something, we had a space to sort out those issues and find alternatives.”
As it was her first job as an intimacy director, Gai said she was excited about the outcome and was extremely happy with the way things turned out on the day of the shoot. Gehraiyaan, also features Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapoor in supporting roles, will premiere on Prime Video on February 11.