Sakshi Tanwar, who is popularly known for her stints in television serials like Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki andBade Achhe Lagte Hain, is now set to make her much anticipated Bollywood debut with Aamir Khan inDangal.
In a chat with Pinkvilla, Sakshi spoke about her experience of filming Dangal, what was it like working with Aamir and the Dangal girls - Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra:
Q: What was your reaction when you found out that you got the role in Dangal because of Aamir Khan's mother who is a fan of yours?
A: You know, I got to know that much much later. There was another interview where he said this and that's when even I got to know. So that came as a surprise to me too. In fact, we had a screening last month and I got to meet Ma'am (Aamir's mom) and I was like thank you so much! I was so happy that she watches television because if it had not been for her I would not be a part of Dangal! (laughs)
Q: What was it like working with Aamir Khan?
A: I used to think that he (Aamir) would be very serious and he is Mr. Perfectionist. Matlab bahutlike serious discussions hoga scenes ko lekarand to do a lot of rehearsals. That's the kind of thing I had in my mind but though he is very involved with the whole process, there is also this very childlike enthusiasm he has. A very friendly attitude with the entire crew and not only the cast. He would talk to everyone and involve everyone and joke around on the set and there was never a dull moment like even the scenes are such that are very light hearted and warm. So to my surprise, he was totally not like I had imagined because I would think he is the superstar Aamir Khan and I didn't know how it would be but it was nothing like that.
Q: Did you have a chance to talk to Daya Kaur - the character you portrayed?
A: Yes I did!
Q: Did you get to meet her before the shooting started?
A: No! I got to meet Geeta-Babita (Phogat) and Mahavir (Phogat) ji and the maasibefore the shoot for ourmahurat But Daya ji, I only met at Geeta's wedding last month.
Q: How did you prepare for the role as you are playing a real life character who has not been in the limelight like Mahavir, Geeta and Babita have?
A: Nitesh sir had given me a brief of the character. Her journey and that really helped me to understand the character and the lines. The scenes were bang on! So just by understanding the scenes, you could understand an interpersonal relationship between the character and how the character is contributing to the main plot and the journey individually. So, he gave me a brief which was really really helpful to understand the character and before the scene, I would ask him so he would tell me the emotion behind the lines because I have always worked on the emotion more than the lines. I like to do it that way so that helped as far as the language is concerned, it is the very important part of the film.
Q: You're extremely versatile when it comes to dialects. How do you manage it?
A: That was an important part my preparation for Dangal because we had to go through the sessions and tutorials for the language. Sunita ji trained me. She used to come home because I had missed out all the combined readings because meri casting baadmein hui thi sabki casting hone ke baad hui thi.Toh unke saath mein shaamko baithti thi and humlog lines karte thei and because the time was less maine unkarecordings leti. I still have her recordings. So merko jabhi time milta tha I used to listen to that and I would speak and then I would tell her ki yeh theek hai and she would say aisa bolo. So, the language part was totally taken care of by Sunita ji and she was there on the sets also. She would help and also I belong to Rajasthan. Alwar, is on the border so that was an added advantage because I was familiar with the backdrop, setup language, body language, intonations and the nuances that helped. I have grown up in Delhi toh wahan pe language bahut sunne ko milti hai so that was there and there we had a workshop also before the shooting. A 7-day workshop where we would go through all the scenes. So, despite it being a wrestling film thankfully I didn't have to go through that kind of training so my preparation was limited and restricted to this.
Q: Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra have been all praises for your acting talent. What is your take on the Dangal duo?
A: They are the sweetest! All my four girls I would say, it's been such a pleasure working with them. It doesn't seem like they are in front of the camera for the first time. The younger one's (Suhani and Zaira), I had such a blast shooting with them. We have such amazing scenes. I had met Fatima and Sanya with longer hair so when I came here and then suddenly I saw Sanya and Fatima I was like inko kahi dekha hai maine, lekin baal kaat chuke hai and when we did the first reading and the way they would say their lines (Zaira Sanya Fatima Suhani), I was like my god. I have to do a lot of hard work abhi. I have to catch up, they were so good, all of them. It was so much fun and even on the sets you know especially with Sanya and Fatima we were having so much fun offscreen kyunki phone wone toh humlog ko kuch allowed tha nahiand had only each other for company. We used to talk about so many thinga and they are such lovely girls and one thing I felt that was everyone were a unit. It was more like a family and not even once did I feel that ki pehli baar kaam kar rahi hu main inlogon ke saath. It was that kind of camaraderie, the chemistries were bang on! And I am telling you when we were doing the scenes, I would feel the vibes so I think that is what is translated on the screen.
Q: Any funny behind-the-scene moments on the sets?
A: One time, woh non-veg Aamir sir prepare karrahe the and I am a vegetarian. So, they used to all tease me. Woh plate mein marinate karrahe the and all that (laughs) so aisa sab kuchhotarehtatha. Right now I can only think of this.