Abhishek is a very daring actor

Acclaimed filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s forthcoming bi-lingual film, titled Raavan in Hindi and Raavanan in Tamil, will release in June. It’s also being dubbed in Telugu, as Villain.

The Hindi version stars husband-wife combo Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, along with Tamil legend Vikram. Meanwhile, the Tamil and Telugu versions have been done without Abhishek.

His wife Aishwarya, however, stars in all three versions. Raavan represents her third time working with director Mani Ratnan, suggesting the filmmaker and actress share a special chemistry.

Aishwarya spoke with Patcy N, and told her why the difficult stunts, extreme shooting conditions and bi-lingual nature of Raavan/Raavanan made it the toughest film of her career. Excerpts:

[b]Would you say your role in Raavan is your most difficult so far?[/b]

This role has certainly been the most challenging role of my life.

In the past, the situations that I have been thrown in have been amazing. I have had opportunities to work in different kinds of movies, whether it is a costume drama, historical or niche films. So I have had the opportunity to work in many different movies, and I am very thankful for that.

But my role in Raavan will particularly stand out in when I look back at all of my work. Firstly, it is made in with a very challenging backdrop. The physical situation and circumstances I was put through as an actor were tough and challenging.

My character Ragini is today’s woman. She is abducted. I was put into circumstances which aren’t normal. I was tied, bound and blindfolded, and I had to go through all that every day, which was not easy. And to add to it we had storm fans, mud, leeches and snakes. And for continuity I had to be drenched all the time, and with the long hair wig it is physically very trying. I would get cold and fever, but still I had to shoot.

Add to all this I had to deal with two different languages Hindi and Tamil.

[b]How was it working with Mani?[/b]

Mani is a genius. He is an incredible director to work with, but he also makes you do quite a few scenes in one day. So, if you did one scene in Hindi and then you do the same scene in Tamil, and if you improvised anything while doing it in Tamil, even technically, then you go back and re-shoot the Hindi one again.

I would like to confess that doing Raavan brushed up my Tamil-speaking skills

[b]Abhishek said that all of Mani Ratnam’s film has a rain song…[/b]

Yes. All his films have a rain song, but in this film I am wet throughout.

And just when I had a small break and was drying out, I was put into water or a stream again! Plus sometimes it would start raining, but Mani will not stop shooting for rain. He incorporates the rain into the shot, and it becomes part of the film.

[b]You climbed the Athirappilly Waterfalls of the Chalakudy River (in Kerala)?[/b]

I shot at the Athirappally Waterfalls a couple of times before. It is very huge, but Mani Ratnam made us climb it.

We did all kinds of stunts near the waterfall, but one day after lunch break Mani came and told us that we had to climb the waterfall. We didn’t think it was possible because by the time we would start climbing, we’d lose light.

But, despite losing light and all the other difficulties, Mani tied us to a harness and made us climb.

We thought at first it was a joke, as if we would really have to climb that kind of waterfall, with slippery rocks. But we did!

It has moss all around it, so you don’t get a grip. Plus I had to do the shot in two languages. So I was on top and I suddenly saw Abhishek going down and Vikram coming on top. I had to hang there till he came.

So we did lots of stuff that I have never done before. We all choose to it, because being around Mani makes us super brave. By the end of the shoot, I felt like I was a superhero.

[b]You have worked with Mani in three films now?[/b]

I started my career with Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar. After that, I did Guru with him. The film Guru primarily belongs to Gurukant Desai, so I thought my character Sujata would not be that important. But Mani always says it is not about screen time or how many scenes you have in the film. It’s about how effective your character is.

That’s what happened when I was doing Ragini (Raavan). The film is about Raavan, but the importance every character gets in the film is amazing. Any person in Mani’s film, even if they just come in one scene, will leave an impression. It’s fascinating.

[b]Tell us about Abhishek the actor?[/b]

Mani, Abhishek and I make a fantastic combination.

I am saying this, not just as his wife, but as somebody who has worked with him. I am proud of him. What Abhishek has done in the film is magic.

Lalaan — Abhishek’s character in Yuva — made a lasting impression on many people. When I walk with Abhishek on the road, people sometimes address him as Lalaan and sometimes as Guru. Now, I am sure he will soon be addressed as Beera. In fact, after the first promos, a few people have started calling him Beera.

Abhishek is a very daring actor, and that’s what I love about him. He takes very different character, because he loves challenges. He refuses to restrict himself to just a certain kind of role.

[b]Did you see Abhishek’s performance at the music launch? What did you think of that performance?[/b]

I got to see Abhishek’s performance at the music launch, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I enjoyed it more while shooting the film, because the whole performances were always spirited. Not Abhishek, but the whole team and the crew — everybody would be bobbing to the music of the song Thok De Khili.

Rahman is a star to come up with a rocking track like that.

Also, the lyrics are very meaningful and the song has a lot of say. Gulzar saab and Rahman are fantastic and make a good combination.

[b]Which is your favourite track in the movie?[/b]

I detest this question, because it is very difficult to choose a track from Mani’s movies. Each song is so well-knitted into the film and is associated with great memories they all become just part of you.

This music has definitely been done keeping the film in mind, not as a stand alone piece. The songs are an integral part of the film.

Personally, I enjoy all the tracks. Rahman’s music has a unique characteristic of growing on you. We have all enjoyed his music for years now.

- Rediff.com

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2004-10 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan - Aishwarya-Spice.com - All Rights Reserved
Powered by Wordpress, this website was formerly known as Aishwarya-Forever.com.