Divinaa Thackur: Kunal has got no airs about himself!

3 March, 2017

Divinaa Thackur gets candid about her upcoming debut film with the actor and her character in the movie

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After proving her mettle in commercials, documentaries and short films, Divinaa Thackur is all set to make her debut opposite the very talented Kunal Kapoor in Veeram, a trilingual film. In a vis-à-vis with the actress, she speaks about the preparations she did for her role, experience shooting with the actor and more. Excerpts…

How did you bag the role in this film?
It was the usual everyday meeting for a movie. I met the director along with the casting director. Breaking the ice was quite a cake walk for me. We started the conversation by talking about Akira Kurosawa who happened to be our common favourite director. This meeting was followed by a look test and script reading. And finally, Jayraj sir, after meeting 250 girls, finalised me for Kuttimani (Lady Macbeth’s character).

Tell us something about your character.
Kuttimani (Lady Macbeth) was an absolute treat for me to play on screen. Shakespearean plays have lot of drama to impersonate with, but the real challenge comes with it needs to be portrayed in subtle way on screen. Kuttimani has a lot of layers to her and it comes across as a very complex character. She is a conflict between masculinity and femininity. She suppresses the instincts like compassion, motherhood, fragility in the favour of ambition and single-minded pursuit of power. And this conflict colours the entire drama in the story. Kuttimani manipulates her man of life to achieve what she desires. If this character is shortened or removed from story, the story certainly can’t flow. She is indeed the most imperative character in the story of Veeram.

The film will be released in three languages. You won’t be restricted to the audience of a particular language. How does it feel for your debut film?
As an actor coming from no background in the industry and bagging a film which is made in three languages out of which one is universal language English, I feel very fortunate. Catering to three language audience is as good as doing three different features. The whole idea of reaching out to the audience across the world makes me feel very happy and gives a jittery feeling at the same time. It’s the best debut any actor would dream of.

How was your experience working with Kunal Kapoor?
I had a great experience working with Kunal in three languages. He is an amazing actor along with great directorial skills and got no air about himself. He is a simple man with lot of love for cinema. He is absolutely diligent and sincere towards his art and is a great co-actor. Not many people know, but he is very notorious too.

What preparations did you do for your character in the film?
I had to put on 10kgs of weight because this character is seductively full blossomed. Kuttimani is incompatible with Divinaa Thackur hence a lot of interpersonal communication had to be done. I tried to get myself in Kuttimani’s shoes like changed the taste for music, basic mannerisms, change in chain of thoughts, completely detached myself from social life, watched many videos of Zeenat Aman, Madhubala, Silk Smitha etc who knew how to play with eyes beautifully, read the play and script both n number of times so that I start living that era and surroundings in my mind and lastly every day I would do my lines in Malayalam so that I become fluent by the time the shoot starts. Apart from this, every day I had to undergo physical rigorous training for the sword urmi sequence.

You have learnt martial arts for the film. If not for the film will you recommend this to all girls, considering increasing violence against women. How important it is according to you?
That’s a great question. I strongly feel martial arts form should be pursued by every individual be it boy or a girl. More than fighting skills it teaches one the focus and makes an individual calmer and more of an emotional fighter. It’s very meditative and has several advantages. Looking at today’s scenario every girl must pursue martial arts. It’s a form which teaches you self-defense and also how to deal with an uncertain situation with getting panicky over it. I have been learning Kalari for four years now, this is only work out I do. I got inspired from Vidyut Jamwal who learnt this art for 14 years. Knowing this art was an advantage for me to bag this role.

Are you well-versed with the languages? Was it difficult to learn and mouth them?
With English and Hindi, I am very well-versed but Malayalam was more of a pilot study for me. Malayalam being a foreign language I had no idea about the grammar. But as an actor it was a test for me. So I wrote all my lines in roman English, Devanagiri script Hindi and called for voice notes on Whatsapp so that I know the exact flow of the lines and the feel of it. Like this I worked over my lines for 25 days. Surprisingly, on the set I would start my scene with Malayalam followed by English and Hindi.

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