3 November, 2016
Sai Tamhankar speaks about dealing with the subject of body shaming through her upcoming Marathi film Vazandar, her international projects and more…
She is bold and beautiful, yet grounded like the roots of Marathi cinema. As Sai Tamhankar makes her debut on the international frontier with her upcoming film Love Sonia, stakes are high for the actress. In a candid conversation, Sai spills the beans about working with national award winning director Sachin Kundalkar, plans of going behind the camera and future projects
How did Vazandar happen? How did you bag the role in the film?
It happened over a cup of coffee. I was asked to gain weight and I thought it is very challenging so I agreed and that’s how I bagged the role.
Tell us something about the film?
Vazandar is a story of two fat friends. Vazandar is a ride that showcases the journey of weight-loss of those two fat friends (played by me and Priya) in a judgmental society that has problems with women both fat and slim. Do they change themselves for the society or not, that’s Vazandar is all about.
You are always known as someone who goes against the tide. What attracted you to this role?
Putting on weight for the role was the highlight for me in Vazandar. It was indeed challenging. Also, there’s one more thing which I found interesting about my character is that Kaveri (Name of my character) is from a very liberal family but she is married to a guy whose family is very orthodox, so I found this disparity very interesting and I have never played such character before.
Your co-star Priya Bapat has worked with Sachin Kundalkar before. How was your experience working with him?
It was absolutely amazing. Sachin is one such person who makes a girl feel like a queen whenever you are around him. He boosted my confidence which made me work harder for the film. One thing I love about Sachin is that he is one of those very few directors who have got an amazing sense of aesthetics and colour pallet.
Was it fun shooting with Priya Bapat? Kindly share some details…
Of course yes. Priya is extremely hardworking and sincere. I myself have learnt many things from her while shooting for Vazandar. I have worked with Priya before but in Vazandar I got to know Priya very well. She is over energetic on the set.
You are one of the glamorous actresses of Marathi industry. What was your reaction when you were asked to put on weight for the film? What were the challenges you faced while shooting for the film?
I was like ‘wow’. For the first time, I was asked to put on weight for a Marathi film. To gain weight I was eating without thinking and it was absolutely blissful. I didn’t face any challenge while shooting for the film but when I was putting on weight that time I faced a major challenge with my diet plat which just had sweet food. I don’t have a sweet tooth and my diet had only sweet. So to avoid that I used to have lot of junk food and that’s how I put on.
Do you think that being an A-lister in the industry; it is risky to take up challenging and non-glamorous roles?
Not at all. It works for me. When you go against your image, no matter how the way people pursue you, it is always beneficial for the actor inside you.
There have been many instances lately, especially on the social media, of body shaming. What is your opinion about the same?
People who encourage body shaming are frivolous human beings I feel. According to me your body and your looks are not going to be the same till the end, it is going to change after a certain time. So people think about the good qualities that are going to stay with you forever and therefore how you look or the size of your body should not matter but unfortunately in our country it matters the most and I feel really sad about it. My upcoming film Vazandar will inspire the audiences to love themselves despite of their body size and shape.
With your splendid performance in film like Hunterrr, you have set a standard for yourself, does that affect you in the choices of films you make?
Not really, but I have been approached with the similar kind of roles. I wish people could see me in various roles. It hasn’t affected me yet but yes I’m in search of a good role in Bollywood.
One role that you wished was offered to you?
I liked the character of Nargis Fakhri from the film Rockstar.
Do you wish to go behind the camera some day?
Definitely yes. I don’t know which department I will be working in but I would certainly like to go behind the camera.
Tell us something about your future projects. Is there any Hindi films in you kitty?
Love Sonia is my international film project which I’m looking forward to. Love Sonia is getting released in 2017. There’s a Marathi film Rakshas which will also be releasing in 2017. The script of Rakshas got selected in Drishyam Sundance Writers’ Lab. So these are the two upcoming projects which I’m eagerly looking forward to.