“India has never seen a film like Gehraiyaan”

The trailer of Shakun Batra directorial ‘Gehraiyaan’ has created ripples on social media with its theme of modern love, friendship, infidelity. Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone returns to the silver screen after ’83’ as Alisha, who is caught in a love triangle. Days ahead of the film’s release, Souvik Ghosh brings Padukone’s thoughts on the film and more
When did you realise that your trailer has become very popular or trendy?
I think the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) had posted (online) a meme regarding the garbage scene. We know the trailer has gone viral when some scene was picked up and turned into a meme. I think it was a great start for all of us.
How did you react to the script initially?
I have a kind of a disclaimer right at the start of any narration that I will not react. A filmmaker will not be getting an instant reaction from me. I do take a couple of days to just live with it (script) irrespective of the kind of instinct I get. But either way, I have developed this process of not reacting there and then or making a decision on the spur of the moment.
This is something I have learnt from my father who taught me never to be impulsive. That’s just my process of living with it and seeing whether my reaction to the script changes after a few days or making sure whether I am missing something. I feel like one’s career is really those choices one makes eventually. It was the same with this film. I liked it and loved it.
This is one of those rare narrations whether he (Shakun Batra) had come fully prepared even with a background music for me to better visualise what this film was going to be. He did everything that he could on his part but I just needed that time to be sure whether I was ready for that because it was also a bigger emotional commitment more than anything else.
How has been the journey?
It has truly been an incredible journey. I remember Shakun messaging me when I was in London for the shooting of ’83’. He then came down (to London). Like most actors, Shakun has been in my list of filmmakers with whom I would have wanted to work. In fact, my husband (Ranveer Singh) is the one who keeps saying Shakun and I would make an amazing film together.
How has been your equation with Shakun Batra?
My relationship with Shakun goes back to 2015 when we were attending an award function abroad. We were introduced to each other through colleagues and we hit it up instantly. I knew at that moment, irrespective of whether we make a film or not, though I knew we would, I remember saying I had made a friend for life. Shakun coming down to London to narrate the story was not like a director but a friend coming over to pitch an idea.
I can say that the script has evolved from where it was to the film that I have actually made. That’s just his process but it comes from the kind of relationship both of us share which is that of honesty and trust. We have promised each other that’s what is going to be, not just in our professional lives but in our personal capacities. Whatever said and done, we are always going to be honest to each other, whether we like it or not.
It is being said that ‘Gehraiyaan’ is going to be one of your best performances till date. What can the audience expect from this film and your character, Alisha?
I can say the audience haven’t seen me or any other Indian actor playing a character like this. I can also confidently say that India has never seen a film like this. I think it’s many firsts. Love, relationships are Shakun’s forte. When I say relationships, I don’t mean just boyfriend-girlfriend but it would be brother-sister, two sisters, friends.
I think he (Shakun Batra) is the best when it comes to those dynamics and saying it as it is, observing being the observer and watching without a lens of judgement. He really is the best person to bring that out on screen. We certainly haven’t seen something like this. There is no reference point in that sense, so one has to really dig deep and trust what the director wants to extract from the actor. (TWF)