Glamorous Antara Mali, who has gone bald for Amol Palekar's forthcoming film And Once Again, admits it wasn't easy shaving her head. Last seen on the big screen five years ago, she also says this is not her comeback film.
"Shaving your head is not an easy thing to do. I did suffer later, but I still have no regrets," Antara told IANS in an interview.
"When Amolda told me that I would have to shave my head for the role in the film, my initial reaction was just excitement because these are opportunities that don't come to you too often and even if they come they come at a wrong time.
"For instance, If I was deep in my career, I wouldn't have been able to do something like this because you are committed to other films so you can't shave off your head, but it came to me when I had no commitments in my life. I could just do whatever I wanted. So I was feeling so free," she said.
Antara, who made her acting debut in 1999 with Prema Katha, went on to do films like Mast, Khiladi 420, Company, Road, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon and Naach.She also produced and directed Mr Ya Miss in 2005 that failed at the box office. Antara hasn't been seen in a film since then and she got married last year.
"I retired after Mr Yaa Miss. I think that at that point, I'd hit a dead end in terms of what I wanted to do. I wasn't very sure and then I thought that I didn't feel like working. All of us go through that phase," she said.
"I'm still not ready to come back and And Once Again is just a one-off film that I'm doing. It's not my comeback film," Antara added.
Directed by Palekar, And Once Again is an English film that features Antara as a female monk in Sikkim. The film also stars Rajat Kapoor and Rituparna Sengupta and is slated to hit screens Aug 13.
Throwing light on her character, the 30-year-old said: "It's a very quiet performance and unusual because of the nature of the role."
"I don't think I would have been able to do this a few years back. There has been a certain growth as a person in me and I think whatever I have felt and experienced sort of just evolved in this character," Antara said.
So what preparations did she do to essay her role with perfection?
"I did exactly what Amolda told me. That's the best part of working with someone like him. When you are working with him, you just give yourself up, you do whatever he says.
"Also, I interacted with monks when I was in Sikkim. I did some amount of research about how they talk, the way they look and all that, but more than all that when you are playing someone, you bring something from your own life and inject that into the character to make it real. It just works out that way," she said.