In Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh, Esha Gupta plays a IPS officer and admits that Kiran Bedi was her muse. The model-turned-actor, who makes her Bollywood debut this Friday in Jannat 2, says that Bedi is the only woman police officer she knows to have made it really big in a man’s world.
“She’s a good friend of my mother, and when I was in Delhi, I got to meet her around three-four times,” says Esha, remembering Bedi turning up at their place to celebrate festivals like Teej dressed in red, with a matching ‘bindi’ and ‘chudis’ (bangles).”She looked very feminine, but at work she was the no-nonsense cop, like my character who is absolutely de-glam and doesn’t even wear lipstick. Another role model is my mother, who is one of the strongest women I know.”
Filmed in Bhopal, Chakravyuh is set against the backdrop of the Naxal movement that’s been sparking off plenty of headlines recently. Arjun Rampal also plays a cop, while Manoj Bajpai is a Naxalite and Abhay Deol’s character keeps changing shades. Esha admits she signed the film without even listening to the story.
“I adore Prakash sir and there was no way I’d say no. But once I was in Bhopal, I felt like I was back in school with him as a strict principal. And what made me even more nervous was that my first scene was with Om Puriji, a National Award-winning actor,” she reminisces. Fortunately, the shoot went off well, I think Prakashji is happy with my work. I was lucky I could flashback to those meetings with Kiran Bedi, watch and listen to her interviews online to make my character more real.”