The role has been difficult for me because it is not a fictional character; it is a real person,” says actor Deepika Padukone, talking about playing freedom fighter Kalpana Dutta in Ashutosh Gowariker’s period film Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se. “When you are playing someone who was for real, you have to take care of the minutest of details like your body language, they way you speak, the way you carry yourself. You don’t want to hurt the sentiments of people.”
Not only body language, but clothes play a vital role in every period film. Padukone says that a lot of research has gone into that too. “Ashu sir had done so much of work already — the kind of saree and blouse I wore, the hairstyle, size of the bindi, the number of bangles I wore on each hand — everything was planned,” says the actor.
While Padukone wore the Bengali sarees, her co-star, Abhishek Bachchan, too, had his share of managing to do with dhotis. Says Deepika, “Abhishek has a very good height; so he carries off the dhoti really well. But, he has had many a mishap with it.”
But how was it to change herself from a glamourous actress to playing a revolutionary from the 1930s? “Acting is not about the kind of clothes or how much make-up you apply,” says Padukone, who, supposedly, was chosen by the director for resembling her character. “For me, the kind of films that we make are different from each other but the process is the same,” she adds.