She plays Jessica Lall in Rajkumar Gupta’s No
One Killed Jessica
, but she is not a professional actor, nor did she know anything about the controversial case before she was offered the role.
Meet 20-something Myra Karn (who doesn’t like to use her last name), an engineering graduate who didn’t have the slightest clue that she’d land a part in one of the most awaited films of the year.
No One Killed Jessica
is based on the case of model Jessica Lall, who was working as a celebrity bartender at a crowded socialite party when she was shot dead on 29 April 1999, at the pub, Tamarind Court in South Delhi.
“Rajkumar and I used to meet at a common friend’s restaurant and became friends. One day, he called me up and offered the role. He said, ‘You are my Jessica. I think you look like her and have her personality.’” Myra was stunned. “I was taken aback and obviously said ‘no’. The cast had been finalised — there were stars like Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan.
I, on the other hand, knew nothing about acting! Rajkumar was shocked at my reaction, because he didn’t expect anyone to refuse this role. He kept insisting, and I changed my mind when he said: ‘You just have to be yourself. You are like her. You don’t have to act.”
Was it tough to play the character? “Everything was going fine, till the murder scene. The character was like me — sparkling and pulsating. Unlike other actors, I didn’t really have to get into the skin of the character. I didn’t even feel I was playing anyone else, till the shootout sequence. It was a party scene. Suddenly, when Manish Bharwaj, who plays Manu Sharma, lifted his gun to shoot at me, I started feeling unwell. Throughout the scene, I felt sick. Then it sunk in. I am playing this girl. This is how she must have felt when she got shot,” says Myra, who was studying in Ahmedabad and was “young and disinterested in news” when the incident took place.
On shooting with Rani and Vidya, she says, “I didn’t have a scene with Rani, but it was memorable working with Vidya. She is sweet.”