These days, Bollywood directors make actors go through all kinds of training and workshops to get into the skin of their characters. Pankaj Kapur too joined this list recently by making son Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor go out of their way and do something “really astounding.”
Kapur, who makes his directorial debut with Mausam, asked Shahid and Sonam to stop using mobile phones, SMSes or any short format for communication. Instead, he instructed them to write letters to communicate for two months prior to shooting with each other.
“I belong to a different school of acting. Everything my actors do has to be contextual,” says Kapur, about the film that’s partly period based. “I made Sonam and Shahid go though this extensive exercise so that they could start feeling like the characters. It took some time, as we needed to break inhibitions and develop new habits and then fall in love (on screen).”
Initially, Sonam and Shahid hated the idea of shunning their mobile phones. And since they were used to constantly messaging and emailing, felt it was a cumbersome job to write letters. But Kapur insisted that until and unless they go through the exercise, he wouldn’t start shooting the film.
Sources close to the film’s unit say that both Shahid and Sonam wrote really bad notes for two weeks, which left Pankaj Kapur fuming and baffled. But he persisted since he felt it was important for them to be able to write their thoughts down.
Interestingly, Sonam and Shahid have gotten used to writing letters that they continue to do so whenever they find an opportunity even today, two years after the incident.