For the Khallas girl to play a deglamourised role was a “challenge.” Eesha Kopikkar Narang says that when director Lalit approached her to play a female don who looks like a street urchin, she was amused and thought he was joking. “But the script hooked me. It’s an author-backed role.”
She adds, “I have nothing against multi-starrers and playing a femme fatale, but after getting married and settling down, I wanted to do something more meaningful. This fit the bill.” Eesha married her friend, businessman Timmy Narang, a year ago.
She adds, “In a male-dominated domain, people rarely write scripts featuring a powerful female character. I also loved the character, because she’s a strong person, like me.” The actor has herself been practicing martial arts for eight years and loves action. For Shabri, she did a couple of breathtaking stunts including jumping from a building, but admits the most difficult bit was to inhabit a character “seven shades darker than her.” She says, “For a whole week, I used to sit in the sun for hours, but that only burnt my skin. I didn’t even get a slight tan.” The actor then used cosmetics and make-up. “Imagine doing that every day. It requires a lot of patience,” she says.
The female don, Shabri, is burdened with family responsibilities and is the only breadwinner. She lives in a slum where the ‘matka’ (form of betting) system is rampant. Of the film, she says, “My character works in a flour mill to support her family. Her life takes a turn when a policeman rounds up her brother by mistake, and tortures him to death, turning her into a dreaded gangster.”
Eesha also walks with a slight slouch in the film, which she attributes to the mental connotation of being “burdened with responsibility.”