"It was as simple as getting a phone call from Madhur Bhandarkar… and I knew if he would offer me half a decent role I would agree immediately,” says actor Samir Soni.
The role embodied all the right nuances a character in a Madhur Bhandarkar film typifies, and Soni took up the challenge of portraying a gay character in Bhandarkar’s latest film Fashion. Excerpts from a chat:
So why did you accept the role in Fashion?
I play a closet-gay fashion designer. It was a very challenging role to play. Madhur and I did a lot of research to sketch the character and his personality. But the greatest challenge was not to make him a stereotypical gay character, but subtly express his sexuality through his personality and his relationship with the other characters in the film.
What kind of research did you carry out?
I observed people. It was great fun, observing certain gay designers in our own fashion fraternity. Being gay is as normal as being straight, but still people look down upon the gay community. A person’s sexual orientation does not define the person, and that is what we have tried to focus on in this film.
Did you have to work on your looks?
Well, I don’t want to reveal much about it now, but I did change a few things. And as for Madhur, he is a stickler for authenticity… so both of us agreed upon a certain look for me, which is very metrosexual. Rita Dhody has done a fine job in styling my character.
How has your association with the fashion world helped in shaping the character?
It helped a lot. I had to understand the rapport that a designer shares with the models and his fellow designers. I needed to understand what goes on behind the scene.
What are your expectations from the film?
Obviously, I’m expecting a lot. I’m already teasing Madhur to get ready for the fourth National Award. The promos look great. I am just waiting for the release.