Soha Ali Khan says she enjoyed working in Sudhir Mishra's Khoya Khoya Chand as it has been her most glamorous role till date.
Excerpts from the interview:
Khoya Khoya Chand is your second period film.
You mean after Rituparno Ghosh's Antar Mahal. But, my god, they are two completely different eras! I love going back in time. That's why I studied history. Even when I take off my makeup and wear a pair of jeans people say I belong to a different era.
Is this a film about Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman?
Sudhir Mishra is definitely inspired by them. But the central romance between my character and Shiney Ahuja's is simply reminiscent of all romances in the film industry in the 1950s. You could say my character is a professional colleague of Waheeda Rehman.
Could she be Sharmila Tagore?
My mother would be a generation removed from my character. My mother would probably have grown up watching my character from Khoya Khoya Chand. My mom thinks I look like her only in passing. But everyone thinks I look a lot like her.
Today you seem to prefer unconventional roles.
That's a narrow place to be in. It slots you as serious and arty. I'm a fun person in real life. I like to make people laugh. And I'd like to do that on screen. But there aren't too many comic roles written for female leads. I don't know why.
<b1>So, are you funny in Khoya Khoya Chand?
I'm spunky. Sudhir Mishra's female characters are very strong. They do cry. I think he has got strong passionate women in his life. It's liberating to be a female protagonist in Sudhir's cinema.
You've played several liberated characters.
Not too many. In Ahista Ahista I was repressed. Khoya Khoya Chand is my first author-backed film. I had to do a lot of preparation - from learning to ride a horse to sword fighting to a classical dancing and a sexy cabaret number.
Sexy cabaret number?
Yeah. That was my brief. That was something I had never done. I had to drop my inhibitions completely. So far one did such things in the privacy of the bedroom. I had great fun doing it.
<b2>Do you think the average 20-something will connect with the 1950s like you did?
Oh, but I didn't connect so easily with that era. Although my mom was an actress in the 1960s I haven't watched that many films from the 50s. I found the language archaic.
For this role I spent four months with an Urdu teacher. But the minute I got on to the sets Sudhir asked me to forget what I had been taught.
Because my character was being groomed into stardom she had to speak with the faults. In fact, many times I had to consciously speak incorrectly. But then when my character shot for the film within the film I was able to speak correctly.
What do you think of our films going back to an era gone by?
For me personally it was a beautiful and unique experience. The past is always exciting. It was so much fun dressing up for this role. This was my most glamorous role to date.