Thanks to the kind of roles she has played so far, you presume Prabhleen Sandhu to be this serious, straight-to-the-point girl. But the minute you get talking to her, the prejudice vanishes. The actor, who is gaining appreciation at various film festivals for her role in Shahid, talks to HT City about her upcoming movie Sixteen, having been a partner producer for Trishna and her desire of doing Punjabi movies.
About Hansal Mehta’s Shahid—a movie based on lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in Mumbai in 2010—which is being produced by Anurag Kashyap and Sunil Bohra, she says, “I have known Hansal for a long time, so I was aware of his plans of making Shahid. I used to suggest names for the role of Shahid’s wife, Mariam. One day, Hansal called me to come for an audition at the casting director, Mukesh Chabbra’s office, without even telling what it was for. It was an interesting audition with Raj Kumar Yadav, without even a script! The moment it finished, I was offered the lead role in the movie.”
Playing the role of Mariam in the movie, which has already been screened at Toronto Film Festival 2012, Dharamshala Film Festival 2012, will be going to the Dubai Film Festival and has already won the second prize at Mumbai Film Festival 2012, wasn’t a difficult task for Sandhu, says she, “I knew a lot about Mariam, who was a divorced Muslim woman with a kid and was four years elder to Shahid. Even the director wanted me to do the role with the same maturity and control. We shot at various real locations in Mumbai such as Nagpada, Kurla, Taximan colony and some Muslim areas.”
About another upcoming movie, Sixteen, by the producer of Tanu Weds Manu (Shailesh R Singh), Sandhu says, “It’s a story of today’s teenagers, in which I play the role of a bua of the protagonist. It’s a love triangle between the aunty, the 16-year-old girl and the boy.”
Recently, Sandhu also turned producer (partner) with British drama film Trishna, which featured Frieda Pinto and Riz Ahmed. “The director, Michael Winterbottom, came up with the concept of shooting in India, and the movie was based on the novel Tess of The d’Urbervilles. I had not read it, but I was keen to invest,” she says.
Though her previous Punjabi flick, Rahe Chardi Kala Punjabi Di, was jinxed, the interview wouldn’t have been complete without asking the Ferozpur girl about Pollywood. “Unfortunately, my previous film didn’t do well. In fact, I have ended up quitting some Punjabi movies because the cast thought I was ‘strict’ as compared to other female actors. I do, however, want to do more Punjabi films,” she concludes.