Fashion turns 10: Actors from the film go down memory lane
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion (2008) highlighted a side of the glamour world that probably many weren’t aware of. The hard-hitting Bollywood drama, probably one of the first films on the subject, that was loved by the audience and the critics alike, broke records at the box office and was also appreciated for the performances by all the actors.
The film’s leading ladies, Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut, both received National Awards for their performances, with Priyanka winning the Best Actress award and Kangana winning the Best Supporting Actress. Actor Mugdha Godse also received appreciation for the portrayal of an aspiring model, Janet Sequeira.
Today (October 29), as Fashion clocks 10 years, actors Arbaaz Khan, Samir Soni, Suchitra Pillai and Harsh Chhaya, who played pivotal characters in the film, share their memories of shooting for it and reveal what they felt were their toughest scenes at the time.
Arbaaz Khan aka Abhijeet Sarin
Before Fashion, I had portrayed both positive and negative characters. Madhur approached me for the role saying that he would like to explore both the shades. He wanted someone who would also look suave. On my part, I was getting the opportunity to work with Madhur, Priyanka and Kangana. I was playing a married man who was having an extramarital affair with Priyanka’s character. And I remember, there is this scene where Priyanka is telling me that she is pregnant and I snub her. This coldness of my character was a little difficult for me to portray because I am not like that in real life. So, after I finished shooting, I was like, ‘did I actually do that?’ Fashion also introduced me to Mahesh Limaye (cinematographer). I loved his work so much that I later collaborated with him for my production, Dabangg (2010).
Samir Soni aka Rahul Arora
I was super charged to play the character. Madhur and I used to sit and discuss how we could make the character look real and convincing. Playing a gay character, that too at that time, was not easy. I was worried if I would be able to do justice to it. It was challenging because such characters are stereotyped and (I was worried that) if I go overboard, (it) might get caricaturish. There was one scene where I was to kiss my onscreen boyfriend and I was thinking how will that be accepted in mainstream cinema. But then the scene got dropped. I think the most difficult spot in the film was when I propose marriage to Mugdha, even though I have a steady boyfriend. The scene was socially touchy [at that time] and tricky.
Suchitra Pillai aka Avantika Sarin
Working on the film was so much fun, especially because of Madhur, given the kind of bond we share. The confrontation scene when I come to know that Priyanka’s character, Meghna, was pregnant with my onscreen husband Arbaaz’s baby, was a little tough emotionally. Also, the time when Meghna calls my husband while we are at home and I look at him. There, I only had to do the talking with my eyes, there were no dialogues.
Harsh Chhaya aka Vinay Khosla
How I got the part in the first place is a story in itself. I had read the news that Madhur was casting for the film and the write-up mentioned a little bit about the character. I really liked the part and wanted to do something different. So I approached Madhur and he said he will let me know. When he did not get back, I got a five-minute audition DVD made and sent it to his office. They saw it finally when the search for Vinay’s role became never-ending. And I remember Madhur was like ‘I was looking for someone like you for this character’. As far as the toughest scene is concerned, when I am scolding Priyanka’s character and throwing her out of fashion show was a little difficult emotionally. Also, I was a little shaky while shooting the first scene.
Author tweets @Shreya_MJ
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