Pune International Film Festival 2019: NSD made my training in theatre stronger, says actor Hattangadi
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Pune International Film Festival 2019: NSD made my training in theatre stronger, says actor Hattangadi

The actor said that she was selected by director Richard over actors like Bhakti Barve and Smita Patil for she came closest to Kasturba’s role.

pune Updated: Jan 12, 2019 17:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,PIFF 2019,National school of drama
(From left) Film-maker Govind Nihalani: Jabbar Patel, chairman and director, Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), and actor Rohini Hattangadi at PIFF forum at City pride Kothrud on Friday. (Sanket Wankhade/ HT Photo )

Actor Rohini Hattangadi’s role of Kasturba (Mahatma Gandhi’s wife) in Richard Attenbourgh’s Gandhi has been a turning point for her, as she reminisced about being young and getting to play the role.

“I was happy, excited then and thank my National School of Drama (NSD) training to prepare me for the role.

“The magnitude of the film and the life of Gandhi had not yet sunk in then as it is now when I look back,” said Rohini while interacting with the audience during the session ‘My journey An actor’s truth’ at the open forum at Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) 2019.

She also mentioned that she was selected by director Richard over actors like Bhakti Barve and Smita Patil for she came closest to Kasturba’s role.

“I guess my training at NSD helped for I had developed a habit of building up my character and getting intense,” she said.

Rohini is all gratitude towards her alma matter NSD which made her basic training in theatre stronger.

“Be it television or film, or theatre, I can modify myself, develop any character and slip into any role. NSD gave me the vision to see further and they exposed me to integrated works, right from working on the backstage to even doing the costumes,” she said.

Rohini also recalled playing the lead role of an older woman in Saransh by Mahesh Bhatt, which incidentally completes 35 years.

“That was a good film. Very tight knit way of working straight for two months. It was difficult to get out of the character after the shoot was over each day as we would not leave the set at all. We, Anupam Kher and I, felt the film belonged to us and this film was very near to our hearts,” she said.

The senior actor later reiterated her gratitude towards her alma matter NSD which made her grow in all forms of theatre and film industry.

Welcome the digital technology and produce better work, says Nihalani

The 17th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) 2019 began their PIFF forum with an open interview with film-maker Govind Nihalani and actress Rohini Hattangadi in conversation with Dr Jabbar Patel, festival director and Ravi Gupta, festival secretary. Incidentally, both were part of Richard Attenborough’s Oscar Award winner film Gandhi. The theme of this year’s film festival is about celebrating 150 years birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Nihalani said, “It is important to be aware of cinema culture and even more so now with the film going digital. It has become easy and simple with technology offering us so much, in terms of medium of image, projections etc.” He agreed that celluloid is no more, but one has to accept the change and make better and qualitative work.

“Quality of digital imaging is changing at a rapid space and it is a new way of creating image and special effects which never existed earlier. We are going to be challenged further more by technology so the best thing will be to create or perish,” he said.

The film-maker also pointed out the opportunity to play with technology. “I was trained as a cinematographer in Bengaluru, but through the course we learned everything else too — sound, editing and direction. Thus, even when I think of a film, I also think of the visual of the film. So, I can look at a project as a film-maker and cinematographer.”

Nihalani was influenced a lot by playwright Vijay Tendulkar who wrote several of his scripts like Aakrosh and Ardh Satya. “I would like to call Tendulkar’s writings seminal, working with him was always a collaboration. It was never like he lectured and I listened. If one follows his methodology, you will learn more in life than ever. With his script, I have looked at cinema as director or built up a scene or character and have learnt from him throughout. Tendulkar has tremendous depth as a writer.”

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 17:04 IST