You get fulfilled as a director to have an actor like Alia: Sanjay Leela Bhansali   


I’m not too fond of too much preparation; it has to be spontaneous 

Recently Sanjay Leela Bhansali did an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama. He said that Gangubai Kathiawadi is a notable film without compromise. I want to make this film, and the most important thing was when Alia heard the rules, she said I couldn’t make this rule. I don’t think I am right about this rule. The only thing I can say at that time is that trust me, belief in me, and I believe in you.  

So, when belief comes in, it is the most considerable communication of two people where I trust you, and you trust me. So, that was the first rule I think of an actor and a director communicating. Respect is the second one where you respect them, saying that I am constructing a scene I don’t interfere; therefore, we all respect each other and contribute and ply it out to the best of our abilities.  

Then there comes the understanding of receiving or listening. I will listen to all my little experience here or there in the courthouse, and I would not give Alia very direct briefs. Still, I would read out the scene in a certain way when I discuss it, not even readout, but I have not discussed she knows what is happening to my mind. How my anger is rising, what is happening to the delicate, fragile moment so what she is feeling.  

We all are listening to things that can maybe help us. Good listening can help me by suggesting something I would listen for better. So we have to be good listeners; that is what has happened again between Alia and me: she would hear me out, and I would hear her out. So it is the freedom to be you, and I have to enable you to play that role.  

She doesn’t know the character like Alia lives in Bandra, brought up in a convent school, don’t know what that world is but for her to imbibe and start understanding what that anger in the voice is, when do I bring my voice, what is it sort of the voice that I carry. So we started talking about working out, like Standing at the door.

So, that’s givens and take, and with Alia, what happens when the director has to inspire to come and say things.  

When Ranveer walks into the stage, I get very inspired like, let’s do this, I will certainly change the whole scene on the set, and with her was the same thing because you are receiving, you are open to improvisations because at that moment you are alive the whole. Set is there, lights are there, actors, co-actors are there, you are in costume, you are that person now.

So I want to suddenly improvise so the ability to improvise and live that moment rather than study it on paper and come prepared. I’m not too fond of too much preparation; it must be spontaneous. 

 So she is a very spontaneous actor, and both of us are just improvising on hr spot. I had such a blast working with Alia.

You get fulfilled as a director to have an actor like Alia. Who is so committed without excess baggage like my vans of my 17 people coming, my 20 personal comings and that this demand that my food will come from that place only, nothing like this there was just a complete surrender to what she wanted do.

She tried to perform this role and perform it at her best, which comes with an excess package. Today, it’s a huge matter of baggage that the producers and directors have to pay in the industry.   

Edited by: Kiran Maharana

Published by: Vishakha Verma



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