We’ve never seen you in a role like this.
When Abhishek Chaubey first narrated it to me, I said, “Thank you”. After being cast only as the ‘good girl’, I was hoping someone would cast me in a role like this.
So tell us about your naughty-girl act.
I had to exude an aggressive sexuality throughout. The character is unapologetic about her sexuality or about using it. I knew it was in me but to project it on screen required some doing.
Did you ask the director why he cast you?
Yes. He said, “I didn’t want a conventional casting. And when you’re casting against the dye, you need a good actress.”
Tell us about the film.
The script is crisp, with every imaginable emotion—love, romance, lust, violence, deceit, betrayal. It’s all very identifiable.
There were objections to the language after the promos were aired.
In parts of eastern UP, where the film is set, people talk with a certain aggression.
Was Vishal Bharadwaj on the sets?
He’s the producer and co-scriptwriter, but he visited us only once and that speaks a great deal of the confidence he has in the director.
Did working with a first-time director make you nervous?
For a first-time director he was supremely confident yet unassuming, which is a nice combination. He answered all my questions.
And Naseeruddin Shah?
Really humbling. He has amazing focus. And he was so endearing in the role of the man helplessly in love, the old world romantic.
And the highlights of the shoot were....
Sometimes I couldn’t imagine getting romantic with my friend Arshad and if there was a little aggression in the scene, I’d start giggling.
Working with Naseer or the Big B?
They’re different yet their focus, passion and love for their work is the same.