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Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a reason I became an actor: Aditi Rao Hydari
Aditi Rao Hydari at Cannes 2023 | Photo courtesy: Instagram/Aditi Rao Hydari

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a reason I became an actor: Aditi Rao Hydari

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Dec 2023, 01:33 pm

Indian actress Aditi Rao Hydari was the guest at the closing ceremony of 29th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). During her stay in Kolkata, IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh caught up with the Jubilee actress...

Q. You have been at Cannes this year. How much does these visits mean to you as an actor in terms of validation?

A. I don't look at it as validation but it's truly an honour to be a part of incredible film festivals because one gets surrounded by artistes, visionary people, risk-takers, brave filmmakers that one looks up to. Moreover, one gets surrounded by people who love cinema. I am always aware that whatever I have achieved is because of the directors, who have nurtured and challenged me and given me a platform. So yes, a film festival is very important and it's wonderful to see different kinds of cinema and influences because they obviously impact me and my decisions.

Aditi Rao Hydari at Cannes 2022 | Photo courtesy: Instagram/Aditi Rao HydariAditi Rao Hydari at Cannes 2022 | Photo courtesy: Instagram/Aditi Rao Hydari

Q. You featured in a popular web show Jubilee. How was working with someone like Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee?

A. Bumba-da is amazing. He is just incredible and too kind. After doing so many films, it is amazing to see how he is still excited to be on a film set and create a character. Every time it seems he is facing the camera for the first time. It is very inspirational to see someone so humble and dedicated to work even after working for such a long time. I just love him. He was like a paternal figure on the set of Jubilee.

Prosenjit Chatterjee (L) and Aditi Rao Hydari (R) | Photo courtesy: Instagram/Aditi Rao HydariProsenjit Chatterjee (L) and Aditi Rao Hydari (R) | Photo courtesy: Instagram/Aditi Rao Hydari

Q. One of your upcoming works is Gandhi Talks, which is a silent film. How challenging was it?

A. I recently played a mute girl in a Malayalam film, titled Sufiyum Sujatayum. So I had learnt a little and simple sign language. I really used to enjoy that. I can speak Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English. I struggle to speak Malayalam but I wanted to work in a film of that language. When Gandhi Talks was offered to me, I was very excited. I realised the language of a silent film is very different. A silent film is based on the visualisation of the director, editor and music director. As actors, we are honestly situational in it because we are not communicating through sign languages but through situations and contexts. So it was different and very challenging.

Aditi Rao Hydari in Sufiyum Sujatayum | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTubeAditi Rao Hydari in Sufiyum Sujatayum | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTube

Q. Are you a director's actor?

A. I am a hundred person director's actor because I love listening to the person who has created, lived and breathed that world and its every detail. I want to listen to that person. While working for Kaatru Veliyidai, Mani sir (Mani Ratnam) told me 'we will find Leela (Aditi's role in the film) together'. Being a fresh actor back then, such a comment coming from a legendary director made me see wonderland.

I realised on the set that such an environment emboldens me to take risks with the assurance that the director will not let me stumble. I am a director's actor but I will ask when it's needed because ultimately, I will have to internalise a character and make it true and honest. Otherwise it won't be believable to the audience.

Aditi Rao Hydari at KIFF | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNSAditi Rao Hydari at KIFF | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. Would you be a part of a film whose script carries 'misogyny'?

A. For me as an actor, it is very important to not judge the characters that I play but at the same time, I must also be responsible. Because those films are watched by a lot of people we need to be responsible for what we put out there. Having said that, I will also stand by what I said that it's a very fine line to not judge the characters that I am playing because they might think differently. Everybody deserves to make a film that they want. It's our choice whether we watch it or not.

Aditi Rao Hydari at KIFF | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNSAditi Rao Hydari at KIFF | Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Q. Would you like to say something about your other upcoming project, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi?

A. It's too early to speak about Heeramandi (laughs). I am one of those actors who believe it's important to speak about projects when the time is right. The director, especially someone like Sanjay sir whom I love and respect immensely, should first speak about it. He is also one of the reasons I became an actor. I am lucky to get my dream of becoming Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroine fulfilled. I am very blessed. I got so much more time to absorb from the director, whom I love and respect. It was an incredible experience.

(Images of Aditi Rao Hydari at KIFF by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)

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