Often we have heard that a character or the concept of the film is inspired by an earlier film. Even actors during their prep for a film are told to refer to certain characters in order to know what kind of acting is required for the particular project. But what if it is a complete slate minus any references?
Well, that’s what happened to Erika Kaar when she was signed for Shivaay. Erika is a Polish actor and made her debut in the Indian film industry with Ajay Devgn’s directorial, Shivaay. It would have been natural for her to refer to some Bollywood films to get a knack of how to deliver a dialogue or express keeping Indian audiences in mind. However, Ajay kept her away from having any such access just to ensure she stays natural on the screen.
Talking about how Ajay wanted her to be uninfluenced by Bollywood, Erika in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com said, “Ajay was very particular of not letting us watch any Bollywood films during the shoot of Shivaay. He wanted us to remain as uninfluenced as possible with the kind of acting we usually see in Hindi films. That’s also because our film was extremely different and he wanted us to stay natural.”
But after the shoot wrapped up, she hooked herself to some Bollywood films, “I watched Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrrer Devdas. They both are magical actors. I saw 3 Idiots, nice comedy. And Deepika Padukone, I am kind of a fan of hers. She is so beautiful and talented with such intense eyes. I saw Bajirao Mastani.”
While Erika has a good enough knowledge about Bollywood and films, Abigail Eames, who plays the character of Ajay’s daughter in the film, knows nothing beyond Shivaay and is just excited to be a part of the Indian culture.
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She said, “Erika definitely knows more than me. I am slack in terms of my Bollywood knowledge but I really love the culture, colours, people, places and even buildings. Oh my god! I went to Gateway Of India and it was so cool!”
On being asked about how good a director Ajay Devgn is, Abigail called him a perfect mix of professional and genuine while Erika said working with him was a learning experience. “It’s been a great journey. I have learnt a lot from him including facts like how can we shoot through different angle for a particular scene. I also learnt how to watch my scenes on spot. Thanks to the fact that I had most of my scenes were with Ajay so I got to go with the director who stopped being an actor and monitor how the shot is looking and thanks to that I got sneak behind the camera and how I think can actually work on screen,” said Erika.
While Abigail said, “Ajay sir is extremely professional. And I love the fact that you can just tell him whatever you have in your mind. He is so genuine and focussed. I just love that about him and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he behaved like a real father on the sets for everyone who was a part of this film. I feel honoured to have worked with him.”
Shivaay has released in theatres and is competing with Karan Johar’s directorial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. While according to our Twitter poll, Shivaay wins the game at the box-office but the real game has just started and the audience verdict will be out soon.