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She calls herself a darpok in real life but she is part of several horror films including the upcoming Aatma. Bipasha Basu on what attracts her to the genre
Are you a fan of horror flicks?
Basically I am fond of films and I want the Hindi film industry to churn out all kinds of films. Now that I have worked in some supernatural thrillers,I find them to be great entertainers. Fear is a new emotion in the Indian market and a good way of entertainment,but horror is neglected genre. There are hardly any high quality films made in this genre. I feel we need to make more of these.
What do you think will make Aatma work?
There are many layers to Aatma. It is a strong human drama about a mothers maternal instinct and a fathers attachment to his child. Its more than just a film that scares you.
Is it true that something eerie happens when shooting for a supernatural thriller?
I cannot say for others,but yes,during the shooting of Aatma something spooky did happen when we were shooting the first scene. There were two pictures,one of Mahatma Gandhi and the other of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on the wall and suddenly without any provocation,Gandhijis picture tilted a little and fell. We have a footage of that.
Do you believe in the supernatural ?
I am very religious and believe that everyone has an aatma,a soul,and that there is an after life for all humans,but I am not overly ritualistic.
What is the most important ingredient of a horror film?
A great story! No film can work without an engaging story,not even a horror flick.
Can you name any horror film which gave you goosebumps while watching it?
Alfred Hitchcocks cult film Psycho scared the daylights out of me. Sam Raimis Evil Dead was another one that had me all frightened. I am a big darpok in real life,so while watching horror films I break into a sweat.
As an actor how do you prepare yourself for acting in a supernatural film?
I try and get rid of my fears during the narration. I remember when director Suparn Verma narrated the script at Hotel Taj Lands End in Mumbai,I was very scared as he spoke whilst sitting on a revolving chair,but the engaging story dispelled my fears.
Any scene in a horror film which has left a long lasting impact on you?
The shower scene in Psycho where Janet Leigh is slashed to death. Mixing fast cutting and screeching music,Hitchcock created a brilliant illusion of gore,violence and nudity,while actually showing very little.
Can you name an Indian film director who has it in him to make gripping horror flicks?
Vikram Bhatt,for sure. He has been spoon-feeding the Indian audience with small doses of horror in his films like 1920,1920 Returns and Raaz 3 to prepare them for a full blown horror flick. I am sure he will come up with something big in this genre.
Can any actor make a horror film work?
Horror films worldwide have a protagonist who is either a woman or a child. Women and children are vulnerable and the biggest factors which drive horror. To show fear and for the audience to feel it,the character has to be vulnerable. If you put a male protagonist it wouldnt work.