After playing an introvert Meera in Cocktail and a super charming Happy in last year’s film Happy Bhaag Jayegi, Diana Penty has impressed the audience yet again with her character of Gayatri in her recent release, Lucknow Central.
While the actor followed her normal ritual in order to prep-up for her character, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, she talked about how Nikhil Advani’s wife was a huge help to get her closer to Gayatri.
“Gayatri is an NGO worker. She deals with criminals. She has this inclination towards reformation of the criminals. I read about the role online and the importance of it. There was a lot of prep that way.
I spoke to Nikhil Advani’s wife. She runs an NGO and she deals with minors and undertrials while my character deals with adult convicts. But there is one thing similar between both of them, their belief that everyone deserves basic human rights. Sentence is the convicts’ punishment but beyond that they should be given human treatment. They should be given a second chance,” she said.
Diana is perhaps one of those rare actors who has gone beyond the need to know her character. In fact, she is thankful to Gayatri (her character) for getting her closer to the world of law.
She quipped, “Once they (criminals) are out, they are so disconnected with the world. So, there should be vocational training to help them to cope up with the world. The NGO workers help them get education, make them learn some skills that would help them lead their lives normally. So that’s also I got to learn about.
See, these are the things that you do not get to learn while being in the kind of job I am. So, because of this role, I got familiar with so many laws, I wasn’t aware of. And only through the way, I realised that I feel very strongly about it.”
She added how prepping up for this character has risen a certain interest within her to contribute in reformation of these criminals in her real life too.
“I would love to. I thought about it. It’s a great and quite a job. It can help in betterment of the society. We can help them live a good life and make them good human being. We can make sure they don’t get into the same zone yet again. So, it is a good thing to do. But yes, it is not easy. It’s not something I can wake up and get into it. There is a misconception that NGO is a job, which requires no training but that is not true.
You are dealing with people who are highly sensitive and vulnerable. So, you need to have some sort of skills and training, educationally you must be backed with understanding of psychology and social studies. You should be qualified. So, it is a full-time job basically,” the actor answered.
By the way, her research does not end here. She informed us, “Interesting part is that 80% of the people in jail are in for petty crimes because of a heat of the moment act. A lot of them want to undo the crimes they have committed.”
After listening to her prep-up and the way she had researched about her character, we were keen to know why she is choosy about films that come her way.
To our question, Diana smiled and clarified, “First of all, let me clarify. It is not like 500 people are knocking on my door saying please do my films. I did not know about Gayatri till Ranjit narrated the story. But when I heard the story, the character appealed to me. I felt like this character would help me to add diversity to the little work I have done so far.”
She also spoke about how her co-star Farhan Akhtar has been a help in her performance.
“As an co-actor, this is first time I met and worked with him. He is extremely well prepared and takes preparation very seriously which shows how dedicated he is. He never wastes time on set. He helped me in enhancing my performance by default,” the 31-year-old said.
On the work front, Diana would be next be seen sharing the screen space with John Abraham in his production film, Parmanu. The film is slated for December release and Diana exclusively told us that the audience would get to see her performing some action sequences.