In the series titled First of Many, the who’s who of the industry will revisit their first acting project. They will reveal how they landed the role and what was their experience on the first day of shoot.
It isn’t unknown how Neena Gupta put out an Instagram post in 2017 asking for work. Soon she made her comeback to films with hits like Badhaai Ho, Mulk and Veere Di Wedding. This not just gave a new lease of life to her career but also made her an audience favourite one more time.
Gupta has been in the business for almost four decades now. The maverick actor has delivered great performances in the past with TV shows like Saans and Siski. She has also been a part of memorable films including Gandhi, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Utsav and Woh Chokri.
Taking time out of her busy schedule, Neena Gupta reveals that her first film was Aadharshila.
So how did Gupta get her first film Aadharshila and what was it being on the set with her friends from theatre?
Here’s what she said:
1. What was your first acting project?
My first film was Aadharshila which was made in Delhi as soon as I passed out from the National School of Drama in 1980-81.
2. What do you remember of your first day on set?
I don’t remember! I tried to think, but I couldn’t remember anything.
What I remember is I didn’t know how to ride a cycle, and I had to ride a cycle in it and that too in a swimming costume. I was very nervous. I started to learn. They gave me a cycle and I used to go to the director’s house and behind his house, there was a street and there I practiced. I remember that.
3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?
I was nervous definitely. I am sure of that. But I don’t remember the takes and all. That time we used to shoot on film, and it was a low budget movie. So we did not take many retakes. It was not digital. So they couldn’t use much of the film.
4. Who were your co-stars? How was the rapport with them when you got to meet or work with them again later?
It had Naseeruddin Shah, Anita Kanwar, Raja Bundela, Annu Kapoor, and a whole lot of others. I am forgetting their names.
Rapport was very nice because all of us were from theatre. So it was like a theatre outing. And the film was about Naseer making a film with all theatre people. So the film was a film in a film. It was very interesting.
5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what’s that one thing you’d like to change or do better?
First of all, I would use make-up. I never used any make-up. I would wear better clothes and keep my neck straight.
6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?
I don’t know! I used to like Guide very much. And I used to like Waheeda Rehman.