Diana Penty feels a film like Parmanu was much required, especially for the millennials who don’t really know the details of how India became a nuclear power. The 32-year-old actor, who plays the role of Captain Ambalika in the action drama, says the film will only leave the audience with a sense of pride for the nation. “In 1998 when the nuclear tests happened, our age group was in school and didn’t really know the details of how the tests came about and what the obstacles were. There was CIA involved. It was a secret mission. So, I feel like because of that, a lot of people would go and watch the film just to know more, to get the information. And I think every Indian ought to watch this film just for that reason, just to know what exactly happened. They can then walk out and feel proud,” Diana said in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
Parmanu, also starring John Abraham and Boman Irani, is based on the nuclear tests conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran, Rajasthan in 1998. While the film mostly sticks to real facts, Diana revealed how this was her priority before signing Parmanu. “The first question I asked director Abhishek Sharma is how much of this film is fact and how much is fictional. Because I would’ve been really upset if he had said that 50 percent is fictional, and we’ve added elements of masala or drama just to enhance the filminess of it because I felt a story like this ought to be told in as much honesty as possible,” she revealed.
Diana Penty plays a lady in uniform in Parmanu. But considering how female actors get sidelined in an ensemble film, how did she manage to find a place in this multi-starrer? “To be very honest, in real life, the mission was not undertaken by one man or woman. It was the coming together and collective efforts of a team of people, from scientists to engineers to the army to the intelligence agencies. It was literally the coming together of all these people and it was team work. And that’s exactly how we’ve portrayed it in the film. So there no one central character per say. If there is that is John as the story is being told through his perspective. But a lot of us who are on the mission have equal parts and equal standing,” she explained.
Diana, who debuted in 2012 rom-com Cocktail, stayed away from films for the next four years, only to return in 2016 with Happy Bhag Jayegi. She is now looking forward to her upcoming Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi. Ask Diana if she is happy to be back to the grind, and she said, “I definitely want to do a lot more films and I actually don’t wish for there to be such long gaps in between. It just so happens that to find the right script and to find what you truly want to do, it takes a while. You have to sift through the scripts that come to you. I read a lot but you have a certain idea of what you want to do in mind, and it’s sometimes hard to come across that. So, it takes a while but I have patience and I keep the faith. And John very encouragingly says in all his interviews that I’m on the right track.”
Parmanu released on May 25 alongside Bioscopewala and Hollywood film Solo: A Star Wars Story. The John Abraham-Diana Penty starrer had a decent opening and its business is only expected to grow in the coming days.