Actor Aahana Kumra says the conversation around consent is louder than ever today, with many even in the industry understanding it better post the #MeToo movement.
The movement, which began in Hollywood, gained momentum in India in 2018, with women calling out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers.
Aahana says with many who were outed in the movement facing the music, people are now careful with their behaviour.
“I think they people in the industry understand consent better post #MeToo and now more so. After a lot of people have been kicked in the b***, now they’re careful and understanding. When no one talks against it, you know there’s nothing to fear about. But the minute people start talking, there’s fear,” Aahana told PTI.
The actor says while the awareness and fear has definitely kicked in, there are still places where consent is disrespected.
She said, “There are lots of places where there’s no consent, a lot of the people feel this is the way to get ahead and maybe I have to succumb to a certain pressure. If you really believe you’re good at your work, there’s nothing which will come in between you and your work.”
The Lipstick Under My Burkha star says consent is such a tightrope and a sensitive issue, she’s happy at least there’s a conversation about it today.
“Movies, web content, these are great platforms for people to understand that ‘hey, this has happened with me too, how have I not spoken about this earlier.’ It is because you’re not aware or feel you’re alone in this battle, not realising the whole world is with you,” she added.
The actor is currently seen on the drama-thriller “Marzi”, which streams on Voot Select.
The show chronicles the story of dinner date between a surgeon, played by Rajeev Khandelwal, and a school teacher (Aahana) which turns ugly when the former is of accused of rape the next morning.
For Aahana, playing the role of a woman torn apart by the trauma and who battles to tell her side of the truth was emotionally exhaustive.
“For the two months that I was shooting, I was so unpleasant as a person. Actors who go through such characters really come out strong because when I was shooting for this, I found myself isolated at most times. When you’re shooting for a series or film unlike theatre you have to give several takes and to do that multiple times,” she said.
“Emotionally, it takes a toll on your mental health. I often found myself angry and frustrated but by the end of the day I’d also feel fulfilled when the scene turned out well.”
Official adaptations of the hit series Liar starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd, the series is written by Radhika Anand and directed by Anil Senior.
The 35-year-old actor said she had loved the original and jumped at the opportunity to star in the adaptation as there was immense scope for her to perform.
“There are very few shows, especially for women, which make you go through something so intense. Not just web, but also on-screen, which pushes you to the limits. I thought Sameera’s character in Marzi was going to push me and it did exactly that. I had to take workshops to prepare for this as it was something I had never been through. To understand what the character was going through, I had to break free of patterns which as actors you sometimes get stuck in,” she concluded.
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