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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Long absentee Esha Deol back in the fray

Esha’s eyes twinkle as she gets candid on her soon-to-release film "Tell Me Oh Khuda",famous parents and sister Ahana.

Written by Geety Sahgal | Mumbai |
March 25, 2011 12:57:06 pm

Just back from the editing studios of her home-production Tell Me Oh Khuda,Esha Deol may not have been visible on the big screen for two years,but she’s been busy. Esha’s eyes twinkle as she gets candid on her soon-to-release film,famous parents and sister Ahana.

You seem very close to your dad?
Yes,like all girls I am very close to dad and can share everything with him. He’s a very warm human being and just smothers you with his love. But I am closer to mum. We are like buddies –– we share clothes,shop online together and when abroad,I take her partying. Even professionally,we are compatible,as she is tech savvy with the computer and her ipad.

Your dad was always possessive and protective of you,and was never really keen on you doing films. How come he agreed to work with you in Tell Me Oh Khuda (TMOK)?
Even I was shocked when he said,yes. Earlier when we would be discussing,I would casually ask him to be part of the film and his response was always,hain main sochta hoon. Then one fine day he came home and said he’d do it. At first I couldn’t believe my ears. I think God answered my prayers. It was like a dream come true.

What was the first day of shoot with him like?
I remember we were shooting in Goa. The night before the shoot I would get up every one hour and wonder how it was going to be. But once the camera rolled,we were in character,like any two professionals. Later he told me that he too had a restless night. Basically we are similar in nature and the chemistry between us will be there for all to see in the film.

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Being your home production,you must be involved in several other departments as well?
True! In all my earlier films,it was just acting,dubbing and promotions. But with Tell Me Oh Khuda,I have been there since we started bouncing off story ideas right up to the ongoing post-production and the recording of the title song. I am enjoying the entire process throughly. I have learnt so much about filmmaking,especially editing and also realised how much hard work goes ino a project. Thankfuly we have a very good team. The background score is given by Sanjay Wandrekar who did the background for 3 Idiots and Munnabhai,and Rameshwar S. is the editor. He worked on Dhoom.

Is TMOK your comeback film?
I guess that’s because my last film was Hijack,which released in 2008. But I can’t hold a placard in my hand saying that it is not my comeback. I was always here but doing my own thing. I was in Chicago at my cousin’s for a while where I did an advanced course in ballet dancing. I had a great time walking on the beaches,shopping at the stores,something which is not a comfortable thing here. It was rejuvenating after having worked for seven years. I was getting offers too,but what excited me when I started out at the age of 18 no longer impressed me as I had matured over the years. And then mom was keen on reviving our home production,so I wanted to work in our own film.

So what is the film about?
Tell Me… is a family drama,but with a lot of momentum and visuals,because it is the journey of a girl’s search for her father with her two friends (Arjan Bajwa and Chandan Roy Sanyal).The story travels to Rajasthan,Turkey and Goa and is packed with exciting stuff like a camel race and some stunning action scenes picturised in Goa and Turkey.

What’s your character in the film like?
I am playing a regular Mumbai girl,who is bubbly,smart,happy-go-lucky and inspires other girls on how to woo the right boy! I didn’t have to look skinny or voluptuous,just my normal self,and since there is a lot of travelling in the film,I am not dressed glamourously. Mom didn’t want my straight hair so we got it tonged. I identified with my character and was as natural as possible. Since I have a lot of male friends in real life,I have used the lingo I use with them in the film. Arjan is my romantic interest and Chandan plays my childhood buddy.

How was the transition when your mom Hema Malini replaced Mayur Puri,the original director of the film?
There were creative differences between Mayur and mom,hence we decided to part ways. The film was delayed by a month or two,otherwise it was a smooth transition. Certain parts were re-shot but then our team was very supportive. Mom’s done a fabulous job. Guess all is well that ends well.

How would you describe your mom as a director?
Oh,she’s a hardcore professional! No mama- baby happening on the sets. Otherwise she’s open to my suggestions. But having been an actress she knows how to take good shots of the heroines. Also her vision and shot break- down is pre-planned,and is all beautifully sketched on paper.

Besides your dad,the film also has Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna.
I am lucky to have got a chance to work with both. Rishi uncle is so young at heart and full of masti. He is vociferous and would yell at me ‘what nonsense’ if he didn’t like a shot. Vinod uncle,on the other hand,would make suggestions softly and gently. Both thought of the film as their own home production and took genuine interest. Dad,Rishi uncle and Vinod uncle have a couple of scenes together in the film. You should watch out for those.

Did you watch Yamla Pagla Deewana?
Of course! I loved it. I liked the way dad promoted the film. I have never seen him promoting any other film the way he did YPD.

What’s happening with your other films,Garam Chai and Exchange Offer?
Both the films are almost complete. There were some financial problems,but now I really don’t know what is happening with them.

What else are you up to?
In these two years,I have matured a lot and am now open to a lot of new things. I am a hands- on producer for my sister Ahana’s film and am looking at more scripts for my production house. But my first love is still acting.

What about television?
I may turn a producer on television with mom,or perform as a dancer,but I can’t see myself anchoring a show!

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