The trailer has been received very well. How does that make you feel?
It is amazing when the audience feels connected to the story. As everyone knows, I am not doing many films now. I only choose the ones I know will resonate with people in some way. Talking about our film, Mardaani 2 was born after the Nirbhaya case, which shook the whole nation. It is our way of telling people that it is important to be alert and aware of our surroundings.
Do you think the movie will give a message to the audience?
Yes, it has a huge message for women — that we are nari shakti. We need to bring out the power within and then there’s no stopping us.
Mardaani was a huge hit; do you feel any pressure that Mardaani 2 should match the levels?
No, I think the kind of love my character Shivani Shivaji Roy has received in part one and now in the part two trailer, the motive of creating awareness through the movie is being loved by the audiences. So, I think people will love this one too.
You are playing a cop again; any changes in what we will see?
In Mardaani, Shivani was a crime branch officer, so she works incognito, but here my character is that of the SP of Kota, who has to maintain law and order. So, you will get to see a different Shivani.
How was the experience of shooting in Rajasthan?
Amazing! We were actually a little skeptical as a unit because in May it becomes around 45 degrees. For 20 days, we had to shoot in Kota and then shift to Jaipur for another schedule. I was travelling with my daughter Adira, but loved the Rajasthan summer because we are used to humid weather in Mumbai. We don’t realise how beautiful summer can be!
Any special scene you remember while shooting?
If you see the ‘lashing’ sequence in the trailer, it was shot in Kota; it was a night shoot and the place where we were shooting was so beautiful. It was a part of Kota ‘row’ houses, where every house is attached and the community is one.
What are the roles closest to
Bunty Aur Babli, Black and then No One Killed Jessica.
Any plans to enter web space?
I don’t know. When you shoot for a web series, it is an ongoing commitment that surely takes a lot of time and energy.
Will we get to see you on any social media platform?
I am far from social media. I don’t think I can carry that social media-friendly image, as I like a little privacy.
There is this buzz that you were offered the role of Gangu Bai by Sanjay Leela Bhansali before Alia?
Only Sanjay Leela Bhansali can answer this one!
...Director of Mardaani 2 Gopi Puthran clears the air
Recently, there was a protest by a certain section for showing the city of Kota in bad light in the movie Mardaani 2. Clearing the air, Gopi Puthran, writer-director of Mardaani 2, says, “Mardaani 2 addresses a huge societal issue of rape and the rise of horrific crimes committed by juveniles in India. One is deeply moved when such shocking incidents happen and as a writer, I wanted to bring it to light. I was troubled by many incidents that took place across our country in the last four years and the complex nature of those crimes left me shocked. As a human being, I felt fear after reading about these incidents because it could happen to my family or people that I know, so I wanted to do my bit to make as many people aware of the threat posed by the nameless, faceless, young and underage boys, who are resorting to such violence.”
Gopi adds, “Despite all the inspiration, Mardaani 2 at the end of the day is a film and not a documentary, and it should be seen as that. Kota has been used by us as the setting for this film only. We are in no way suggesting that such events or incidents happen in Kota and there was no intention to tarnish the reputation of the city. If this has hurt or upset the sentiments of the residents of the city, we are deeply regretful. We realise that since the trailer says it’s ‘Inspired By True Events’ and our film is based in Kota, it could be open to miscommunication. YRF has decided that we will remove the words ‘Inspired By True Events’ from the film to ensure that there is no further room for misinterpretation. We shot Mardaani 2 extensively in Kota and only received love from the people as well as all authorities of the city.”
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