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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 8:52 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 8:53 AM (IST)

I am a child of Controversy

Aahana Kumra, the actress in The Accidental Prime Minister, talks about how she prepared for the role of Priyanka Gandhi and gives a lot of credit to her director as well as make-up team

Nonika Singh

All eyes are on Anupam Kher, who also finds himself in the eye of controversy for stepping into the reel shoes of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Amidst all the media hype and hoopla over The Accidental Prime Minister, stands Aahana Kumra the Priyanka Gandhi of the film. Aahana, of course, is not new to controversy. Laughs she, whose last film Lipstick Under My Burkha created no less hungama, “I am a child of controversy.” 

But, she would not be drawn into the politics of the film. Excited with “countdown in her head” and all set for curtains to go up on the film; you and I may feel the film doesn’t do justice to the Gandhi family, she is a huge fan of Priyanka. The only reason why she said yes to the part was for she admires this self-assured woman who despite coming from a political family said no to politics. She adds, “Can you believe it, for a long time I was so high on the very fact that I am playing Priyanka that I didn’t even ask for the script.”

Priyanka Gandhi fan

However, once she began watching clippings of Priyanka’s interviews, she realised how different she is from the enigmatic political personality. “She is so collected, while I am so high on energy that my director had to constantly calm me down.”  Interestingly, she also shares how her director Vijay Gutte “can’t believe he is a first time director” and is “incredibly composed too”. In fact, she can’t stop gushing over Gutte, who set the tone for her and others, “actually he lived with the characters longer than any of us.” 

Above all, she gives him full marks for the casting coup.  She says, “When we were shooting for this one particular scene, the uncanny resemblance of the actors with their flesh and blood counterparts, be it Lalu Prasad Yadav or LK Advani, was so real.” 

Total team effort

Of course, to make her character as real as Priyanka, her hair and make-up team stepped in. “I was asked not to do my eyebrows. As for getting Priyanka’s immaculate hairdo right, “I was ready to chop my hair, but a wig worked.” On the bigger picture, how plum is her part, whether she has scenes with Anupam Kher playing Mamnohan Singh, she rues that she is not at liberty to disclose it all. 

For those whipping up a storm, she says, “Cinema ought to be democratic. People reserve the right to watch or not, and artistes have every right to make what they want to.” Anyhow, she is all for political dramas, “how long can we watch a hero wooing a heroine or senseless comedies?” Among politicians, who is a hero and who isn’t, well she is not getting into these conversations. As the film hits the screens today, she isn’t even a tad nervous.  Clearly, some of Priyanka’s self-assurance has rubbed on this reel Priyanka.  


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