With UNindian all set to release on the 15th of October, the team of Indus Age who has been following the star cast of UNindian, caught up with Supriya Pathak Kapur, one of India’s highly regarded actresses and actor Akash Khurana who has made a mark in the Indian film industry to give us their side of UNindian. Excerpts:
Indus Age to Supriya: What Is UNindian to you?
Supriya: Unindian is about being Indian, to tell you honestly, because I feel emotion everywhere is the same. There are shades, different shades to everything but the basics always remain the same. This film brings all that together, there is no difference between people if you just look at them as people rather than as where they are from or what they are about.
Indus Age to Supriya: You are playing Meera’s mother in UNindian. Tell us something about it.
Supriya: Meera’s Mum is a very Indian lady, a lady who loves her family. Her family always will be her priority. She is very loving towards her daughter and towards her husband, but worries about them, which makes her a little agitated with them both. And especially with Meera who is having her own lifestyle and her life, which is very typical of mothers, I think all mothers are the same all over the world. This one is very much like an Indian mother who is a little more anxious and extremely caring, extremely warm, very happy because she’s with her family and wants the best for her family always.
Indus Age to Akash: What was it about the script that made you want to be involved?
Akash: Actually, you’d be surprised. It’s a rom-com but when I went deep into the script I actually had tears. Probably the best thing for me in the writing and the structure is there’s a segment that’s actually emotionally very moving, and universally so. That got me.
Another thing, is that every foreshadow has a pay off. And that’s so gratifying for the audiences, I think. The way it’s written that you know they plant something and there’s a pay off and you get really excited by the fact that there is a full circle on that sentiment or incident.
Indus Age to Akash: Tell us something about your character Ashok.
Akash: In common terms he would be a cross between Indian and UNindian. He has a wife who’s clearly Indian in her values but they are also a part of a culture that is very Australian.
Playing Ashok, within the context of a rom-com, is interesting as he’s not too serious and not too over the top, it’s just a slice of life reality in terms of playing for a romantic comedy. So, it’s subtle and yet playing for smiles at least that’s the interesting part of the character that Ashok is.
Indus Age to Akash: Little Maya Sathi in the film is a first time actor. What tips have you given her and what she’s taught you? Because so often young people on set, teach you something.
Akash: There is an instinctive understanding of the space that you’re going to be performing in or sort of relating to other people in, and Maya has this intelligence. I think in that sense she’s a very complete little person. There was this great openness in her, despite being limited in her exposure to this kind of work.
Indus Age to Supriya: One of the other amazing aspects about this film is that it is the first feature lead for Brett Lee. What is it like working with him?
Supriya: He’s a wonderful person. He doesn’t make you feel as if he’s a star at all and he is a very big star, so that was really nice.
Indus Age to Supriya: What is it like working with Akash?
Supriya: I have known Akash for a very long time and we go back years. We started our first films together, when we started working, it was his first film and my first film, so it was since then that we have known each other. It’s very easy with him, he’s like a back-slapping friend and he can be a brother when I need it. It’s more like that, so for me to be able to do anything with him, even if it’s playing a husband, playing any character, I find it very easy because I’ve already him. We have a great chemistry, relationship, which is happy to work with. I’m one of those kind of people who likes to have a happy atmosphere, I can’t work if people are tense and there is a lot of bad energies going around, I can’t give my best. So if there is a person like Akash, it becomes so much easier for me to do, so it’s wonderful.
Indus Age to Akash: What do you think audiences will appreciate or find or discover in coming to see this film.
Akash: I think it has all the ingredients of a regular deemed Bollywood film and yet it’s approach is modern, post-modern and western. It will appeal to the mainstream audience but also those who like Bollywood films will find it very familiar territory and yet realistic.
Indus Age to Akash: To you, what is something that is UNindian?
Akash: Ah, that’s interesting. What is unindian for me? I don’t like divides, I think UNindian is an acronym for universal Indian. That’s what the movie is about I think, getting cultures together. Having the empathy and understanding without biases.