Yami Gautam on her role in Kaabil

Published On: 2020-05-06

Author: Hiren Kotwani

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‘If I get bored playing similar roles, you will also be bored watching them' 



Source: TOI 

By: Hiren Kotwani  



One thing that strikes you about Yami Gautam when she walks in is her cheerful disposition. She forayed into Bollywood with a hit Vicky Donor , but her subsequent films didn't exactly keep the momentum going. Undeterred by the length of her role in Badlapur, she more than made up for it with her performance. And now the actress is back with the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Kaabil, in which she plays a visually challenged girl. Excerpts from the conversation... What was the first thought that came to your mind when you were offered Kaabil? My first emotion was 'Wow!' I was just very happy . I remember my mom and nani were also in Mumbai around this time last year. The three generations were sitting together in the balcony , when I told them about this movie with Hrithik, after my meeting with Rakeshji. 



Reportedly, a few names were said to be in the reckoning before you signed up for it. What prompted you to come on board? 


To start with, the story. It's something I've never heard or seen before in Bollywood. In fact, there is no sympathy factor when you specifically talk about the characters who are visually impaired. They are independent, they work, dance, have fun and are madly in love. That's what I loved about this character. Also, it's a big banner; with Sanjay Gupta directing it and Hrithik playing the lead role, I couldn't have asked for more. 



How did you prepare for the role? 


I've met very few such people in real life. I watched a lot of videos online to see how they talk, walk, cook, eat and go about their life. Some have their own channels online on which they regularly upload videos about their day-to-day lives. I also had a coach who helped me with the nuances of visually-impaired people. He said he wouldn't help with the dialogues, as that was up to the filmmakers on how they wanted my character to talk. While the research was extensive, dancing was a separate training. Tango was a new dance form for me. I remember Rakeshji asking if I could dance and I said yes. He said, `Okay, we have a tango-ish dance, it's very fast and it's with Hrithik, and of course you're visually impaired.' While I just smiled then, inside, there were a lot of firecrackers. I knew we were up for something. A month prior to the song's shooting, I trained with Ahmed Khan and he's done a brilliant job. The toughest part of preparing for such a role is the beginning -you don't know where to start. That's the most confusing and daunting thing. Once you know what the challenges are, you push yourself out of your comfort zone. If it's easy, then the result is as expected. When you find a challenge in an opportunity, it becomes fun. 



Reportedly, Hrithik would move around his house blindfolded to prep for his role. Did you do any workshops together to get your part right? 


Everyone has their own preparation. The first time I met Hrithik was on the set, on the first day of the shoot.I had not even met him socially. When I saw him on the monitor, I felt that he was already Rohan (his character). That very moment I felt I was Sue (her character). The first thing I said to him when we met then was, 'Hi, I'm nervous'. He was like, 'Thank God. So am I.' I was relieved. When you hear such things, you feel that he is not the superstar Hrithik Roshan, but an actor constantly striving to give his best. Working with him and with this team, I realised there is no I or me, but we. realised there is no I or me, but we.



Did the thought of matching steps with Hrithik give your sleepless nights? 


Dancing was very challenging; he is the best dancer. He is not just about the steps, but also the expressions. I was willing to do any number of takes to push myself. I would rehearse alone and then with Hrithik. It was like the prep sessions we do before the board exams. 



How was it working with Sanjay Gupta, who is known more for his male-dominated crime films? 


All of us explored something we've not done before or something we weren't expected to do. The way he has put together the emotional love story along with stylised action, a fine amalgamation of that and technical brilliance, keeping the logic intact, is amazing. He has this childlike energy and innocence and at the same time, he is so chilled out and calm as a director. After I had signed the film, I called him to say how nervous I was about the character and dancing with Hrithik and he was like, 'You don't worry, everything is ready'. He's like that on the sets as well. It's like going to a dentist when you're scared of a painful tooth extraction. The dentist tells you there is nothing to worry and in a minute it's done. The comparison may seem strange to you, but Sanjay is sorted and knows exactly what he wants. 



Do you see this film as the turning point of your career? 


As much as it may sound philosophical, it's a performance oriented role. It needed a lot of prep and finesse; if everything is looking good, it's because everyone behind the film has worked towards it.