Says the multitalented and versatile Sai Tamhankar.
Ahead of the release of Madhur Bhandarkar’s INDIA LOCKDOWN that’s going to release on Zee 5 streaming platform on 2nd December 2022, Cineblues spoke to the award-winning actress Sai Tamhankar who plays Phoolmati, wife of a migrant laborer. Here are the excerpts:
What made you choose India Lockdown?
Madhur Bhandarkar! When such a talented director is making a film on an important topic which serves as a reminder of the harrowing times, there was no looking back. The pandemic and the lockdown keep us grounded and we should remain thankful to the times because it taught us many things and gave us the power to revive. I wholeheartedly wanted to be part of this project.
What did it take for you to prep up for the role in India Lockdown?
Honestly, having been there in the industry for so many years, we have become seasoned professionals. But I tell you, it was the aftermath of playing the character that took a toll on me. It was an emotionally draining experience. We are a privileged section of people; we never think whether we will get our next meal or not. But think of the daily workers and labourers who were not sure whether they would get their next meal. I realized one thing in the process. “Insaan agar soche, woh kuch bhi kar sakta hai”. Human spirit is unbreakable. And when we are united, things do get better, not always end in chaos. While I was playing Phoolmati, I kept on thinking, “Yaar, yeh spirit kahan se aati hai!”
Can you share your personal experiences during the lockdown who tell us one good aspect and one bad aspect of the lockdown?
Can you share your personal experiences during the lockdown who tell us one good aspect and one bad aspect of the lockdown.
When we were locked inside our houses, mother Earth was healing. Actually, to think of it, nature and wildlife got the much-deserved ‘me-time’. That was absolutely necessary. And to talk on the bad aspect, many people battled mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, loneliness and fear psychosis were much prevalent. I am personally very curious how Aahana’s character (she is playing an airhostess) shapes out. In the film, she battles loneliness. But I am sure that people have emerged stronger after the lockdowns. It has made us more humane. “Ek Jhatka humein kaafi kuch seekha deta hai”
How was it working with Madhur Bhandarkar?
Absolutely cherishing. Don’t go by the nature of the films he makes! He is diametrically opposite to the tonality of his plots – fun-loving, jovial and a prankster(laughs). He always sought our inputs in any scene we were enacting. He always keeps the atmosphere light. And he is a diehard foodie!
You play Prateik Babbar’s wife in the film. How was it working with him for the first time.
Trust me, I constantly felt the genes of the legendary Smita Patil were around me. Prateik is a very hardworking guy and a fantastic actor. He has got acting in his DNA. I am very happy with the way his career is shaping up now, with his latest choices of films and shows.
Sai Tamhankar : Of course, I am interested in sports-based films!
If you are to describe INDIA LOCKDOWN in a line, what would it be.
Story of HOPE. Triumph of Human Spirit!
Sai, you were a state-level Kabaddi player and trained in Karate. Aren’t you interested in sports-based films!
Of course, I am! Please include this in your interview[laughs]. “Kya pata, yeh padhke mujhe waisa offer jaaye! Let this be a manifestation interview.