My grand ma told me ‘even if you want to be a mali (gardener) you must aim to be the best in your profession’!!
Looking back, this one sentence has driven me to do a lot of hardwork in the sense I have taken up long infact very long hours of rehearsals, the look test (which has hours of discussion with the stylist or designer about the costume, jewellery, hair n’ make up), understanding the psychology & thought process, the language (my weak point – hence even more effort) etc.. Though I must admit during my hay days of shoot, when I was running from one set to another and working on 12 films/yr, all 360 days and at times 18 hrs/day hence I never got chance to rehearse, but there were directors who insisted upon rehearsals back then too & it definitely shows in the final product. I feel a genius is a product of anxiety filled long hrs of hard work, and total focused effort to bring out that lil extra in the character, beyond what writer has written or director has imagined (if that is possible because I have seen good directors have thought about various aspects themselves 😉
So before we go on set, one is totally relaxed and let the intuition guide you. We train enough and not more, what I mean is we need to be a lot flexible because our sets, lighting, actors are all fluid. We need to have flexibility to be able to blend accordingly to the last minute changes. Ha, you might think its tough, it is! But artists are trained and this is what seperates a good peformace to an exceptional one. Who does this? An ARTIST!
When Vinod Chopra told me that I was a shit actress it was a turning point in my acting career as that drove me to put in relentless long hrs to understand why?
Since then I haven’t looked back..