Since the very first glimpse of 7 Khoon Maaf the buzz around Priyanka Chopra’s performance has been huge. In the film, based on Ruskin Bond’s short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, Chopra plays Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes, who over the span of 35 years marries seven times because of the death of half a dozen of her hapless husbands. The strange circumstances of their deaths make Susanna a prime suspect. Enigmatic and irresistibly charming in equal measure-Susanna is the kind of woman any man would die for… literally! In case you hadn’t guessed it is a dark film and a very dark character. Bond, who developed the story into the script recently said, “I tried to think how well to do it and the methods varied according to the types of husbands who were fortune hunters and not very sympathetic. It is sort of a black comedy.” Priyanka recently spoke about the film to IANS and here are some highlights from that interview.
Priyanka agrees with the black comedy tag for the movie saying, “It’s a very entertaining and wicked movie. It’s amusing and not serious. It’s a satire which makes it very interesting.”
The seven husbands are played by some of the best actors out there including Neil Nitin Mukesh: the major, John Abraham: the rocker, Irrfan Khan: the poet, Aleksandr Dyachenko: the Russian, Anu Kapoor: the policeman, Naseerudin Shah: Dr. Mushroom, and finally Vivaan Shah, husband number seven.
Priyanka says Naseerudin Shah was one of the most difficult to work with but only because he is so good. “He is a tremendous actor. I did a workshop with him before starting the film, because I’ve not worked with him a lot. When I did the workshop, it kind of eased me out with Naseer sir but it’s very difficult to work with him because when he is doing a scene, he is so good that you just keep looking at him, and I used to forget that even I have to say a dialogue.”
Vishal Bhardawaj directs the film and Priyanka says she is grateful that he felt she could do justice to the challenging role, “Vishal has always brought out the best in me and this time too he has given me one of the most challenging parts an actor can get.”
Since the film does span 35 years of Susanna’s life Priyanka is seen in many different ages starting at 21 up until age 65. About playing the different stages of life Priyanka said, “The 20s was my age, so it was fine and not so difficult; 30s was something I could expect and somehow imagined. The 50s and 60s were still easier to do because you become a lot more older so your body language is like that. But the 40s was the middle period, so it was very difficult. You are not very old but you are not very young either. So to get that correctly was a task.”
Getting back to working with a director like Vishal, she says it is a bit scary, “There is a lot of responsibility on you when you work with a director like him. He is the kind of person who gives you the scene and says ‘okay, do it now’. No instructions. After I give my first take, he tweeks it a little bit. So the responsibility as an actor is completely on you, which is very scary.”
Overall playing Susanna in the film was difficult; in fact she tweeted way back in July, “Now off to do my last day of prosthetics make up for saat khoon maaf!!! Yay!!!!!it’s almost over!!!been too tough!” And now that the film is close to release she says, “It was emotionally and physically very draining. I’m really grateful that he [Bhardawaj] thought I was capable enough to do it and pull it off.”
You can see Priyanka, her seven avatars and her seven husbands when 7 Khoon Maaf hits theaters on February 18th!