The film is named Dus Tola and with good reason. Set in rural village, the film talks about social issues pertaining to modern India and is based on folk tales. It stars the likes of Manoj Bajpayee and the very pretty Aarti Chhabria. In an interview Aarti explains her role in the film as well how it is to work with the likes of Manoj Bajpayee, one the most experienced actors in Bollywood.
How did you get this film?
The director of the film, Ajoy narrated the script of this film to me. The way he narrated the whole script, it took only a few minutes to accept the proposal. During that time the male lead was not finalized. But as soon as I got to know that Manoj ji is doing the lead role, I was so happy. He is a brilliant actor and one of the most senior artists in the industry.
When you heard the word Dus Tola what did you think it is all about?
Dus Tola ki maala. (Laughs)
Tell us about your character?
I am playing the role of beautiful innocent girl name Swarnalata. She lives in small town. She is the local astrologer’s daughter. She is in love with her neighbor Shankar and affectionately he calls her Sonu. In the movie, my character is very very fond of gold and so is my family. In fact their love for the gold borders on greed and this creates such quirky situations in the film.
Any particular preparation for your character Swarnlata?
Yes! I did a lot of preparation. From my workshop to my make up everything I had to prepare for. You know from day one, even before the shoot began, my director Ajoy took workshops to instruct me for my clothes, the design to the color to my own makeup. I also put on some weight to look the village belle. I am not a rice eater but since the small town girl look and my character called for a slightly chubby look, I started eating rice. At this time in cinema when most of the actress followed zero size figure, I was going the opposite way and adding to my waistline. My cinematographer S Kumar told me not to apply extra make up. In fact in many scenes, I have not put any make up at all.
How is this character different from previous films?
I am not interested in looking glamorous. I think it is very important how your audience looks at you and loves you, and how you wish to present your work. And I believe I have portrayed the character Sonu very authentically. My director has put a lot of faith in me and I too have given my best to the film. Although it’s a de-glam role, I know that audience will like it. As an artiste I am looking forward to audience’ reaction for this performance oriented role.
Tell us about your co-star.
When it was the first day of my shoot I was rather afraid that Manoj ji [Bajapayee] is a very senior artist, and I was worried about my interaction with him. But within no time I came to know that he is a very fun loving person and very down to earth. Acche Insaan hai (a very nice person)I saw each and every film of his from Satya to Raajneeti. I must say Manoj ji is a very deserving person for the accolades he receives and is still going to receive. I enjoyed working with him and even learnt a lot by observing him.
We heard that Manoj ji is very naughty. Did he play any pranks on you?
(Laughs) I don’t believe this to be the case. He is a fun guy to work with, however a prankster he is not. However as a team we did have a lot of fun on and off the sets. Once the days shoot was over, all of us artists, the director, the producer proceeded to go out for dinner, sit around and gossip about our past and present works, etc.
Why should people come and watch your film Dus Tola?
I think this film is for everyone. It is a very entertaining film. It has so many comic moments. And script is paisa wasool entertainer. Our technical team too is strong. One of India’s biggest cinematographer’s S Kumarji, Legendry Lyricist Gulzar ji is there, Sandesh Sandeliya’s music is great and of course Manoj ji. This film is a definite must watch.
Any other new projects?
Yes, I have two projects in my hand. But right now I can’t speak about them. It’s too early. Can only talk once the shooting starts.
Lastly, are you planning to buy Dus Tola necklace in future?
Of course, definitely. This Diwali I’ll buy a Dus Tola ka haar of 24 carat gold. Or maybe I will celebrate the success of my film by buying one for myself.
Dus Tola releases October 22nd. Check it out! Stay tuned because we have an interivew Manoj Bajpayee coming up as well!