MK: No, not at all, but after we completed the film… Wait, let Kranti explain.
KR: I had read this report, there was a surrogate mother and there was an Australian couple. The couple had opted for surrogacy and the surrogate mother was from the Philippines or Indonesia and twins were born but the couple only wanted one child. I don’t know if you have heard the story… they left with only one child and the surrogate decided to raise the other child. Later, she sued them for maintenance but since the contract said they wanted only one child, they got away with it.
Our film is not exactly based on this as it was shot much before this. But the fact that films are being made on important topics like this is heartening. I am glad that Manoj chose a subject like this way before its time and we worked on it very hard.
BOI: It is said that it is tough to get into a character but is it also difficult to get out of a character.
SB: Agar ghussna aasan hota hai, toh nikalna bhi aasan ho jata hai. The story was good, the role was written very well, and Manoj explained it very well, so it was not difficult to understand the character. If you understand it very well, it is easy to come out of it as well. You know that when he says ‘cut’, you have to leave the character there and go home. You don’t take your costume home, do you? It’s the same with the character; you leave it there and go home. When the actors have not done their make-up, we know they are not in character. When they have their make-up on and are in front of the camera, that’s when we slip into our characters. After working for so many years, I am used to it.
UK: If it was not like that then we would turn schizophrenic. How many characters can you take home? I don’t remember who said it but he or she said that an actor who leaves their character behind as soon as the director calls ‘cut!’ or they walk into the wings is considered a good actor.
BOI: Where do you see the Marathi film industry five years from now?
SB: This position was well known for a long time now. Like Marathi, is the film industry that started the Indian film industry. It was always the experience Marathi film industry had. But from the 1980s to the 2000s, the Marathi industry went through a rough period. It was a time when filmmakers stopped experimenting and not many good films were made. After that, the time was ripe for change.
It was when Shwaas won a National Award in 2006 that filmmakers got the confidence to make content-driven films. There has since been a paradigm shift in the Marathi film industry and it has been a collective effort. There have been producers, directors, actors, technicians, spot boys, etc who have contributed to the change.
There was a time when the Indian film industry was known for Hindi films; then Bengali films thanks to the work of Satyajit Ray; and then Malayali films, but in the next five years, the Marathi film industry will represent the Indian film Industry.
BOI: In your opinion, how has the marketing of films changed in the last few years, especially with social media playing a key role?
UK: Now everyone has a smart phone in their hands and people are using it as a handy tool for marketing. Now, we cannot think of releasing a film without promoting it on social media, without a Facebook page or Twitter handle. People from all walks of life have a profile on Facebook or Instagram. So this medium is very important to reach out to them. From a personal marketing point of view too, I believe social media plays a very pivotal role in the way people like actors present themselves in front of the audience.
SB: The Marathi industry is capable of doing a lot of genres but you cannot arrange for funds overnight. You need a lot of funds for some genres. For instance, the Marathi industry cannot produce a film like Baahubali due to budget constraints, not due to a dearth of talent. So, I feel, in the next four to five years, we should be able to explore those genres. We have done plenty of films on serious subjects or social issues and we will continue to but there are genres such as mystery, horror and action that we should explore.
BOI: What’s next for each one of you?
SB: I have a release called Fugay coming up in February, which I have written with Swwapnil Joshi and we have also acted in it. It’s a mad comedy.
UK: I am doing a biopic based on the life of Lavani Empress Vithabhai Narayangaonkar. I play Vithabai in the film. There are a few other things in the pipeline, which will be announced soon.
KR: I have completed a film titled Truckbhar Swapn, which features me and Makrand Deshpande. The film has been produced by Nitin Desai. It is about the life of people living in slums and how they illegally build an extra storey and what happens when these illegal houses are demolished.
MK: I am coming up with a film titled Typewriter based on a true story. We go on the floors in 2017.