Mehreen Pirzada who has made an impressive debut in Bollywood with the recently released Phillauri talks to Sayali Parab about how she bagged the role of Anu, and her sister-like equation with Anushka Sharma
On Bagging The Project
I was auditioned by the casting directors. This was during the promotions of my first Telugu film last year in February. In January, I did about six rounds of auditions. I gave my first audition and went back to Hyderabad to promote my film. After it released, I came to Mumbai and gave the rest of the auditions in a span of four days.
During my third audition, I met the writer and she told me how she wrote Anu’s character and what she wanted out of it. During my fourth audition, I met the director. He did not mention that he was the director as he wanted to observe me and get to know me as a person. The next day, the casting directors messaged me, which is when I realised he was the director. They mentioned that they were asked to keep it from me so that I wasn’t self-conscious.
In the sixth audition, I met Anushka. She wanted some improvisations from me. One night, I got a call from the casting directors who asked for another meeting. I assumed there would be another audition but Anushka was just back from Sultan’s shoot and she told me I was on board for this film. My casting was an interesting process. They wanted an apt person to play this role since it was vital.
About Her Role
After I came on board, they gave me the script and asked me to think it over. Since it was a big break for me, I did not even read the script; I completely trusted them and decided to do exactly as instructed. I actually read the script only when I started preparing for my role with Anshai sir. Later, I went back to his office and told him, ‘Yeh toh bohot acha role hai mere liye. Film start bhi Anu se hoti hai aur end bhi Anu se hoti hai.’ I just structured in the whole process. Today, people like Anu, and I owe it to Clean Slates Film for offering me this role.
Since Suraj had come in from New York for three days, we had workshops. We had not met before and we wanted to build some chemistry because, in the film, we were supposed to know each other from childhood. So we played a lot of games to get to know each other better. I had a lot of look-tests since Anushka wanted the best from me. It was really sweet of her and she kept a very close eye on me. I also sat and talked with Anshai sir to find out exactly what he wanted from the character. The whole process was very sweet.
On Relating To The Character
I do relate to a few things in the character, like she is a pampered child and is exactly like her mom. It wasn’t really difficult to play the character since I am quite similar to her with regards to a few things.
On Working With Anushka Sharma
Anushka is like a sister to me. I never looked at her as my producer. She guided and supported me throughout. She is amazing in every way. I couldn’t have wished for a better debut film.
On Future Projects
I am finishing my South projects. Let’s see what Bollywood has in store for me.