Abha Deohans: Being a mother made my part easy
On bagging Dear Zindagi
Nandini Shrikent, the casting director of the film, had actually auditioned me for Dil Dhadakne Do but my dates didn’t work out. I really wanted to do that film because it would have meant working with Zoya Akhtar. Later, Nandini was taking auditions for another role and called me. After they approved my audition, she told me it was for Gauri’s (Shinde) film. I was very happy because I have known Gauri and R Balki for a long time and working with them would be like working on home ground for me.
Being a theatre actor
I have always been an actor and was very active on the theatre scene. But once I started doing ads, I didn’t have the time to act and I focused on direction. But I have done a lot of stage, so I love acting. Now that I have time, I audition whenever I get the chance.
The response has been outstanding. In fact, I’ve never received a response like this before. Many of my friends are even calling me and asking me when I started acting!
Brief from the director
Gauri is the kind of director everyone loves to work with, so I was very excited. Like everyone else, I too loved English Vinglish. One feels a special connection with the film as she shows emotions very differently. Her brief to me was very clear – she asked me to play a mother of today, an urban mother who understands her child and is also a friend, a mother who understand the problems her child faces, she is not old-fashioned. That gelled with me perfectly as I am a mother of two and both my children are almost the same age as children whose mother I play in the film.
My character had to be able to handle the issues mothers face in a nuclear family, when they go through a cash crisis, when they think they can’t handle two children simultaneously and therefore keep one with the grandparents. As mature adults, we can understand the decisions we take but it can be emotionally devastating for a growing child. So, coming back to Gauri, she was very clear about what she wanted.
Alia is such a fine actor that, as a co-star, you give your best naturally. She is very young but very talented. She is very good with emotions and she motivated me to give my best.