Talented trio, Sridevi Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, in conversation with Team Box Office India about their upcoming film MOM
BOI: The film is on the verge of releasing. What is more tiring – shooting the film or promoting it?
Sridevi Kapoor (SK): (Laughs) Kya aap bhi. Look at our faces now. Of course, promoting!
Akshaye Khanna (AK): I think the stark difference between making a film and promoting it is that promoting is very repetitive. You have to keep doing the same thing. It’s like a play or like doing a stage show. In film, every day, every minute, everything, is new, besides, you get used to the routine. The monotony of promotions can really get to you.
BOI: This is the first time the three of you are working together. Usually, there is a preconceived notion around every actor. What perception did each of you have of the others, and did that change after working together?
AK: My perception of Nawazuddin and ma’am (Sridevi) has been… I mean, the whole world knows that they are great actors. But I think they are very exciting actors. You know Nawazuddin is a very talented actor. I have seen so many good actors but I found Nawazuddin to be the most exciting actor. Even ma’am… the choices she makes and her performances are very exciting. She is very refreshing. My perception of them has not changed after meeting them.
SK: I have seen Akshaye’s films and I really enjoy his performances. In every film, he really makes a mark or does something special. After working with both of them, I realise that to be a great actor, you need to be a good human being. I did not interact very much with Akshaye but after every shoot, I used to hear about him from Boneyji (Kapoor). He adores him. When I was working with them, I realised that we need to be good people and that reflects in our performances. About Nawazuddin… I watched his film Badlapur and I could not sleep that night. He is such a great performer. After that, I went to watch his other film Manjhi: The Mountain Man, just to see his performance. It’s unbelievable.
AK: I still have to watch the movie. It’s on my list of films to watch.
SK: The film is superb. His body language was amazing, he transforms onscreen and it’s a treat to watch an actor like that onscreen.
AK: Speaking of Nawazuddin… what adds to his story is that it is very much like MS Dhoni. He is an underdog. He comes from a small town. He doesn’t have a film background. He is not Dharmendra or Salman Khan. He is average looking and of average height and yet he has made it big. The audience also loves stories like these. They are hooked to stories like that of MS Dhoni. I think that adds a lot to Nawaz’s aura. He has given a lot of people hope.
SK: What’s really commendable about Nawaz is that he looks different in every film and his performances are also very different, every time. In MOM too, you will see him in a new light.
BOI: And, Nawaz, how has your perception changed after working with them?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui (NS): To work with ma’am (Sridevi) is every actor’s dream. At the same time, I think every actor might be a little insecure to work with her because she can do anything with true brilliance. I have watched her films and that’s why I was under a lot of pressure to work with her as she is a superb actor.
I felt as if MOM was my first film. She has a journey of 300 films and the best thing about her is that she can do 300 more films with the same freshness. She has left that door open and that’s a specialty of her as an actor. It was tough to erase that thought from my mind. I had to face a lot of difficulties; I was struggling to perform before her, initially, just the way I have struggled in my life. But I focused on not diverting my mind and working with honesty because she was giving an honest performance.
About Akshayeji, I remember I had watched this scene from his film Gandhi, My Father. He had given a long speech and that performance stayed with me. It was done so wonderfully. That scene hits you in your gut. The impact of that scene was so strong that for the next four or five days, I could think of nothing but that.
But, I am sorry (to Aksahye), I wanted to see him doing more films like that. As a viewer, who loves him as a performer, I would want to see him do more films like this. I am expecting a lot more from his work. I think he is an unexplored actor who still has so much more to deliver. Abhi bahut kuch baki hai inke andar.