Meenakshi Dixit, who has been impressing the Tamil industry for a while, is pushing the envelope with Syed Ahmad Afzal’s upcoming filmLaal Rang. We spoke to the actress about her character and her experience while making the film
Tell us about your character.
My character is Rashi Bhansal, a medical student belonging to an upper middle class family from a small-town Karnal. She is a Punjabi girl, who is very attached to her family. Just like any other small-town girl, she too doesn’t have a choice when it comes to choosing her life partner. This is very real for not only small-town girls but every second girl faces this issue. Rajshri is in a dilemma as she loves her family but is also deeply in love with Randeep’s character, Shankar. They have grown up together and it is a platonic relationship, one that is very true and real.
How challenging was it to portray Rashi?
Well, Rashi is deeply in love with Shankar but she doesn’t know what to do as she is very close to her family, who is opposed to Shankar. They don’t like him for what he is and what he does.
When Afzal narrated this character to me, he told me that essaying this character would be like a tightrope walk. Later, I realised what he meant. While one might think she should take a stand for the guy she loves, it is not all that easy.
What kind of impact does Rashi have on Shankar?
The love story of Shankar and Rashi is in a way what legendary love stories are made of because the most famous love stories in the world are those that have not worked out for some reason but we still write about them. This is that kind of love story. Rashi is the reason Shankar does what he does. He has his reasons for what he is doing except that he is dealing with things in the wrong way.
How did you prepare for your character?
This is something Syed Ahmad Afzal helped me with. Earlier, I thought it would be like portraying any other role. But it wasn’t easy because I realised I had no idea what kind of emotion would work and how the audience would connect with this girl.
So I created a backstory for Rashi. This is not shown in the film but it was something that might have happened in her life and which reflects in her personality today. On one hand, she is confident of becoming a doctor and on the other hand, she is unable to take a stand as she feels pressured by her family. So, I wrote a two-page backstory and sent to my director, who was very happy with it. I went back into my life, a couple of years back, to people I had come across. Since I grew up in UP, it was not too difficult to relate to UP, Punjab and Karnal.
What was it like to be paired opposite Randeep Hooda?
It was awesome. I have learnt a lot by working with him. It is effortless when you work with a very good actor. Acting is a give-and-take. One person alone cannot make a scene look outstanding; it is what you do together as co-stars that matters. Randeep gives you that comfort, platform and freedom to do whatever you want because he himself is so impromptu that even when we used to improvise, the scene was never cut.
I am sure it has also worked with other actors because he is such a brilliant actor and is prepared whenever he is on the sets. He always makes a scene sharper. Even if a scene is well-written, not every actor can project it on screen like he does. I learnt that form him.
Can you share your experience of working with Syed Ahmad Afzal?
I worked with a veteran director, Kundan Shah, in my first film and now with Afzal, who is one of the most talented directors in today’s times. You may have noticed in the promos that he has his own craft. He is way ahead of his time. In fact, he and Kundan sir share this trait. Afzal also knows exactly how to handle his actors; he believes in being as natural as possible with his characters. He wants everything to be subtle and has made every actor look beautiful in the film.