[AI] Acting blind is difficult: Deepika

Subramani L lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in
Thu Jul 22 11:39:27 EDT 2010

I only hope that this character doesn't reiterate all the stereotypical
notions about VI. 


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Subject: [AI] Acting blind is difficult: Deepika

Acting blind is difficult: Deepika - News & Interviews - Bollywood -
Entertainment - The Times of India


Lead actors playing visually challenged characters is not new, but for
Deepika Padukone it was a first. She describes it as her toughest role
yet but also says she is exactly like the heroine - a woman who is
self-confident, ambitious and never gives up.

"For me, this role out of all the films that I have done was the most
challenging. It's not been easy. It required a lot of focus and
concentration. I had to observe a lot of blind people before I could
play this role," Deepika said.

"I think I identify with the character Pinky a lot because Pinky is
someone who is extremely self-assured. She is extremely confident,
knows exactly what she wants. She is ambitious and she never gives up,
which is exactly how I am," she said.

This time director Pradeep Sarkar has teamed up with Deepika Neil
Nitin Mukesh and a bunch of other actors to narrate the story of a
group of youngsters living in the back streets of Mumbai. Releasing
Aug 20, it will see Neil playing a boxer who fights blindfolded, while
Deepika will be seen as a visually challenged girl who can dance on
skates. "The biggest challenge was to pretend that I was not seeing.
There were no supporting tools like black goggles or a stick with me
to make it obvious that I am blind. For example, we friends are
sitting together and discussing something and one of them says, 'arre
dekh na' and then realises I can't see. Or he removes a glass a bit
aside spontaneously not realising I couldn't see that...So everyone
had to focus and give a lot of attention all the time while shooting
the film," said Deepika.

The actress along with other cast and crew spent time with visually
challenged people to understand their behavioural nuances and figure
out counter actions. "It took around six months of reading and
interacting. Lots of physical movements I had to get use to. It's like
feeling things around you without actually being able to see them. "We
didn't visit any blind school, but all of us met a lot of blind
people... it was not just for me but also very important for Neil and
the group of friends I am interacting with in the film, even for
'dada' (Sarkar) to see how it is to interact with the blind. So I
think it was a group process for all of us," she said.

Deepika says she didn't find it nerve-wracking to do the implausible
stunts. "As I have been an athlete and a sportsperson before, I think
it just makes it much easier and interesting for me. I think to be
able to do stunts, you need to be physically fit. It needs a lot of
dedication, it needs a lot of control on the kind of food you are
eating. So it was a lot of discipline," said Deepika.

It's her zeal for sports that gave her the courage to train in scuba
diving and sky diving. "The skating is something I had to learn for
the film, but the scuba diving and this sky diving is something I have
done for myself. It's always nice to challenge your limits. I always
thought that I was scared of heights until I jumped off a plane. Today
when I fly in a plane and look outside, it doesn't feel like
anything," said Deepika.

After "Lafangey Parindey", Deepika has two films - "Khelein Hum Jee
Jaan Sey" and "Break Ke Baad" - in queue for release this year.

The actress doesn't get bogged down by work pressure; neither does she
get jittery by audience expectation. "I don't consider it as work
pressure, as I enjoy doing it. But I feel very relaxed when I spend my
time alone at home after I pack up every day or I speak to my parents
and spend time with them. I don't expect people to expect anything. I
know I have given it my best. I obviously hope the best for every
film," said Deepika.

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