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When actresses Zaira Wasim, Ratna Pathak Shah faced their fears


Zaira and Pathak were part of a television roundtable of actresses including Bhumi Pednekar, Vidya Balan and Swara Bhaskar, celebrating the best performances of 2017 in Hindi cinema.

Zaira Wasim and Ratna Pathak Shah. Photos: Shutterbugs Images

IANS

Actresses Ratna Pathak Shah, Bhumi Pednekar, Swara Bhaskar, Vidya Balan and Zaira Wasim say they were forced to face their fears through their roles in films and theatre.

The actresses spoke at length on different incidents that made them acknowledge and battle their fears in their acting careers at the CNN-News18 talk show, The Bollywood Roundtables, hosted by critic Rajeev Masand. Bollywood is the term used by some for Hindi cinema.

Ratna Pathak Shah, who has worked in numerous theatre projects and in films like Mandi (1983), Mirch Masala (1987), Khoobsurat (2014) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), says it wasn't a film but a play that made her realize her English wasn't as good as it should have been, even though she had studied in an English-medium school.

"It was not films, but a play I did called Don Juan In Hell in 1984. It's by Shaw and the language therefore is George Bernard Shaw. I didn't speak English well and I couldn't hear myself. I said ‘V' instead of ‘W' and ‘W' instead of ‘V'. I didn't know where is ‘the' used, where is ‘a' used, and where is ‘an' used. And I went to an English-medium school. I thought my English was just fine," Pathak Shah said.

"Then somebody recorded a show and I heard that and then I said, 'Oh my god, this is what they have been telling me.' So, that was my first step towards figuring out how to act, how to speak. And how to make sense while you speak so the words sounds like your own words and not like dialogues," she said.

Pednekar started respecting "what a mother's job is" through her films. "I think my respect for my mother just went like tenfold because I was the kind of kid who would literally walk out in jeans and walk ahead. And I am not proud of it, but through my films I have changed tremendously as a person," she said.

"I have become extremely responsible like just preparing for those films doing jhadu [sweeping], bartan [washing the utensils], cooking, everything."

For Swara Bhaskar, her character Bindiya in Raanjhanaa (2013) was special. "I think I was also going through a break-up, so it was a very odd time for me to play a character that had so much of love," she said.

Vidya Balan, who has done a variety of roles, "did not know" whether she could be a part of comedy films. "I finally think I can, thanks to Tumhari Sulu (2017) because I have done comedies before, but I was not the one with the lines. I have enjoyed this process so much, it's one of the happiest experiences for me as an actor."

Zaira Wasim, who made her acting debut with the biographical sports drama Dangal (2016) and was seen next in Secret Superstar (2017), said her weakness as well as her strength is getting convinced about a project.

"I discovered my weakness and my strength is conviction," she said. "If I am not convinced about something I am not gonna do it and if I am, I am going to do my best," she said.