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Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi reveal their initial reaction to Gehraiyaan’s script

Written and directed by Shakun Batra, the Amazon Prime Video drama also stars Ananya Panday and Dhairya Karwa.

Sonal Pandya

Writer-director Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan (2022) is finally making its way to audiences after two years of development.

The film’s stars, Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi, at the virtual trailer launch, spoke a bit about their reactions when they first heard the script in 2019.

Gehraiyaan trailer: Deepika Padukone, Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi set the screen afire in turbulent emotional drama

Their respective characters, Alisha and Zain, embark on an affair in the film. Zain is engaged to Tia (Ananya Panday) who is Alisha’s cousin. Alisha has been in a six-year relationship with Karan (Dhairya Karwa). The story explores infidelity in a manner not yet explored in Indian cinema, Batra had promised.

Padukone first read the script when Batra came to London, England where the actress was shooting for her production 83 (2021).

“My husband [actor Ranveer Singh] who kept saying Shakun and you would make an amazing film together,” she said.

The actress had met the filmmaker in 2015 at an awards function and became friends.

“It didn’t feel like a director narrating a story to me, trying to pitch an idea,” she recalled. “It was really a friend coming over and saying I have this idea, are you invested in this?”

The script evolved a lot since then, but Padukone said that she never doubted Batra’s sensibility. “I think that’s also why we give in so much of ourselves to this film, just emotionally, mentally, physically. It comes of a place of trust,” she said.

The actress revealed that the cast had become friends for life and it was heartening for her to see their journeys from the start to finish of the project.

She reminisced, “We spent a lot of time doing workshops, which I think was the best thing we could have done for this film and for our characters. But along the way, to see everyone come in nervous, unsure about themselves, under-confident and to actually see everyone bloom, grow and blossom, and then put that energy into their characters. Not just professionally, but also in a personal capacity to see how everyone has grown in the last two years really has been my biggest takeaway.”

Chaturvedi remembered how he was blown away the first time he heard the script. “I said yes, right there,” he recalled. “There were no second thoughts about it. The only thing was I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I could understand the world, I could understand the vision, but we hadn’t seen a [film like this before]. There was no reference point for this.”

He knew then that he had to play Zain. “It really excites me to choose things that are very scary,” he added. “It just became a wonderful journey.”

The four cast members bonded really well when they were shooting for the film in Goa, and Chaturvedi also joked about how they all made fun of his fear of water during several sequences.

Gehraiyaan will be premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 11 February.

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