December 5, 2023 12:27:02

Regarding her role as Charlie Chopra in Vishal Bhardwaj’s film: Twice in the past, we were on the verge of working together, but…

Lara Dutta discusses the difficulties of filming in snowy locales in her interview with HT. She also discusses working on Vishal Bhardwaj’s thriller Charlie Chopra.
How is Lara Dutta back? In the new online series Charlie Chopra & The Mystery Of Solang Valley by Vishal Bhardwaj, the former Miss Universe and actor makes a comeback as one of the murder suspects. In the show, which stars Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, their sons Vivaan Shah and Imaad Shah, Gulshan Grover, Wamiqa Gabbi, and Priyanshu Painyuli, Lara portrays Wilayat. Despite the fact that Lara’s filmography is filled with a number of multi-starrer projects, she always gives a standout performance.

Lara spoke candidly about her experience working with Vishal Bhardwaj and how his wife Rekha Bhardwaj, a singer, was actually the one who helped her prepare for her role. Excerpts:

Describe your role in Charlie Chopra in more detail.

She might be the show’s most enigmatic and mysterious character. There are just two people who might not be blood relatives to the departed Brigadier Rawat: Wilayat and Wasima, which are me and my daughter. However, everyone wants to know what the relationship is. There is more than first appears. They are keeping a really complex and intriguing secret. Even though everyone appears to be a perfectly regular person, everyone has hidden secrets. I believe my song is arguably the most Vishal Bhardwaj-inspired music in this show because it is an Agatha Christie story and Vishal sir is directing. Naturally, I found playing Wilayat to be quite interesting and unique.

Yes, working with Rekha (Bhardwaj) ji in addition to Vishal Bhardwaj was the most thrilling aspect of this production. The most unique aspect of this character for me is the fact that I received a lot of input from Rekha Ji, who went above and beyond to teach me something I had never done before. Finding jobs like this for me as an actor really helps you push limits further than what you’ve done before, develop new talents, and bring something to the screen that is a character that you’ve never brought to the screen before.

So where is it truly filmed?
Even higher altitude locations including Kothi, Solang, and Manali were used to film the show. This was captured in February, when it was really cold. In fact, the day I shot was one of the hardest because it was in the deep snow. We often make fun of the fact that our directors want to throw us into the deep end right away because after that, everything else is a piece of cake. The team as a whole found the shooting conditions to be incredibly difficult, but that only added to the incredible atmosphere and beautiful locations. Ignore the cold; it is essentially the least of it.

I can’t begin to express how challenging it is for a unit to get camera equipment to such a high altitude where, occasionally, there are no roads because they are also washed away by snow and rain.

What occurs if an actor gets sick right before the shot?
The performance must go on, so you get a shot of Brandy and keep recording, laughing.

What was it like working with Vishal Bhardwaj?

My wish list has included Vishal Ji for a very long time. Twice in the past, we had the chance to collaborate, but for whatever reason, the universe at that moment prevented it from happening. Therefore, we were both adamant that we would complete this this time, come what may. When Wilayat’s persona was provided to me, I was pleasantly delighted. And I’m hoping that at the end of the episode, viewers will realise why it was important to portray that character in such a unique way. It is, in my opinion, every actor’s ambition to work with Vishal Ji. Simply said, it’s something you must go through at least once in your career. And I sincerely hope and pray that many more opportunities will present themselves in the future.