Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Initially, I thought Barun was rude: Suzanna Mukherjee

The half-Ukranian, half-Bengali beauty Suzanna Mukherjee — who will act alongside Barun Sobti in Mitali Ghoshal's Bolly outing 22 Yards, speaks to CT on the sets in Kolkata about her co-star and their off-screen gupshup.

You know many languages, tell us which ones?
My mom is from Ukraine, so I learnt Ukranian first. I was two-years -old when I came back to India with my mom, and then I learnt Russian because I am from Bhilai and there were 2,000 Russians families in the neighbourhood because of Bhilai Steel Plant. My parents still live there. I either communicate in Ukranian or Russian with my family as my dad met mom when he went to study there in the erstwhile USSR, and is also fluent in the language. Then I know Bengali because my father is a Bengali. That apart, I know Hindi and English. I also understand Marathi since I live in Mumbai.

Have you ever got angry at Barun and hurled Russian words at him?
Gussa kyun aaega, bada sweet hai woh. In fact, usko ata hoga mujh par, mujhe to nahi ata.

Barun has a huge fan following. Do you fear getting overshadowed somewhere?
I cannot be afraid of being overshadowed since I have my part. What I can do he can't do and what he can do, I can't do. It's always going to be like that. So I think as long as we hit that chemistry right, we hit those scenes right, I don't think people will have anything to complain about.

What made you say yes to the film?
The first time she narrated the story to me, I was in tears, I had goose bumps and when something like that happens to you just by listening to the script, you have to do it! Today, I think more than actors and stars, script is becoming the hero. It's a dream script and a dream project.

Do you know that there is a section of the fans who only want to see Barun and Sanaya together and can't tolerate one without the other?
I can only hope that they still come and watch the film since they love Barun so much and not hate me as much because it's not my fault. Main kya kar sakti hoon? I can only do my job. They had a great chemistry but I am really trying hard to create the same chemistry. Better or worse, the audience will be the judge.

How do you hope to create that chemistry?
Actually we have just started to interact because Barun's schedule has been very hectic, but I think we click very easily. He is a very easy going guy and is very approachable. He has no fuss. So natural chemistry is already there, baaki to acting hi karenge.

How do you make each other comfortable?
Nothing much. In fact, I have been in Kolkata for three days and Barun hasn't taken me anywhere. He has only spent time with me on sets. Other than that, I never see him around. I don't know what he is up to. He does make fun of me because I zonk out a lot. I start doing my scenes or saying dialogues randomly.

After how long have you come to Kolkata?
I was here last when I was eight years old. I had come for a wedding. Then I had many opportunities to come, but somehow couldn't.

What was your first impression of Barun?
When I met him, to be honest I found him to be rude and arrogant, because he is a shy person. I was hesitant ki baat karoon ya na karoon because he gives those looks which scare you. But then, after talking to him once or twice you realize that he is so easy to talk to. I think this is his biggest negative point that he gives off that vibes that he is rude, when he is not.

Now what do you think of him?
There is a lot of difference now and in the first impression. I think initially when I found out that Barun was such a big star, I though bahut problem hone walihai, ego clashes maybe, but no there was no problem as such. From the first day, he made sure that I was comfortable. Even during doing the scenes, if I get too nervous sometimes and do not get it right, he would just hold my hand and ask me to relax. He is like that — quite comforting and supportive. I think that should work in our favour.

Does he give you tips and advices?
Everybody is giving me tips because I am working after a big gap. I was quite nervous when I started out, thinking will I be able to pull this off? There was so much pressure. So everybody has been working hard to give their best shots. Barunbhi advice deta hai kabhi kabhi when he feels that a particular scene is not coming naturally and tells me aise kar le ya waise kar le. So he is helpful.

What do you two talk about off the sets?
Both of us are in committed relationships, so we talk about our special someones. We both love our partners a lot. We also talk about fitness sometimes. Otherwise humara common nahihota as we have different tastes. Usually Barun and Amartya (Ray) are very fond of rock, so most of the time they talk about rock music. I get bored, put on my headphones and start listening to Bollywood or Latin music. There is no food connection also as we aren't foodies. Barun is not at all particular about food. Usko do nahi do, he is fine with anything — he can have a sukha roti as well as an aloo paratha.

NRIs like Katrina and Nargis Fakhri have struck a chord with the Indian audience. So what do you think of your chances?
I don't know. If they like them, it's a plus point for me definitely. But how much it works for me I don't know. Of course, main chahungi ki main Katrina ban jaun, kaun nahi chahega batao!. If it has to happen, it will happen.

How do you maintain the bikin bod?
I work out a lot, it's a stress buster for me because I am a very quiet person. If I don't work out, I become very irritable. There's a gym in Tolly Club, were we are staying, so I go and work out there. I also take care of my diet. It's now a lifestyle change.

Do you and Barun work out together?
Barun is sometimes regular, sometimes not...though he has been working out since he was 17. Everytime I used to see him after a gap of few months in Mumbai, I would see a change in his body. Either he would put on weight or look leaner, I was like karta kya hai tu? He said, abhi workout chhor dia, to thoda badh gaya hai. We have been rehearsing in Mumbai, so every month we meet at least once to go over the script or scenes.

Have you met Barun's wife Pashmeen Manchanda yet?
No, I haven't met her yet because we haven't met personally. We have only met through Mitali. I hope to meet her soon though.

You have been told you look similar to Sanaya Irani, right?
Yes, I have been told that. I like her, she seems like an interesting person. She is coming on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, right?

I am not Brad Pitt: Barun Sobti

We caught a very tired and sleep deprived Barun Sobti on the sets of Mitali Ghoshal's 22 Yards in Kolkata. He speaks to us about the film and about 'Suzy' — as he calls his co-actor Suzanna Mukherjee.

Do you hope to recreate the chemistry with Suzanna Mukherjee that you had with Sanaya Irani?
Of course, we have gotten along well so far and we are both putting in the hard work. As I had always said, it takes two people to work hard to create the chemistry.

How do you make each other comfortable?
Yaar, that is something you can't do deliberately. It's either a given or it's not. So it was a given luckily here.

Do you offer tips and advices to Suzanna?
She is very good. I don't think she needs any tips and advices. And for any help, the director (MitaliGhoshal) is there.

What are the common topics between you two in your free time?
Right now a lot over scenes and small talk

What was your first impression of Suzanna?
I am not a judgemental kind of person. But yes, I know her better now

What can we expect from the couple?
It's for the people to decide.

What made you say yes to the film?
The script got me hooked.

Did you have a say in having Suzanna chosen, considering you are involved in the project in every way?
I am not Brad Pitt, so I don't get to chose.