The camera is a fly on the wall, you don’t feel the camera, it doesn’t interfere with the actors in real-time.”…Sushmita Sen speaks with Akshay Acharya
Sushmita Sen found the perfect way to channelise her inner strength through her work in the Ram Madhvani directorial ‘Aarya’.
The title character of ‘Aarya’, much like Sushmita, is a woman of substance. She calls the shots, is highly adaptive, plays to her strengths and is protective about her world.
As the second season of the crime thriller approaches its release, Sushmita spoke with about her experience of working in Ram Madhvani’s 360 degree set up, constructing Aarya’s character and her subsequent dissociation from the character for the downtime.
For her, working in a novel 360 degree system of Ram Madhvani where filming happens in real time, is “the most enriching system” and “the one that spoils an actor”. She says, “There’s no way you can go back to the discontinued way of emotions with multiple takes of close up, over the shoulder, jimmy jib. The camera is a fly on the wall, you don’t feel the camera, it doesn’t interfere with the actors in real time.”
Explaining a normal shoot day on ‘Aarya’ sets, she adds, “Even if you drop a glass and it breaks during the take, you continue with the scene and find a way around to take the broken glass off the frame. So, you adapt. His school says, ‘please make mistakes, let real life happen while filming’. It’s like theatre. All the actors are aware. This is a system of awareness. He (Ram) has done an outstanding job with this system.”
Shooting in such an immersive atmosphere, where multiple stimuli are at work both on the surface and at the subconscious level, the gravity of the emotions can drag an actor into depths. Laying down the framework of the character construction, the actress says, “We shoot ‘Aarya’ in a way where depending on the workshop, we get into a zone. We are not called by our real names but by the names of the characters that we are playing, during the schedule.”
She continues, “We don’t keep big breaks between schedules, we do it from start to finish in order to maintain that psychology of characters and the universe.”
Alternatively, the deconstruction too was simple and effective, “After filming, we had three full nights of partying. This is where we switch from Aarya to Sushmita and Tej to Chandrachur Singh and it is done in the most organic way”, she says as her tone of voice eases explaining the process.
Theatre is considered to be an actor’s medium, films and shows are directors’ medium, ask her from whose point of view the story is being told when one marries theatre and films in a 360 degree approach, and she quips, “Real life cannot happen under a controlled atmosphere, we are allowed to make mistakes. The set is not just a set anymore, it’s an actual house with functional appliances and accessories.”
“All departments work in perfect sync sharing the same energy. So, for this medium, you can no longer say that a medium belongs to an actor, director or one technician, this actually belongs to all departments and the story takes the control of the wheel,” she signs off.