Model Anurita Jha made a dream debut on the big screen with Anurag Kashyap’s successful Gangs of Wasseypur. Though her role was a small one, she managed to stand out amidst the myriad characters. She’s keenly looking forward to Gangs of Wasseypur 2 where she’s slated to play a ‘pivotal’ role in the rural gangland drama. Sailesh Ghelani has a chat with her.
How did you land the role of Shama Parveen in Gangs of Wasseypur?
I had auditioned for the role and Anurag Kashyap liked my performance and within a span of 4 minutes he zeroed in on me for the role of Shama Parveen. I couldn’t believe it, I kept smiling on my way back home and people looking at me thought I was mad.
You’re a model and this is your first feature film. Did you always know you wanted to get into acting or was it just something you thought you’d try?
I had been modelling for a while before I auditioned for Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW, read the review here). I always like to do things that challenge me and push the envelope for me as a performer and human being so acting in theatre and films was the next natural progression.
Your performance was really good. Did you study acting/theatre or was it natural for you?
Well I did do acting workshops with the entire team of GOW along with Anurag. This made it much easier for me to essay the role of Shama Parveen. Plus I keep doing acting workshops every now and then, which gives me the ability to learn the craft better.
Did you have to change your appearance or learn something new for your role in Gangs of Wasseypur?
Well Shama Parveen is a docile, quiet girl whereas in real life I am quite the opposite, but when you are performing it doesn’t matter what you are in real life.
When I interviewed Richa Chadda (read her interview here), she told me Anurag Kashyap is terrific but he can also be unpredictable, since you “don’t know what’s going on in his head”. What was your impression of him?
I guess all creative people are unpredictable, that’s how they create something new and unpredictable. As a creative person Anurag is charged up all the time and constantly coming up with ideas to improvise on the scenes.
Manoj Bajpai was brilliant in Gangs of Wasseypur. Did you learn anything from him?
Well Manoj Bajpai is simply superb in the film. Just by watching him perform I learnt so much from him.
Did you go to Cannes for Director’s Fortnight where Gangs of Wasseypur was being screened?
No, I could not. But I was super excited for the whole Gangs team.
You said somewhere you miss working in Delhi. What do you hate and what do you love about Mumbai?
Mumbai is so addictive. I love every bit if it. Its energy, culture and vibe are so warm and welcoming. For me I feel I belong here. What I don’t like is that the people are so irresponsible even after so much awareness.
You were born and raised in Bihar. What’s your journey to achieving your dreams been like? You must be pretty happy so far…
Well my journey has just started. It feels wonderful to have debuted in GOW. I couldn’t have asked for a better launch. I still have a long way to go though…
The second part of Gangs of Wasseypur is coming up and it is said you ‘play a pivotal role’. Which is good since we didn’t get to see enough of you in the first one. Can you give us a hint as to what’s coming up?
Yes, Gangs of Wasseypur 2 will definitely see my character take the story forward. She is a pivotal link between both the rival families. I can’t reveal more than this unfortunately.
“It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.” – Anon. Do you agree considering you have been a beauty pageant winner.
Beauty is something that emerges from within. If one is happy then it reflects on the outside.
Any film offers for you after Gangs of Wasseypur?
There are a couple of projects I have read and liked. But as of now I can’t reveal anything until the producer makes formal announcements. So as of now it’s only Gangs of Wasseypur 2.
Read more interviews here.