Divinaa Thackur began her career with a multilingual film Veeram in 2016. After that, she went on to do web shows like Who’s Your Daddy and films like Prassthanam. Now, she is all set for her first leading role in Pratik Gandhi-starrer Atithi Bhooto Bhavah, and in an exclusive conversation with Spotboye.com, the actress gets candid about her experience on the film, working with big stalwarts, her future plans and more. Read excerpts from the interview:
This year marks your five years in the showbiz. How has the journey been so far?
It has been very good and welcoming. A lot of learning and exploration happened during this while as I do not come from this side of business. Being connected to your art and profession is the most beautiful thing. So, it has been a great journey so far. I have felt the graph of progression in my personal and professional life and it feels like an achievement.
Early on in your career, you got to work with stalwarts like Sanjay Dutt, Manisha Koirala and Jackie Shroff in Prassthanam. How was that experience like and what did you learn from them?
It was a great learning experience because when you have stalwarts like Sanjay Dutt sir, Jackie Shroff sir and Manisha Koirala ma’am, even sitting with them is a masterclass in itself, so acting with them is on another level. They have had such great experiences in their respective lives that I got to learn a lot from them personally and professionally. I got to learn amazing nuances from them, about how calm they are and how they see their characters.
Atithi Bhooto Bhavah is your first project as the female lead. How was that experience different from your other films?
It was different but Jackie sir was in Prassthanam and he was in this film as well, so that gave kind of a familial feeling to me. As an actor though, I felt a little pressure on me. The film is a horror comedy and I feel comedy is the most difficult genre for an actor. Playing sad or angry is easier to extract from your life experiences but comedy is difficult to master. It was a responsibility on my shoulder but having a co-actor like Pratik Gandhi made the journey comfortable and more enjoyable.
How did the film happen to you?
I was actually supposed to shoot another movie with the director of Atithi Bhooto Bhavah, Hardik Gajjar, but unfortunately it couldn’t happen due to date issues. But I was always in his mind while writing my character in Atithi Bhooto Bhavah. So, one day he called me for the narration, I loved it and within five days we were on the floors.
Tell us something about the film.
It’s a horror-comedy and a road journey of four characters, played by me, Jackie sir, Pratik and Sharmin Segal. It’s a very light film that has all the emotions of friendship and love. It’s like a nice epitome of everything that deals with our everyday emotions. It’s a very new script that I haven’t ever seen in cinema. It’s new yet relatable. It’s a simple story but a very heart touching one.
How was Pratik as a co-star?.
Pratik is fantastic. I keep raving about him to others. He has no air around him and he understands his co-actor’s journey and struggle, not just personally but also in the script. He knows when his co-actor is struggling with any lines or emotions and he would help you without showing it as a favour. He does it in such a beautiful way that it fees like it is a friend guiding you. He is so down-to-earth and so supportive to everyone on set, even with the assistant directors or any other person.
How was your equation with Sharmin?
We had good fun and became good friends. We got along so well that people wouldn’t realise that it was our first time meeting each other.
You said having Jackie sir gave a familial feeling to you. Did you both had an instant connection due to that old connect?
Jackie sir is genuinely very warm towards people around him. Even on the sets of Prassthanam, he would call me and ask me to just sit and chat. In Prassthaanam I was a little star-struck as I have seen him since my childhood. He is one of the most good-looking actors out there and I was so happy that he was my Abbu jaan. But in Atithi Bhooto Bhavah, he was my buddy. It was very easy for me to relate with him on the personal ground this time. We would joke a lot together and he would be very careful and concerned about me whenever I had a scene. He would check and set my hair if it was going haywire anytime. It’s a treat to listen to him and when he talks, I feel like laughing all the time as he is so jovial.
You debuted with a bilingual but then you didn’t work anymore in the South. Why is it so?
Malayalam didn’t happen anymore but I just finished a Kannada movie about six months back with Pawan Wadiya. He is actually the director who launched Yash of K.G.F. fame. I didn’t work much down South after Veeram because I was waiting for a better opportunity. I am very choosy about my characters and I can’t do just another lover girl. I said yes to this Kannada film because my character here is like Deepika Padukone’s character in Cocktail.
Did you notice any difference in the approach towards work between the Hindi film industry and the South?
There are a lot of opportunities down South as the market is divided into four languages, but in North the major market is only Hindi. Work ethics are different at both places but they both are good in their own way. In South, a shoot will start at 7 am in the morning and I love it as I am a morning person, but Mumbai side, it starts only late.
You have done both web shows and films. Does your approach change when you switch mediums?
I strongly feel there is no difference as you shoot for a web show for 25-30 days and you are done with it and the same is with a film. The only difference is the run time on screen. Otherwise making, detailing, and all other processes are the same and that’s what I love about it as shooting for a web show gives you the experience of shooting for a film. The other plus point of the web is its reach as anyone, anywhere in the world can catch my work digitally.
What kind of roles are you looking forward to play now?
As an actor, I want to do all kind of roles, be it positive or negative but on a personal preference, I really want to do action films like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. A full-on actioner as a tough girl who yet has a parallel vulnerable side to her. I love this combination of vulnerability and a fighter in a female character, and I hope to take up a story on my shoulder where my character is like that—a girl who is doing all the action, but is also seen with tears at the same time. Men and women both like to see a woman like that. When you see a very tough girl, you get a little repelled off and when you see a crying girl, you feel she is so cranky, but when you see both of these qualities together, you feel that to be the right balance.
So, who is on the top of your wish list of directors and actors that you want to work with next?
I would love to work with everyone but on my wish list, the top priority is for Zoya Akhtar and Rajkumar Hirani sir. I think they make amazing films that have a human factor that plucks on the heartstrings and find an instantaneous relatability with the audience. That remains forever in the audience’s hearts. I also want to experience the grandeur of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
As for actors, I really want to work with Varun Dhawan. Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. I love all of their energies a lot. They all have done extreme roles in the most fantastic way. I have worked with Ranbir on an ad and while working with such actors, you flourish yourself as well.
What does your future line up look like?
I have one short film Hickey that I have acted in and also co-produced. I also have another short film with Pradeep Sarkar sir. It’s a very beautiful yet different love story titles, Kaisi Hai Paheli Zindagani. Once the pandemic gets over, we will shoot for it.
Image source: instagram/iamdivinaathackur
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