Lara Dutta at the bottom of the bell: Special: Lara Dutta says patriotism is in her blood Her father was Indira Gandhi’s personal pilot
Yes, everyone is saying we didn’t recognize you, so there were two stages of preparation. There is a makeup and artificial, which is credited to Vikram Gaikwadji. He molded my face, then made artificial pieces out of it. When Luke was ready, everyone was a little surprised that yes, this is exactly the same. I was surprised to see myself in the mirror saying oh Dad, I can’t recognize myself. After that, I watched several interview videos of Mrs. Gandhi to learn her gestures and style. Also, I am lucky that my father Wing Commander LK Dutta was in the Air Force. She was Indira Gandhi’s personal aviator for many years, so I listened to her stories since childhood, how she talked to people, how she behaved, so I also took a lot of information from my father. The more I’ve seen my role, the happier I am on my own and eager to know people’s reactions.
When you were offered the role, what was your first reaction? How did you accept this?
This movie was offered to me by Akshay Kumar in May 2020 while I was in lockdown. Akshay called me and told me that Lara, this is a movie in which you want to play the role of Indira Gandhi. I was shocked that where do you see Indira Gandhi in me? There is no door-to-door similarity (laughs), but Akshay believed we would work on the look, but body language and pauses are needed, I think you can play, he was more confident. I didn’t have that much. I was very scared whether I would be able to do it or not, but every actor wants to have such a distinguished personality once in his life and Indira Gandhi is such a personality that I think the actress who will be given this role will be 100 percent doing it.
You guys made the bold decision to shoot the movie as soon as the lockdown opened. So don’t be afraid, because you also have a little girl?
It was scary. There was no vaccine at that time. We didn’t even know if we could get out of it. The news everywhere was very negative, but I give a lot of credit to Vashu ji (producer) for deciding that the film industry should not stop at that time. No matter how hard we try, whatever protocol we have to follow should not stop working. He was also accompanied by big stars like Akshay Kumar, who said that we walk. Then, the security arrangements we saw put an end to all fears. The industry was also encouraged that if these people could do it, so could we. Gradually many started shooting. It’s still coming to Bell Bottom Theaters even though theaters aren’t yet open in all states, but it’s a big deal for theater owners, for the many people who work in them, to start working for them. The drama industry has suffered so much that it becomes our responsibility to support each other.
In terms of business, isn’t it a risky decision to screen a movie without opening cinemas across the country?
I have full faith. The best situation for us was that the cinemas were completely open. The number of viewers would not be 100 or even 50%, but we also can’t forget that Kovid didn’t disappear. Even now the situation is serious in many places, but life cannot stop. We are often told that if people go to the theater, go very carefully and follow the Kovid protocol. I believe that Vashuji has taken this step very thoughtfully. If they are going to release, they must have thought about their business as well.
Two more patriotic films ‘Bhuj’ and ‘Sher Shah’ have come out on August 15. What do you think is the reason for this trend of patriotic films?
Look, in my opinion, all kinds of movies should be made. Whether you make patriotic films or athletes, our industry has made many films inspired by real events or real people, but I never know that person, I have seen a lot on these things, now they don’t see anything, because being Indian when you fly your flag You feel very proud when you see it fluttering. During the Olympics, we were very happy to see our athletes. You never get tired. I love it when the stories of our unspoken heroes are told. Like, Akshay is playing the character in Bell Bottom, who has heard that there was a RAW agent who did this. No one knows, so bringing these characters to the big screen, playing them for the big star is a big deal. This is part of our history. People need to know what people sacrificed for their freedom or security.
You yourself have won the crown of Miss Universe. What is the definition of patriotism for you?
I am the daughter of a soldier. My father is in the Air Force, so it is written in our blood that there is nothing beyond our country. This is explained to us from birth. My father has fought three wars for the country in 1965, 1969, 1971. He has also won several medals for this, so we don’t know anything else. No one can erase patriotism with his blood. This is a characteristic of a soldier.
Lara Dutta ready for the role of Indira Gandhi in ‘Bell Bottom’
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