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So it's a grittier film than what audiences are used to. You think it would be accepted?

I hope so. There's a lot of talk about how our audience is immature, I think that's hogwash. We've always had an immensely progressive audience. It's the same audience that accepted Kabhi Kabhie in the '70s, a film that dealt with extramarital affairs, with illegitimate children.

It's always been about emotionally touching the audience, and that emotion can be anything: hatred, love, romance, whatever. This is a real film, so they will relate.

For example, there's a scene where Antara, who's a very principled lady, who believes in not having to compromise on her beliefs in order to achieve. She wants to do everything on her terms and conditions, but has to, at the end of the day, say, 'look, I want to be a choreographer, but I have to take these computer classes because I have no money.'

That's something she might not want to do as a person, but she has to because she has to feed herself. So it's small things like that, and I'd like to believe that it will reach out and touch the audience, in that aspect.

You sound excited about the film.

Extremely. I'm very proud of the film; I'm very happy that I've been able to work on the film; and Ramu's been a dream to work with. He's an outstanding director, and I'd seriously recommend him to any actor: he'll teach you things that you never would have thought of. I mean it feels a bit stupid coming from my mouth, talking about Ramu, but he's really that good.

How was it working with Antara?

Wonderful. Antara is an immensely gifted artiste and somebody you have to be very 'prepared' in front of. You know when she walks on to the set that she knows her job, she's immensely prepared.

But once the cameras start rolling, she'll just do something so spontaneous it'll catch you off-guard. The first few times that happens, you're taken aback, but then you catch on: you have to be very fast, you have to be ready to volley with her all the time. And that's very exciting for an actor, discovering you're doing things in front of the camera you might not have planned to do.

That's pretty much Ramu's intention in shooting the film, I think.

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