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'I always thought Shyam Benegal made only art films'

Amrita Rao has a versatile face -- she can look like the average college-goer in Ishq Vishk, a demure lass in Vivah or an outrageous tomboy in My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. In Shyam Benegal's upcoming film, Amrita will don the look of an illiterate village girl.

She talks to Patcy N about working with Benegal, costar Shreyas Talpade, and much more.

Tell us about Welcome to Sajjanpur.

Welcome to Sajjanpur is a satire. It is about the characters, who stay in [a village called] Sajjanpur. Everybody in the village has different stories. The film is made in a humorous way but once you walk out [of the theatre], and think of the movie, you will find issues that still exist in rural India. But it is not preachy.

I play Kamala, a potter. I have a very rustic earthy look in the film. She is an illiterate so she has to count on Mahadev [Shreyas Talpade], who is a letter writer in the village. Kamala is gullible and innocent. Her world is Sajjanpur.

Kamala believes that Mahadev understands her. For Kamala, Mahadev is her hero. She is awestruck by him.

Your experience of working with Shyam Benegal?

Working with Shyam Benegal is just like working with any contemporary director. He is very fast and believes in no wastage of time. He doesn't take unnecessary shots. The film was shot in sync sound, in 29 days.

I have always thought of Benegal as a wholesome filmmaker, where one gets scope for a great performance. I always thought he made only art films. I never really understood what art films were. He has a realistic approach to cinema, something that today's filmmakers are trying to ape.

Also Read: 'I am doing a comedy after a very long time'


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