Here’s an interview with the cast of Secret Superstar through video conferencing in London. We were joined by Zaira Wasim, Amir Khan, Kiran Rao and Advait Chandan.
Aamir: This is Advait who is the writer and director of the film. This is also Advait’s first film and he is previously worked with Kiran on Dhobighaat as an AD. He has worked with me as my manager for the last four years and has worked closely with me. Here is Zaira joining us. So nice and happy to have questions.
Q: Aamir, What have you had to struggle for in your life?
Aamir: Fortunately I wasn’t in such a harsh situation as we have in the film but I had my own struggles. Though I come from a film family, my parents and my uncle who was a leading film maker of his time. So the entire family, that was actually in film making, was very against me coming into films. They didn’t want me to be a part of films. They made many attempts to dissuade me from joining films. I guess primarily the reason was that they wanted to protect us from this world because this is a very volatile business, you know one day you’re up there next day you’re nowhere. So they wanted their kids to be in a professional field, which was more secure, more steady and safer. They wanted to protect us from the volatility of this business, but of course, I was really stubborn and I just knew what I wanted to do.
Q: You are so successful in your films, does one film set a higher bar for the next film you make?
Aamir: Well yes and no, so when I’m selecting my film there is no pressure on me. At that time, I’m reacting to the material I’m offered so if I love the script, I want to be a part of it. At that time I’m not thinking of the audience so much, I’m just thinking about the fact that here is something I really want to do and I do it. The pressure starts building when the film is about to release. So there I’m like, okay so now let me make this film and I have no idea how people will react to it. That’s when I start feeling a bit nervous but I guess, that’s not the end of the world. Everytime we work so hard on a film, we spend a couple of years making it and then it’s out there. We are wondering how people will react to it and we are hoping that they will love it. So all our passion, our love and our work go into it and we are hoping that people will love it. I get stressed when I think of expectations. I think okay, so my last so many films have worked so is this the film that will not work? But that doesn’t affect my choice of films.
Q: What’s the one thing you would like young millennial women to walk away feeling?
Aamir: Well, I think for me I’d like every woman in the world who perhaps finds herself in difficult situations, not only women but also men, where they are feeling stifled, where they need to just shake off the shackles. I’d like them to take away from this film the fact that you can actually have your dreams and get what you want and you should not compromise with your dreams. No matter who is standing in front of you as an obstacle, you should follow your heart and pursue. Fight for your dreams, fight for what you want.
Zaira: This film, honestly is just all about dreaming. The first priority should be discovering your dreams rather than just to follow something that you don’t even know is there. I feel not only girls, but each and every person, as a female or as an adult should discover their dreams. Sometimes people don’t really know what their dream is and they are just following something blindly.
Advait: I think that they have both covered pretty much what the film is all about. I’d just like to also add that parents should also watch this film and realise that they need to allow their kids to dream. That’s something I suppose would be nice.
Kiran: I think pretty similar. I think girls and women have been kept in the shadows for far too long and their dreams always been in second place and women have always had to struggle to be given the same rights as the men. We are getting to accept that equality is necessary and good for everyone but I think it’s very important that girls realise that they must fight for what they think is right for the lives they lead. To be given a chance and opportunity to discover like Zaira said what their dreams are and to be given a chance to pursue them. I think the world would be a much better place if more women are given the opportunity to do what they want to do.
Q: What is it about your individual characters that you found the most interesting?
Zaira: For me what’s interesting yet disturbing and saddening is that is that I couldn’t connect with the character. My real life is not connected to it. In this film, the character goes through such a roller coaster ride in her life. How her father is so aggressive and how he is suppressing the wife and the daughter. I have never experienced this in real life. There is one scene where the father is holding the daughters face when I was shooting that I was really disturbed because my father has never even yelled at me. For me to be able to connect to this film it was challenging yet interesting.
Aamir: Well, for the first time in my life, I could be very rude to people. I could flirt outrageously with every woman I came across. So I could do all the things I normally do not do in my real life. I made children cry, I am rude to people. Actually, when I read the script, I really loved so Kirran and I decided that we would like to produce it and Advait could direct it. And at that time I had not thought of playing the role of Shakti Kumar. When Advait suggested it to me I was like: “Do you really think I fit into the role? Do you think I can carry it off and I don’t want to harm the film? Because with me come certain expectations and I don’t want to upset the balance of the film. He was really insisting so I said let’s do a screen test. When I did that, that’s how I become a part of this as an actor.
Q: Is the Film inspired by any talent or reality shows?
Advait: No, it’s not inspired by TVshow at all. I feel this is about a young girl’s dreams and aspirations. Not so much to be on television but more to be allowed to pursue her dream. Its not so much about becoming a famous singer but just being allowed to sing.
Secret Superstar releases on Diwali and its trailer can be watched right HERE
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