Movies

Pooja Batra makes a comeback to play 'Mirror Game'

READING MINDS Pooja Batra

READING MINDS Pooja Batra  

Former beauty queen Pooja Batra shot to fame with Anil Kapoor's 'Virasat'.

Former beauty queen Pooja Batra, who shot to fame with Virasat, has made a comeback in Bollywood after her brief stint in Hollywood where she played an astronaut in a sci-fi film. Shot entirely in the US at the same campus where A Beautiful Mind was shot, Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru is a story of a psychology professor dealing with complications in his life. Batra plays a police psychologist who investigates the professor suspected for his wife's disappearance. Here she talks about her role in the film, her experience in Hollywood and more.

Excerpts:

Tell us about your role in the upcoming psychological thriller Mirror Game.

I play the role of a police psychologist who helps investigate the trail of events in the life of psychology professor who is suspected to be playing foul with the police. I met a few psychologists for the role as I had no idea about how they do mind reading. Vijit, the director of the film was a debutant but was well-prepared, which made actors perform well and the shoot got wrapped up efficiently in 18 days.

What has kept you busy after you stopped acting in films?

Acting is a profession but that need not be done every day. If you are from a non-filmy background with no backing, it becomes difficult to sustain after a point of time but I am happy that it opened the door for my other career with my own company. I do not believe in sitting down and waiting for a role to come as life goes on and opens many doors. One can live a life of a normal human being as there are various other beautiful things apart from glamour world and I have concentrated on those things in life after I stopped doing films. I have a company called Global Inc. which does casting, events, launching companies which keeps me occupied in the U.S. Apart from that, I studied and travelled around the world.

What difference do you see in the Bollywood compared to the time you left?

It has changed a lot but for good reasons. Scripts are different, the acting style has changed because people also want regular characters on screen and the whole trend of watching films has become much similar to Hollywood. Also the celebrity culture has become much similar to the West as everything is organised through public relation firms which take care of the behaviour and reaction of actors. Although the process of filmmaking has not changed, actors today concentrate more on a single project which was not the case earlier as they used to do shifts for multiple projects.

A lot of female actors used to come from a modelling background or beauty pageants...

It is a very difficult industry to get into and industry people are not welcoming to new comers and they make their job a difficult one.

So in order to enter, one has to come with some audience base from a recognised medium and then only someone can invest in them. I think actors come prepared. Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra are established actors but they never learnt acting in a formal set up before entering the industry.

Also, more roles are being written for female actors

Women are an essential part of society as they drive it, and in storytelling you cannot ignore them or show them just as objects of desire.

There are strong women around us and that is bound to reflect in films as well and I am happy that Bollywood is understanding it.

You did a science fiction film One Under the Sun which got premiered in Cannes last year. How was the experience working in Hollywood?

Working in Hollywood was an altogether different experience as you have to be on time, you get logged in, everything is on contract and everything is very professionally arranged.

I played the lead role of an astronaut mom with a daughter who is terminally ill.

She goes to Mars for a mission but has to return for her daughter who is dealing with cancer and in her return journey, the spaceship meets with an accident.

The film has no similarities with the Kalpana Chawla story but people usually draw similarities.

It had a run in San Diego Comic Con, Dubai Film Festival and Cannes Festival.

I still remember the walk after the première at Cannes last year which drew many photographers’ attention because of my Princess Leia (from the Star Wars franchise) get up and a sari with dark Gothic lips.

They were amazed as they had never seen an Indian in that sort of getup and that was carried in most of the newspapers in Europe.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 10:45:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/finding-new-doors/article18721898.ece

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