Posham Pa‘s, Sayani Gupta, has been making rapid strides by picking unique characters on web series as well as films. She was last seen on the big screen in the social drama ‘Article 15‘. In the film ‘Posham Pa’ she plays the role of one of the serials killers who were the first women to be given a death penalty by the supreme court. Watch the trailer of the movie that will send a chill down your spine.
We sit down for a chat with Sayani Gupta and the first thing that stands out is the drastic transformation she underwent to get her look for the film.
Int: You almost look unrecognizable from the poster. How did you settle on the look for the film? Did you have any references?
Sayani: So I think, Suman Da (Suman Mukhopadhyay) had a few references in mind and he sent me a few photos. I was very kicked about it. I told him I will work out my dates and everything if you get this look right. Prashant Doiphode, is a fantastic prosthetic guy. He and his team put the look together and it would take four hours to get into it. I had a hair and make up team Sahitya and Dipali. So around 8 or 9 people came together to make this look happen every morning.
Int: You’ve been known to pick characters that interest you. So what made you pick the character of a serial killer on Posham Pa?
Sayani: Honestly, I’ve been wanting to work with the director Suman da. For some reason or the other it was not happening. Finally when he called me for Posham Pa, he told me it’s a story of a serial killer and it’s also a story of a mother and her two daughters. Immediately I thought it was exciting. Then he sent me the looks because I play a 17-year-old, 22-year-old and a 28-year-old. Then I read the script and I knew it was something I had never done before and won’t come my way everyday. That’s when I knew I had to do it.
Int: Posham Pa has an all female leading cast. Another web-series you’ve done has 4 women in the leading role. Is this a conscious decision?
Sayani: It is not a conscious decision at all, but I have worked with a lot of women directors too. I’ve worked with over 13 women directors now. Even Posham Pa is written by a woman so it’s a perspective which I empathise with more. I don’t think it’s a conscious decision but I think I am more attracted to female characters that are more fleshed out.
Int: Is there any difference from being on other sets?
Sayani: So there’s a difference, I think. Women are more meticulous and methodical. But on the other hand, I feel like if you go on a male-dominated set which is mostly any other set, you don’t ask how was it to be on a male-dominated set. So I feel like it’s a little unfair to ask.
Int: Posham Pa is based on true incidents. Did you hear about your character before you got the movie?
Sayani: Yeah Suman Da had told me about them before sending the script. When I read the script I was happy to know that Suman Da had the same approach to the characters. So even though I didn’t read up on the characters, I grew up watching crime thrillers and criminal psychology. I’ve always been interested in why do people behave in certain ways which are crazy from a normal point of view.
Int: You had also mentioned that even these characters need to be represented in movies…
Sayani: Of course, every kind of person, even criminals need to be represented in our films. And it’s the right kind of representation. I’m hoping this is the right kind of representation. It’s more about the human side of criminals and the world they belong to and the reasons they become who they are. The writer Nimisha had a lot of first-hand experience. She met the people and families close to the criminals. I made her sit in my vanity van while the make-up was going on and found out about all her research.
Int: Posham Pa the movie name is based on a childhood game. What childhood games did you play?
Sayani: So I never played Posham Pa, but we played game like Land and water. I was a very athletic kid so I also played games like Kho-Kho, Throwball. I also used to be a sprinter in school. In fact, I had to run for a scene in the movie. So I said I would run instead of the body double. So I ran and there were 5 or 6 cops running behind me. I ran so fast they were all shocked because I really sprinted.
Int: The movie looks very dark and intense. Did that mood remain on set as well?
Sayani: I mean sometimes it was really gloomy because we were shooting in a children’s rehab centre. It was even raining on that day. So it was eerie and gloomy that day. But otherwise we were bonding well on the set. Ravi the DOP was a friend from FTII, even Suman Da, Ragini and Mahie we bonded well on the sets, cracked jokes. We were quite comfortable with each other.
Watch her play the role that comes once in a lifetime, on ‘Posham Pa‘, ZEE5’s latest release.
(With inputs from Ayushi Sharma)