For someone who is basically from Delhi, Anjum Nayar sounds pretty confident for a Bollywood debutante. Currently based in Mumbai, she has polished her acting and dancing skills at Barry John’s acting institute and under numerous leading choreographers in the country. She will soon be seen playing the lead role in Cover Story: The Ultimate Interview as a successful Bollywood star opposite a veteran journalist played by Jackie Shroff.
The dramatic-thriller was majorly shot in Mumbai and Panvel. Though the role is quite demanding, Anjum is intriguingly certain that she has pulled it off effectively. In a chat with HitList, she talks about her upcoming film, destiny, onscreen challenges and a promising future in B-Town.
First of all, how did you end up bagging this role?
I firmly believe in the saying ‘what has to happen has to happen’ and also that life is the greatest inspiration out there. I would even go the extent of saying that the role chose me instead of the other way around. I went to auditions but this film was firmly scripted in my destiny.
Bollywood is not particularly known for woman-oriented films. However, you’re playing a strong woman in your debut...
Well, Cover Story is a dream come true for me. In it, I’m playing Farah — a person I’d myself want to be in the future who is the best in the acting business! She’s also someone who has conquered her inner world. Or else, she won’t be the superstar that she is. Farah is as strong as they come nowadays.
Tell us something more about the film.
In this film, Farah is a Bollywood superstar whereas Jackie’s character is a former war journalist who wants to make a cover story on her. He comes with the usual mindset that Bollywood actresses don’t have brains. To him, they are merely good-looking and those who show their skin for a living. What happens between the two characters during the interview leads to the eventual suspense. Their inner questions gradually start reflecting on their face: how they love and started hating each other.
How did you prepare for this role?
When I got the script in my hand, I had a couple of narrations from the director himself. But I realised that I had to work on my own. During the process, I came to the conclusion nobody becomes a superstar overnight. A lot of hard work goes into the making and playing a person who at the pinnacle of her acting career has to go through the same route. I had to fine-tune my thought process.
What was your experience of working in this unique two-character film?
There aren’t many Indian films that can boast of having just two characters in the film. People will assume that it would be full of dialogues between the two people but there is a lot more going on. I had a wonderful time on the sets and learned new things.
How do you rate Jackie as an actor?
He’s simply wonderful. Jackie is not only a very supportive co-star but also someone who makes you comfortable. And what more can a debutant actress ask for? We share a beautiful chemistry on screen. I also feel like he’s one of the finest actors in the industry today.
And what do you have to say about Laurens C Postma, the director?
His passion for cinema is unparalleled. Though he’s Dutch and we communicated only in English, he knew exactly what he wanted. He’s very organised too. He used to make all the crewmembers assemble every single morning for a short brief before getting started with the day’s shooting. A lot of people found this practice amusing but that’s how he functioned. He is technically very strong and has a way with storytelling.
So what is next for you?
I’m waiting for the film’s release and reading scripts. I’m aiming for substantial roles like the one I did in Cover Story.