As Dhanush, Sonam’s leading man in their next film Raanjhanaa, recently left for a flash visit to Namibia before the shoot, but the actress did not wait for her hero to resume the schedule. She put the time to good use by flying to Delhi with Raanjhanaa director Aanand Rai and learning more about street plays.
The actress, primarily known for her exaggerated fashion sense, is all set to perform in street plays as part of her preparation for her role of a Varanasi-born girl in the film. Last week, Sonam visited the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as part of the research for the film. The actress and director spent several hours everyday meeting students and teachers of various faculties.
A source close to Sonam says, “At JNU, Sonam became familiar with the world of street theatre and got to know about the different courses in JNU that caught her fancy.” Rai says he doesn’t know about or care about Sonam’s current image in people’s minds “I only see the Varanasi-born girl in her. We spent a lot of time in Delhi at the JNU campus. I think she will join a couple of courses there, as I will after Raanjhanaa.”
Sonam fell in love with the street plays in Delhi. Sonam also plans to perform in these open-air plays at some point. Says Rai, “Nukkad naatak is something that opens up an actor, rids him or her of inhibitions. I want Sonam to shed her ‘sophistication’. I want her to feel like a girl from North India who travels by bus and cooks her own food in her hostel room.”
Rai plans to eliminate Sonam’s ‘stardom’ so thoroughly that he makes sure she travels by bus around Delhi without the fear of being recognised. Sonam’s workshops with Dhanush will start later this month when he joins the crew. “Dhanush has to take a week off from my schedule to shoot some vital scenes in Namibia for his next Tamil film. I decided to reach Varanasi and Sonam insisted on coming along. I am bowled over by her dedication and commitment,” says Rai.
For a change, in Raanjhanaa, Sonam will dress in cotton salwar-kameezes picked up from Karol Bagh, a far cry from her designer outfits. We also hear that Shabana Azmi, Anil Kapoor’s mentor, will soon be taken into confidence to groom Sonam.