Malang: Disha Patani goes from demure to dark
Director Mohit Suri discusses how Disha Patani, known for her girl-next-door roles, took on a grey character in Malang
When he is not churning out intense romantic dramas, director Mohit Suri dabbles in thrillers. His upcoming whodunit movie, Malang, has the principal actors—Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani and Kunal Kemmu—explore the dark end of the spectrum. Acknowledging that Patani—known for her girl-next-door roles—is an unusual choice for a grey character, the director says that the four-film-old actor surprised him with her performance.
"On the last day of shoot, I told her, 'You have a lot more depth than you let on. You are a beautiful woman, but could take your acting more seriously,'" says Suri, adding that given a substantial role, Patani is likely to surprise the audience. If she showed gumption by taking on a grey role early on in her career, Suri says that she also displayed a knack for imbibing nuances with little effort. "While working with her, I realised that Disha had [gained an understanding] of her character. Initially, I asked her how she wants to play the role—that's a process I follow with all my actors. When she saw that I trusted her with that responsibility, she started responding well."
High on stunts, the thriller demanded Patani to train in water sports, including scuba diving and kite surfing. A self-confessed water baby, she took to them enthusiastically. "Disha has performed some tough stunts. But the scariest was when she had to jump off a cliff in Mauritius. Before filming the scene, she told me that she was scared of heights. I offered to shoot with a double, but she said she wanted to try it once. After that, she made all other stunts look easy," he laughs.
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