Ticket to Hollywood
Tannishtha Chatterjee is one of the few actors who've managed to strike the correct balance between the east and west.
After getting critical acclaim for her roles in both Bollywood and Hollywood, the actress is eagerly awaiting her next British venture, an adaptation of Anna Karenina. Tannishtha talks to CS about working with Martin Sheen and gives an insight about the inner workings of Hollywood:
It was really nice working with Martin Sheen. He is a thorough professional and very adaptable. He is so down to earth, that you are immediately in a comfort zone. It’s an honour to work with him. One gets to understand the meaning of humility from such great actors of all times. Abroad, most actors have fixed hours of work that they do in a day. But while Martin was shooting in Bhopal, there was a shooting schedule of 18 continuous hours, since the location was a prohibited area and we just had permission for those 18 hours. Martin easily agreed and obliged the director by shooting 18 hours straight.
Abroad, all the industries are so organised, let alone films. They have this system of 7 to 7 shift in Hollywood. At 7.15 in the evening, every technician on the set will drop whatever they are doing – even if that means that your lips are half painted. Even if the work extends half an hour more, the producers have to pay a half-day salary to everyone due to strict labour rules. It is good in a way. In a recent discussion, I realised 80 per cent of Indian work force works in an unorganised way. But sometimes this timeliness gets to you. On one of my shoots in Europe, I was shooting for a very intense scene. And in the middle of the scene the lights were just turned off. I was so much into the scene that I literally begged the director to go ahead with the shoot but the director just refused. I couldn’t say much because I was the only Indian on the floor. So next day I again wasted some two hours to get into the same mood again.
From getting, a script approved to arranging for funds, it is far more difficult to make a film in Hollywood. When you compare, filmmaking in Bollywood looks like a complete cakewalk. The procedures are lengthy but definitely systematic. May be that is why compared to Bollywoood, Hollywood makes much lesser films which are mostly refined. But with time I guess the trend is changing. Our young directors today are doing a good job by putting their knowledge and exposure to full use.