Lakshya Kochhar talks about working on Bambai Meri Jaan for three years and how the grand life-like set helped with world creation and performances
Prime Video’s latest offering ‘Bambai Meri Jaan’ which was released on the platform on September 14 soon grabbed several eyeballs making it one of the top 10 shows viewed on the platform globally. Boasting of a stellar star cast including Kay Kay Menon, Avinash Twary, and Kritika Kamra, the series has been created by Shujaat Saudagar and Rensil D’Silva. Even though it deals with the underworld era of Mumbai, a subject that has been explored several times on screen, 'Bambi Meri Jaan' brings in novelty.
The cast members have particularly stood out for delivering an authentic performance. Actor Lakshya Kochhar who was previously seen in Akshay Kumar-starrer sports drama ‘Gold' in 2018 essayed the role of Ajju Kadri in the series. The series spans three decades from the POV of the Kadri family and the rise of crime in the streets of the city. “People have been growing with my character. Ajju is shown as a kid in the first three episodes. He is the irresponsible kid of the house, a little spoilt, little pampered, and you kind of grow with the family, you grow with the Kadri, so you see all of their journeys, of all the siblings. In the finale episode is when Ajju tries to become a man of his own. Stepping into the brother's show and taking responsibility is an emotion that relates with the audience,” says Lakshya talking to mid-day.com.
Lakshya Kochhar auditioned for the role in 2019 and the team was supposed to wrap up the shoot in six months. However, little did they know that the series would take three years to complete shooting owing to the pandemic. “Landing the part in the show was easier than the making bit of Bambai Meri Jaan,” he comments.
Owing to the pandemic, the team also got more time on their hands to prep for the show and understand each other better. “We got a lot of time to prep time during which we kept discussing with the writers to the point we really felt like siblings. We all really became one big family,” he recalls.
Staying true to their characters for three years amid a deadly pandemic, chaos and unpredictability of situations was not easy for the actors. However, the massive life-like set built to visualise the 10-part series helped the actors to get transported into a different world. "That set was not a set. We used to call it a city of its own. It had coffee shops, a theatre, and other shops. Everything that you see is real; from the chicken in the meat shop to rice and lentils in the markets. It had a real functioning chawl, with rooms, beds, chairs, and everything. When you are put in a situation that is so real, you are in bound to disconnect from the reality of the world of 2023. When we were shooting, the moment we entered the gate which was the Kadri manzil, our house, and climbed those stairs there was an absolute disconnect from everything we had come from, which was Bandra, Juhu, and Andheri," he said.
"Going there (set) you would feel that you were transported to some other time. The clothes we were wearing and the relationships that we shared also contributed to that. It was just an out-of-body experience, which I feel does not happen with a lot of shows and films. Usually, it is very contemporary and people try to recreate it in smaller ways, but just shooting on such a mammoth, big massive city-like set, I think it only happens in Sanjay Leela Bhansali films. It was an experience. When they broke the set, I cried. We guys were so emotionally involved with that house, as it saw several events in it. It became home and when they broke it down, it felt like our house was being broken down. That was the level of emotional attachment to the set. yes, it helps with your performance because it felt so real," he added.