Sahher Bambba discusses getting into the skin of a literary character with Dil Bekarar
Director Habib Faisal builds an old-world charm with Disney+ Hotstar’s latest series, Dil Bekarar. Set in the ’80s Delhi, the show — featuring Sahher Bambba — is a screen adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s novel Those Pricey Thakur Girls. Portraying a literary character comes with its own set of expectations. “A lot of homework went into fleshing out the role. Besides organising workshops for us, Habib sir supplied me with video material and links to use as reference for news reading, articulation, body language,” says the actor who played the character of Debjani Thakur — a strong-headed woman working as a Doordarshan anchor.
Sahher Bambba and Akshay Oberoi in Dil Bekarar
During the prep of Dil Bekarar, Bambba purposely stayed away from reading the original novel to give the character “her own interpretations”. “In the lockdown when my sister was reading the book, I never thought I would feature in its adaptation. It was a conscious call to refrain from reading the book. [When I got the script], I spent time to understand the character and her emotions.” However, while the gazillion workshops prepared her for the show, it was still a challenge. “It was a challenge to crack the milieu of the ’80s. Habib sir gave us [several] book references and spent hours talking about the era to underline the sentiment of the period.”
The series also features Raj Babbar, Poonam Dhillon and Padmini Kohapure. It “was a learning experience” to work with the veterans, says Bambba. “I was an awe-struck learner on set. Habib sir and Tarun Mansukhani [who directed a few episodes], brought their passion to the table. I hope the audience latches on to the simplicity of this series.”
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