Sharing screen space with an ensemble cast in Tamannaah Bhatia-starrer Jee Karda, Samvedna Suwalka on what intimacy coaching for the show entailed
The cast of Jee Karda
Tamannaah Bhatia-starrer series Jee Karda chronicles the lives of seven friends who grew up together, and continue to navigate life, and friendship into their 30s. “Their friendship commences from their schooling days. An incident occurs, and that binds them together. They grow up, but they keep coming back to each other. The show is named Jee Karda because it showcases how they impulsively try to [find] joy in their lives,” says Samvedna Suwalka, who features as one of the seven friends in the Maddock show.
As a young girl married into a family where space continues to remain a constraint, Suwalka’s character, Sheetal, is often seen struggling to express her love for her husband. “We have intimate scenes, which often see our characters rushing through the process of sex because they fear someone might walk into them [during the act]. We worked with intimacy coach Aastha [Khanna], who also worked with Deepika [Padukone] in Gehraiyaan.”
Chronicling what the process of intimacy coaching entails, Suwalka shares, “It begins with simply talking about your body parts — the ones you are both comfortable and uncomfortable with. It also involves non-verbal communication. It is so difficult to simply sit and look into someone’s eyes without saying a word to each other. The idea of expressing without speaking is not easy. In another, we were made to stand at a certain distance, while each one of us approached the other. We were asked to share when our proximity made any one of us uncomfortable. Often, one may not be able to decipher how these workshops are essential in the making of a 30-second long sex scene, until it actually plays out.”
Asserting that intimate scenes are also completely choreographed, Suwalka highlights that both actors are required to ask the other for consent before the camera rolls. “Both the woman and the man may feel vulnerable. Each one needs to discuss how he/she intends to touch the other during the shot. In our case, these trust exercises were particularly important because the director wanted it to appear like we were a married couple who were not having sex for the first time. We were also asked about the clothes that we were comfortable wearing.”
Ask her how matters would proceed if she was uncomfortable with the final product, and she gives credit to director Arunima Sharma for allowing hers to be the last call. “Due to certain situations, we had to be rather quick while shooting the scene. When we saw some rushes, there was one aspect that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I freaked out. I spoke to her, and she asked me for time to let her work with the rushes, and assured me that if I was unhappy with the edit, we’d discuss it. So, I was made to feel like the power was in my hands. There was a part I wasn’t happy with, and she also agreed that it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. So, we got rid of it.”