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'Crackdown' being your OTT debut and now having worked on season 2, how has the journey been?
I feel grateful to Apoorva for having offered me the role of Garima Kalra. He was clear that it is a negative character, an ISI agent and people aren't going to expect this from me. The character involves physical combat and is fiery. I put my trust in him because before this, I hadn't been offered anything out of the box. I was nervous about bringing back the character for season 2 because expectations are so high. You don't usually see people loving a negative character but this one leaves me feeling so blessed.
How did you bring Garima to life?
I'm a director's actor and a keen observer. Besides that actors need to tap into emotions of the past or present, sadness, disappointment and being let down. There's a scene where Garima is talking to her husband and finds out that her marriage is crumbling and the man has been cheating on her. She feels like her whole life is falling apart and she is left begging and pleading. Personally, I've gone through heartbreak more than once and I can tell you it's the most dissapointing time in your life, it's soul crushing.
Any BTS moments that cracked you up?
By the time we started shooting season two, I had got into the skin of the character. She's a fearless, fiesty and sassy woman who isn't scared of anything or anyone. She's so ruthless that she would do anything for the cause. Throughout season one Garima is the one throwing punches but in season two I had a scene with Saqib Saleem where I was supposed to take a punch or two. The cameras were rolling and I had got into the thick skin of Garima, so when Saqib threw the punch I started defending myself which wasn't part of the script. Everyone had to stop shooting and convince me to take a punch this time!
Working with Apoorva Lakhia...
Apoorva is so methodical and once we get on set it's just execution, homework is done prior the shoot. He pampers his actors from day one with flowers, gifts in our vans and great food on set.
You also did 'Tanaav' based on terrorism in Kashmir...
The character was emotionally draining because you have to get into the skin of what people living in a land that is torn feel. It is taxing emotionally, physically and mentally but I also find it liberating to be able to express in so many different ways.