As Anupam Kher starrer 'The Accidental Prime Minister' clocked two years, actress Suzanne Bernert took a trip down the memory lane and spoke about the challenging aspects of essaying the role of politician Sonia Gandhi in the film.
In an exclusive conversation with The Free Press Journal, the actress shared, "I used to come in the morning looking like me and then head upstairs to my stunning makeup room (the film was shot in a mini castle), get ready and come downstairs to shoot as Sonia Gandhi. Then, after pack up, I would come down as myself again. One fine evening, while standing on the doorstep, I was having a chat with people of the unit about the lighting, sound and the different areas... One guy asked me what I was actually doing on the set. I said that I was acting in the movie, and he replied, 'Yeah, but I see you in the morning, and then you disappear, and then you come back in the evening... I don't see you acting.' I said that I was in front of the camera the whole day."
"Then I understood that he could not recognise me as the blonde, blue-eyed woman when I was in Sonia Gandhi's getup. I will always cherish this moment because that meant we were doing something right," the actress added.
Talking about the most challenges she faced while playing the president of the Indian National Congress and how she prepared for the role, Bernert said, "I have always been a director’s actor. I was given some videos, archival footage and photos. So I didn’t have to search for all the references on her. I just went through the videos I got, on repeat. That way you are planting a seed of the persona in you. What she sounds like, how she moves. It is very different from playing a fictional character."
"Later you start reading lines from the script and try to embody the person you are portraying, experiment with the walk, the gestures. One doesn't want the portrayal to become mimicry. That was the challenge," the German-born Indian actress added.
'The Accidental Prime Minister', which hit the big screens on January 11, 2019, is based on the memoir by Indian policy analyst Sanjaya Baru - Manmohan Singh’s media advisor between 2004 and 2008.
The political drama also featured Arjun Mathur as Rahul Gandhi, Vimal Verma (Lalu Prasad Yadav), Avtar Sahni (Lal Krishna Advani), and Ram Avtar (Atal Bihari Vajpayee).