'We live in times where love and relationships have a different meaning. People take it very casually. People get sexually bored easily and are always looking for something exciting.'
'I see it happening around me. I know people, who are married or in relationships, get excited with these things.'
Tara Alisha Berry on life as she sees it.
Tara Alisha Berry made her Bollywood debut with the adult film Mastram, and is following it up with another bold film called Love Games.
Directed by Vikram Bhatt, the film also stars Patralekha and Gaurav Arora, and will release on April 8.
Patralekha may have felt uncomfortable with the intimate scenes but Tara says she was born to act.
She chats with Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hegde.
Tell us about your character in Love Games.
My character Alisha falls in love with Gaurav Arora's character. My character has a lot of variations.
Alisha is in an abusive relationship. I have never faced anything like this in real life so to make it look authentic on screen was difficult. Initially, we had to spend a lot of time with Vikram Bhatt sir and Bhattsaab (Mahesh, producer) to get to know our characters.
By the time we reached Cape Town for the shoot, we were set and knew what we were doing.
Bhattsaab and Vikram sir have become our mentors. They show their women characters in a refined and powerful way. I have signed a three-film deal with the Bhatts.
Television actor Hiten Tejwani plays your husband in the film.
Yes. He is a darling and I loved working with him. He is a brilliant actor and a wonderful co star. My mother is a big fan of him and I told him that.
We had two days in Cape Town before the shoot started, so we explored the place and hung out a lot.
Shooting for a scene where I'm physically abused was really difficult, and he really helped me out.
Was it awkward to shoot intimate scenes with Gaurav?
Any vulnerable scene -- whether intimate or not -- is uncomfortable to do.
I probably would have felt vulnerable as a character but not as an actor. As an actor, it may take 30-40 seconds more than a normal scene because people are watching you.
Gauram and I had already become friends by the time we started shooting the intimate scenes. He’s a darling in these scenes. He is one of those people, who will always ask you if you are comfortable.
Were there any insecurities as there are two parallel leads in the film?
Actors are always insecure because you want to do the best and be liked by all, and the feeling of wanting to be liked by everyone will always make you insecure.
I know Patralekha from before because I know (her actor boyfriend) Rajkummar Rao through common friends. I knew she was hardworking and somebody who would give it her all.
On the script level, this film cannot work without three of us: Patralekha, Gaurav and me. The story is intrinsically woven with these people, so it will work only if all of us work. So everybody wanted to perform well for the film to work; there was no insecurity.
Are you guys in touch with each other after the shooting?
Yes. The three of us and Vikram sir's daughter (Krishna) are of the same age, so we hang out together. We spend our birthdays together.
Have you come across people in the film industry, who are like your character in the film?
It does happen. Not only in the industry but in society as well.
We live in times where love and relationships have a different meaning. People take it very casually. People get sexually bored easily and are always looking for something exciting.
I see it happening around me. I know people, who are married or in relationships, get excited with these things.
But it's beyond me. I come from the old school. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that's why I have been hurt and taken for granted many times.
At the same time, I would not be any other way. I don't believe in love games.
What kind of movies would you like to feature in?
More than the kind of movies I want to do, I have a list of directors I want to work with!
I want to work with Vikram Sir and Anurag Basudada, who directed me in the tele-film Chokher Bali.
Also, Vikramaditya Motwani, Imtiaz Ali, Aanand L Rai and Ayan Mukherjee. These people make films that are relatable and have real characters with interesting stories. Their films are brilliant, and the story is the hero of the film.
I want to work with actors like Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor. I have been a fan of Ranveer since his first film. He is one of those actors who is not afraid to be vulnerable on screen and I just love that.
How did acting happen for you?
At 16, I realised that this is the field where I can express myself creatively.
My father (the late businessman-film financier Gautam Berry) wanted me to write or direct, so I did a course in screenwriting, production and direction in the US. I love writing and acting. I have written scripts too.
I feel I was born to act. I can’t see myself not doing this. People ask me if am afraid of being typecast but for me, these things are irrelevant. I am going to work in this field till the day I die.
I am trained in method acting (in California), I did a professional course in theatre, and done plays as well.
How did you family react to your decision?
My family is proud of whatever work I do.
When I did Mastram, they wondered if it was the right kind of a film for me but they were happy after they watched it.
My dad passed away a couple of years ago but he saw my work. He would have been super proud of me.
Sikander Kher is your half brother (Kirron Kher was married to Gautam Berry previously) and you are related to Sharmila Tagore. Are you in touch with them?
My parents divorced when I was nine years old, so I moved to Bangalore and lived with my aunt and grandmother. When parents split, your time is split between them. I was totally secluded from my extended family, and wasn't in touch with the film industry at all.
Sikander is very good in the film Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive. I have messaged him. When I came back to Mumbai, I never approached anyone for work because I never had connections.
My mama (mother's brother) is married to Sharmila Tagore’s sister. I have met Saif Ali Khan maybe twice as a kid, but not after that.