On Monday, the cast of Anurag Basu's highly anticipated multi-starrer Ludo came together for a virtual press-conference. Apart from the director and producer Bhushan Kumar from T-Series, the actors Abhishek Bachchan, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Rohit Saraf, Pearle Maaney and child actor Inayat Verma were in attendance.
Moderated by the filmmaker himself, the cast gave a lot of information about what went on the sets of the film and their experience of working with Basu. When he asked Abhishek Bachchan if he was apprehensive of being part of a film with an ensemble cast, the actor said, "Can I be brutally honest, I had no idea that there was an ensemble cast, I didn't know what the story was. I didn't know anything. If you ask any of the actors, I think they will tell you the same thing. My fear about this press conference is someone will ask us what the story is and we will say we don't even know. Everyone will say the same thing. One day Anurag Basu came to me and said that he wants to make a film, so we joined because of him. What happened after that we don't know.
"The first day I came on set. We were shooting with Pankaj ji and Adi, and that's when I realised, 'oh they are also there in the movie'. So I thought okay great let's proceed.' They will all agree with me. At the end of the day, I think everybody was associated with this film because we got to work with Dada (Basu). He is somebody whose work I have admired for many years and we had been trying to work together. So I think it was a no-brainer. In life it is also nice sometimes just to take a leap of faith," said Bachchan.
Abhishek also said that the filmmaker's process is unique, he never over-briefs his actors and wants them to be instinctive. He added that Basu wants the performance to be as natural as possible.
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Rajkummar said, "Dada said that my character's name was Aloo because you can pair the vegetable with any dish, be it ‘methi’ or ‘palak’, and it will become perfect. That was very interesting to me, when you first gave this statement to me. I knew that if you (Basu) are making something, it would be something good. When we were doing our look test, we were testing different hair patches and you said that I look like Mithun. So we decided to base our character with Mithun Da. I think it was such a good thing because as an actor I had so much fun. He dances when he is happy or sad.”
He is paired opposite Fatima Sana Shaikh. She talked about her character in the film, "This was the first time I was playing a character like this. I think she's a bit weird, and has shades of gray. It was really fun. Usually as actors we try to keep the characters in a slot. We ask questions about how she will be, and what she must be thinking. But with Basu, this isn't possible, you cannot think. And I think that is the beauty of working with you. With Pinki, the character was just so raw, you were discovering her while we were working, you were making me explore her while we were shooting. At the end, I got to know she was very sweet and simple and gorgeous too," she explained.
Sanya Malhotra was asked about her character looking like a 'gold-digger' during the narration. To this, she said, "I won't call her a gold-digger. She is someone who has a very clear picture in her mind about what she wants. From childhood, she has decided the kind of boy she will get married to. Gold-digger has a very negative connotation to it and I wouldn't call her that."
Anurag Basu also raved about Aditya Roy Kapur learning the art of ventriloquism in the film. To this, Kapur reacted, "It is one of the perks of being an actor, you get to learn new stuff. I had a very good teacher Satyajeet Upadhyay who was great and I just took it as opportunity to learn something new. Also it was an opportunity to mess around like the character. I didn't have much faith in my own dubbing skills so I just thought that we should do something new."
Actor Pankaj Tripathi's character was described as a connection for all other characters. The actor said that this was his first experience of surrendering himself completely to the director. He said that he did not know what was coming next for the track of his character and that was interesting. "I told myself, like doesn't have a script for tomorrow. Just like in life, where there is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh navigating our life, the director will navigate my character," Tripathi explained.
Ludo will be releasing directly on Netflix on November 12, 2020.