Actor, and former RJ Piloo Vidyarthi had told Hindustan Times previously that she aims to create her own identity, following her publicised separation from Ashish Vidyarthi. Rightly so, she made her debut with Akelli alongside Nushrratt Bharuccha. In a fresh chat with us, Piloo shares what’s new in her life and work.
In the Pranay Meshram directorial, Piloo plays a distraught mother who fights for justice in India after her daughter (played by Nushrratt) gets caught in the civil war in Iraq. The film highlights her effort to escape from there. Piloo reveals how she connected with the character from the get-go.
“In the film, the mother who never stepped out of the house, goes to the embassy and protests outside their gates. In this situation, the media also surrounds her. She is someone who has never spoken to anyone publicly, in front of a camera or TV. I found the role very interesting.”
She relates to the role even more as she describes herself as an ‘indoorsy’ person. “During the premiere of Akelli, I asked my friend to come with me. I get scared seeing cameras and so many people all together. In fact, I told my director to wait for me at the gate ‘I had no idea if anyone was going to even recognise me, or the security might tell me to leave.’ I’m aam admi (commoner),” Piloo says with a laugh.
Nushrratt Bharuccha as a co-star
Talking about her work experience on the sets, Piloo describes the team as ‘realistic’ and calls the director ‘amazing.’ Coming to Nushrratt, she says, “As far as I have understood her, she is very professional and an intense actor. She gives her heart and soul to the film. She is very disciplined, and warm; no tantrum.”
Preparing for Akelli
Every actor has a way of preparing for their roles, and Piloo shares hers. “I connected to the story. I pictured my child being away from me, which he really is. I can never fake an emotion. I am a realistic person in general. In fact, I ever liked films since childhood and I used to stay away from visiting sets with my mother,” she says.
Not visiting sets with Shakuntala Barua
Ironically, Piloo is an actor now. She says, “I think I wasn’t attracted to films back then. This doesn’t mean there was a negative aspect about it, but I think it wasn’t my calling. I could never connect myself. But now I have worked with very interesting people with whom I can connect.”
Real tears in Akelli
“The women in me always responded to my character of the mother I am playing in Akelli. I am a mother too. My son is away. I get lonely and scared. But, I don’t lie to myself. I cry when I am hurt and smile when happy. For example, my son is in Texas. I know he is working in Tesla and that’s a celebration but I am a mother. In all my scenes, I never needed any help to make me cry. Those are my real tears,” she says.
Media craze around separation from Ashish Vidyarthi
Piloo breaks down in a scene from Akelli when she is surrounded by people and somehow Nushrratt manages to call her mother. In another, Piloo is seen chased by the media as she is caught in an ugly situation. Something similar happened when the news of Ashish’s second marriage came out first. Piloo recalls, “Ha, I had to prove myself and stand up. I had no idea what to do until my interview with Hindustan Times. There is a conspiracy of the universe. Somewhere, somehow things will fall into the right place and the puzzle will be solved.
“I remember the interview had gone viral. Everybody read it and debated like they were in parliament. Most of them said good things but there were 20-30 odd, frustrated who were spreading negativity like ‘I hear a fat alimony here’, ‘This is all eyewash’. It happens that’s how life is–kuch toh garbar hai (something is fishy); Divorce can’t be this easy. But I don’t think about it anymore.”
While Piloo made her debut in film after spending time in theatre, does her son think about it too? She denies clearly, “Arth was never interested in films. He is into music though, something he’s gotten from us. He has a guitar and keyboard at home.” After a successful entry into films, Piloo is now preparing for her upcoming single. She will be debuting as an independent artist. Meanwhile, she is also looking for auditions. “Looking for work is also a work, isn’t?”