I want to let the emotions of the character connect with the audience: Dia Mirza

After a long gap, Dia Mirza will be seen once again on the silver screen as Manyata Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani directed Sanju - a biopic on Sanjay Dutt. In an interview with the media, she shares some insights about the preparation

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Ever since the release of Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, if there is one character which has impressed people besides the titular role, it is Manyata Dutt’s character played by Dia Mirza. The actress will be back to the 70mm screen after a long time. In a media interaction, she shares her experience of being a part of this much-awaited biopic.

Talking about accepting the film, she said, “When Raju sir (Rajkumar Hirani) called me for Sanju, I was ecstatic. I was leaving for a vacation at that time when he called and asked me to come to the office immediately and hear the script once. We were planning to shoot in a week’s time. I met him right after and when he narrated this script, I said a yes right away. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but I wanted to give it a try with a look test. All the departments were then put on standby. I was terrified. A lot of changes happened physically – with the hair, mole etc., but in the end, it went well, and here we are!”

Dia and Sanjay Dutt have earlier worked together in many films, but one which was popular was Lage Raho Munnabhai. Playing a significant role in his biopic involves a lot of research and study, as the character is closely related to his life. Talking about her relationship with the man himself, she said, “I was a very much part of his life and since 2005, I have done 6 feature films with him. That professional phase was surreal and there was a certain sense we had built. But now when I think about it, I realise that I was far from reality. All these years I thought I knew him, but I really did not. Now when I’m doing the film, I have become closer to the person he is. I have developed an innate natural empathy to the characters involved in his life and I’m responding to it. I believe it is not about impressing someone with the physical looks and features. I want to connect with emotions and let them translate to the audience. People should connect with the story and that is also what Raju sir wanted.”

Manyata married Sanjay in 2006, after a two-year relationship. She has been his support ever since then, and the duo now has two children. Talking about preparing for the role and making sure she resembles his lady, Dia said, “I did as Manyata was based on Raju Sir and Abhijat’s input. I always borrowed from the context and content of the scene. I did study her interviews and watched videos to understand the nuances. To be honest, I’m not myself at all in the film. There are some characters we play at times which are not us, and this is one of them for me. I did work on my voice texture, modulation, and other aspects to stay close to who she is.”

Sanju releases on June 29, 2018, and stars Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.


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