Suchitra Pillai has been a part of various projects such as Fashion, Page 3, Made In Heaven, but she is popularly remembered as the horrible ex-girlfriend of Sameer (Saif Ali Khan) from Dil Chahta Hai.
During an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, for her upcoming web-series Betaal, she told us that wherever she goes, Priya from Dil Chahta Hai follows.
So I will be seeing you after a long time on screen.
Yes. After a long time.
Actually no, a few days ago I saw you in Dil Chahta Hai.
Oh yeah. So yes you saw me...in a totally different avatar.
So little off the topic from Betaal, when you played Priya in Dil Chahta Hai, did you fear that people might think of you to be that horrible ex-girlfriend?
Oh yeah, of course, the fact is people do yaar, they get intimidated by me. It's very strange because I am completely different in real life, and the first impression people have is that I'm that horrible ex-girlfriend. Then later they come and tell me that I was intimidated by you yaar, later on, they come and say that we thought that you are this cut and dry character. Even while shooting for Betaal, even Viineet and Aahana (Viineet Kumar and Aahana Kumra) came and told me. Viineet told me that he thought I was very cut and dry, people remember me from Dil Chahta Hai and say thank god we don't have a girlfriend like you but we wish we have a girlfriend like you. But people do feel intimidated but it is good to see that, people say why do you do these negative characters, I say it is good to be bad yaar, but an actor what more is it to play a character that you are not, for an actor it makes it all the more interesting.
Okay, so lets come to Betaal, what is your idea of civilisation? Since there was a lot of reference to the word in the trailer of the show.
In what way? Are you talking about C-I-V-I-L-I-S-A-T-I-O-N?
Yes. There was a lot of reference to civilisation in the trailer of Betaal.
When you talk about civilisation there are different types of civilisation over different periods of time, eras and centuries. What is interesting about Betaal is the fact that is the belief which you see, in the village. You see that in there, in Betaal, there is a completely different kind of civilisation. In the village that you will see, people that you see over here, you will see that they are a completely different kind of civilisation. Despite us being from a different world. You wouldn't believe that in this day and age people would live like that, in that way, we fail to understand their traditions, their language, the things that they are doing. (I'm not getting the word), you know the mythology they follow, the belief that they follow you will see a completely different civilisation.
When we read a horror story or watch a horror film we often feel haunted. You acted in one. Did you feel haunted like that when you were shooting for Betaal?
I have to admit, I got scared. When we were shooting, the eerie factor was there in Betaal, and it got me sometimes. Sometimes when I was alone in the dressing room, I would get startled. Had my husband been here he would get really scared of me. One incident I gotta tell you, when we were shooting in Khandala, what I realised afterwards was that that place was actually haunted. I was told this at 3.30 am when I was returning to Bombay. I was told that it was there on YouTube and it was everywhere. I got so scared, I was running up and down without knowing this. But it actually added authenticity to Betaal, we were shooting at a location known for its eerie nature. So that was very scary, and I was wondering if something bad would happen. It was spine chilling.
In a clip shared by Netflix, you were forced to carry out an encounter.
So you know my character knows what she wants, she knows what to do, she knows why she is doing it. Generally, no one can tell her what to do. It is her choices what she has made, that its not an encounter it is an evacuation. She feels that this encounter with the villagers is wrong because she has a conscience. She knows this is not something she should do, because she has done something before, this makes her think. There's this other side of her where she has to follow orders, and her hands her tied. She has to do it, even though there's this dilemma in her head when it comes to the work, she says you gotta do it, so you gotta do it. So you appreciate that she is so stern, you know where she is coming from and why she has to.