Esha Gupta in Raaz 3
After Jannat 2 earlier this year, Esha Gupta will be seen in yet another Bhatt film this Friday. Raaz 3 has the former Kingfisher model playing a victim of black magic with lips that lure Mr Serial Kisser. A t2 chat.
What response have you got to the Raaz 3 promos?
People are giving me good response. Most are saying that it looks like a film where I am there more than Jannat 2, where I really didn’t have much to do… it was a boys’ film predominantly. That is also making me very nervous because that means the audience is expecting a lot out of me. I am also very excited… so I guess it’s mixed emotions.
Did you benefit from Jannat 2 at all?
Well, people noticed me and that was a good thing. I didn’t have an author-backed role but my character was the catalyst for the film’s drama and that really helped bring me to people’s notice. I will always look at Jannat 2 as a very special film because it got me my next two films — Raaz 3 and Chakravyuh.
How tough was it playing a tormented victim in Raaz 3?
It was not easy to do this film. I, of course, knew what was going to happen in the scenes, but I was still very scared because in horror films, a lot depends on instinct and on spur-of-the-moment action and reaction. And to act scared is also very tough! Till the time you feel fear you can’t really act scared. It took a lot out of me emotionally and physically because I had to psyche myself up to that level so that I would get goosebumps and the fear would actually show on my face.
But Vikram (Bhatt) is a fabulous director. It’s only for him and for (Mahesh) Bhattsaab (the producer of Raaz 3) that I was able to put so much conviction into my scenes. In the beginning, I wasn’t very comfortable with the emotional scenes and Bhattsaab actually spent time on the sets to support me. That’s such a huge thing for any newcomer.
How was it sharing screen space with Bipasha Basu?
We just had two or three scenes together. She was always so sweet that there was no scope to feel any kind of fakeness. I never even expected her to acknowledge me, but on the very first day, she walked up to me and said ‘hi’ and hugged me. I was so taken aback... everyday on the sets she would greet everyone.
Emraan Hashmi was your co-star in your first film. Did you guys connect better this time around?
Ya, ya definitely. Jannat 2 was more of a learning experience for me where I was still trying to find my way about. I still am, to be honest, but it’s got a lot easier for me from my first film to my second. Emraan was very helpful even during Jannat 2 and when I came to know that he would be there in Raaz 3 too, I was happy because it’s always easier to be comfortable with your co-star in a film that is as tough as this.
Did that mean you were far more comfortable kissing him this time around?
He’s quite a veteran, isn’t he? (Laughs) Kissing is never easy on screen, but it is to Emraan’s credit that I didn’t feel uneasy even for a moment. Unlike Jannat 2 where I was extremely nervous about the kissing scenes, here it was easier because I know him a little better now.
You guys have apparently kissed for 20 minutes in Raaz 3!
(Laughs) Yes, it’s quite a long kiss, but nowhere is it close to 20 minutes! But yes, we did kiss long and hard! See, the kiss was integral to the plot because my character (Sanjana) is going through tough times and she seeks support from Emraan’s character (Aditya). Aditya is the only guy that Sanjana trusts when things start going terribly wrong for her.
After this, you have Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh.
I got lucky because all my directors have been great. Vikram understands a woman’s emotions very well and Prakash sir is such a genius. His style of working is so different… he started writing dialogues for us after he met us, because he wanted to get to know us first and then fill in the gaps. It was such a learning experience sharing screen space with Arjun (Rampal) and Abhay (Deol). I just feel so blessed that Prakash sir chose to take a newcomer like me for such an important role in such an important film.