The German bahu

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By How Suzanne Bernert became Konkona’s screen friend. Kushali Nag
  • Published 10.10.09

One of the few things Suzanne Bernert did after arriving in Mumbai five years back was watch Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane. So, the German from Lindau was in for a surprise when Shree Venkatesh Films called a few months back to offer her a role in Aparna’s new film.

Suzanne plays Mrinalini’s friend Julia in Aparna’s Iti Mrinalini, starring Konkona Sensharma in the lead. “Aparna Sen is a director to reckon with and I gladly accepted the offer,” smiles Suzanne on the sets of Iti Mrinalini.

Before hitting the Iti Mrinalini floors, Suzanne sat through a four-day workshop with Aparna at Konkona’s apartment in Mumbai. She has also watched 15 Park Avenue as part of her homework. “I love Konkona’s style of acting. She always does intense roles, but she is so bubbly and chirpy as a person,” says she.

Suzanne shifted base from Lindau to Mumbai in 2005 with the dream to become a stage artiste. Instead of theatre, she bagged a role in the Zee TV mega serial Astitva… Ek Prem Kahani. “Then, Balaji offered me the role of phirang bahu Doris in Kasautii Zindagii Kay. But theatre is my passion, so I met Dolly Thakore and Alyque Padamsee and came to know Akhil Mishra with whom I did the play Hello Spring for Prithvi Theatre. We tied the knot this year,” she adds with a shy smile.

TV finally opened the door to Bollywood — after a brief appearance in Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Suzanne has landed a role in Anees Bazmee’s No Problem, the sequel to No Entry. “I play Paresh Rawal’s wife in No Problem. There’s Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty in the film too,” adds Suzanne.

But her big Bollywood moment was when she shot a Titan commercial with Aamir Khan. “Aamir froze when I spoke to him in Hindi! I have learnt Hindi from the same teacher who taught Katrina Kaif and Yana Gupta.... Currently, I am busy with the Zee TV serial Jhansi Ki Rani. I had got an offer from Bigg Boss too but I was dropped. Maybe because I am not controversial!” chirps the Oshiwada resident who has a long to-do list in Calcutta apart from shooting for Iti Mrinalini.

“I plan to bring my play Hello Spring to Calcutta.... This is the first time I am in Calcutta but driving around, I felt a sudden familiarity with the city.” How? “Well, I have seen it in Satyajit Ray films!”