Actors Sonam Kapoor and Dhanush are going through a month of intense training and workshops to prep for their roles in their upcoming film Ranjhana. Actor Shahid Kapoor is attending language classes to prep up for his upcoming film. Apparently actors Farhan Akhtar and Ranbir Kapoor too underwent workshops to prepare for their roles in their upcoming films.
Similarly, Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra also went through rigorous workshops for Ishaqzaade. While industry observers point out that having such workshops have been around, they agree that there’s been a definite rise in the number of filmmakers insisting their actors undergo workshops before shooting for films.
Interestingly, today actors are also more open to such workshops vis-a-vis in the past, when actors considered it an insult to their star status. “I don’t see anything demeaning in going through such a workshop,” says Sonam.
“While there are actors who still swear by spontaneity, there are many of them, who are keen on attending such workshops as it helps them get acclimatised to their characters better. It’s all the more in films where actors play characters that are far removed from their original self,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta, citing recent Ishaqzaade as a case in point.
Nahta adds that the workshop helped the actors understand the life of small towns better, something that would be alien to them otherwise.
Filmmakers point out that workshops are a widely practised norm in the West, while here, it used to mostly be associated with the parallel cinema makers. “Now that they are getting more mainstream with commercial actors, there’s a combination of varied styles of filmmaking too,” adds director Dibakar Banerjee.
Nahta reveals workshops were encouraged by art house filmmakers as their films had smaller budgets. “The idea is to shoot the best scenes in minimum reels. That way they do not have to waste too many reels in getting something right in many takes,” adds Nahta.
The workshops being welcomed in mainstream cinema is also a sign of changing times. “Today there’s a breed of actors and also stars, who are ready to walk that extra mile to make their character as authentic as possible,” says filmmaker Subhash Ghai.
Actor Kalki Koechlin seconds it. “Workshops do not mean compromising with the spontaneity at all. It just means getting under the skin of the character that much more,” she says, adding, “so workshops are definitely welcome.”