When she was much younger and living and studying in London - Parineeti Chopra was a train traveller. And travelling in a train for the film TGOTT not just gave her a sense of déjà vu, but life came full circle for her.
Or someone who always had to buy a ticket to travel in trains in Old Blighty and around England, she was even travelling free and getting paid for it as well.
“I am sure you may be aware that London is like a second home for me. I have studied there and I have a lot of friends there. My family is also there. My experiences on the trains have always been in London. But it is a very different feeling when you are boarding the train without a ticket and as an actor to shoot a movie scene. I felt so emotional that I used to travel in these very trains over a decade ago to search for work, and to go to work And I am sitting in those very trains and someone is taking my shots and my close ups,” says Parineeti who even worked at the Manchester United Football Club and has also been a banker.
“I guess this is life. My name Patineeti means destiny. And I do believe a lot in destiny myself. So it was like an amalgamation of multiple experiences coming together,” she philosophises.
The girl who picked up happy go lucky kind of characters delved deep into a genre like this for the first time.
“I wanted to break the monotony of the he kind of films that roles I have been doing and were offered to me and I was selecting, I wanted to do something where I could surprise people and people would tell me that they had never seen me before in that role and hence I am glad to the makers that they think I could be able to pull the role off,” says Parineeti Chopra about the makers of her film adding that an actor gets typecast and gets similar roles
“Actors have the hunger to do all kinds of roles but you cannot do it till you get an opportunity,” says Parineeti.
Parineeti has no qualms accepting that she had herself offered herself to play the role of the makers.
“The offer for this film was not the routine one where you get a call and you are asked to read a script and then you agree to do the film. I was getting saturated with my film choices. It was my fault as well because I was selecting such roles and how different can you get? I had been hearing stories for around 2 years that a film like this was being made. I am an avid reader and we have loads of books at home and I have read this book by Paula Hawkins. I heard about the film and realised that the casting was done. But then two years passed and nothing had moved on the film. So I felt that I should now take an initiative and ask about it. I reached out to them and asked them if I could read the script if they felt I was good enough to be cast. And they replied stating that they were also thinking of contacting me for the film. Well, destiny again was the big deal here and I did the film,” she admits candidly.
The actress also discarded her SOPs (Standard Operative Procedures) while doing the project. “When I would read a scene I would ideally give my standard reaction or performance. So I would read the script one and then scrap that action or reaction and then try something new. I would always feel that the first reaction was from me as a person. So the joke was that we didn’t want to see good acting – we wanted to see new acting. I would then cancel the normal way I spoke my lines and did so much homework. I had a large mirror in my room as I was playing an alcoholic and I am not one in real life. So I wanted to see how one looked, how the eyes looked and how the walk was before I shot for the film the next day. I would rehearse every night for my scenes before reaching the set the next day,” she says.
Parineeti says that the film has changed her as a person “I would always want to top in class. I was a geeky academic student and I would always keep wanting to ask questions to my teacher. This was my system and I was a banker before I became an actress. But this film changed me as a person and as an actor. No mediocre take was okayed in the film. I was scolded for bad takes and praised for good ones. So I realised that these are the kind of films I want to do. I feel that all my future choices will be influenced by this. I have Saina Nehwal releasing after this and then the shoot of Animal (with Ranbir Kapoor) . But my process has changed. The way I choose and read scripts also has. I work harder now. I wish the film had come earlier I would have been ‘set’ before,” she giggles.
The actress is also proud of her cousin from Hollywood – Priyanka Chopra.
“The White Tiger is such an amazing film. I am so proud of my actress and producer sister. She has spent just a few years in Hollywood and I am so happy with her associations and success. She has set great benchmarks for all of us,” signs of Parineeti.