My role in ‘Channo’ is of a very innocent young pendoo girl who is left stranded by her husband whilst she is pregnant. The film tells the story of her journey from Punjab to Canada as she goes on a mission to find him.
You were really pregnant throughout the movie. How was it for you being pregnant and having to cope with demanding schedules whilst shooting?
Yes, I was about 8 months pregnant by time the film wrapped up. To be honest because I was the producer of the film too I didn’t really get much time to think about it. It was tough, but I did it thankfully.
I know that he’s such a brilliant actor and I know his theatre side of work so we always knew that we wanted him for the film so it was important for us to get his dates and get him scheduled in. Obviously I wasn’t going to do this film after pregnancy so it was great for us everything fell into place and things worked out.
We’ve the serious side of you at times in your previous film, but majority of your films have been comedies. How is it for as an actress to get the opportunity to play a different kind of role that you’ve been used to?
It’s wonderful and I feel really satisfied as an actor. At the end of the day I would finish feeling really satisfied to play this emotional yet simple role of a girl who doesn’t wear make-up and is quite traditional. Being pregnant really helped too, because I wasn’t acting it – it was all very real. Otherwise when women play being pregnant it can look very fake, but a lot of motions and the pregnancy type of movements I did were for real.
I think it’s a really different film for the industry. It’s a very entertaining film but we have taken on a very important issue and tried to bring light to that. It’s got a really good mix of suspense, music, love etc – and it really is a very good film.
How does it feel to be a mum?
It’s fabulous! I have never actually felt this confident in all my life before. It’s like I have found this new found confidence. Look, I’ve even chopped off my hair. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but only have the guts now.
Does this mean you may take a bit of a break now? Not that you did whilst shooting either!
Erm, I don’t know. Things in my life always happen so spontaneously so I don’t plan, so let’s see what happens.
This film was produced by yourself and your husband. What was it like working together?
Oh, there were days when I wanted to strangle him, but I kept calm! Hat’s off to producers because producing is such a challenging job. I apologise to anyone on set who I bugged or bothered too much because you actually are in charge of everything which is a lot of pressure. We made this film as such a small team so it was tough at times, but we did and are proud of what we achieved.
I was exhausted by the end of day to be honest! Before going on set I would be checking that everyone was here and things were in place and I would need to sort out so many things, and then get into my character and play my role. It was challenging but it was an amazing experience.
What did you most enjoy about shooting for ‘Channo’?
Seeing our idea come to life and seeing these to characters live up to what we had imagined and seen.
Is there a particular scene in the movie that you enjoyed shooting the most?
To be honest I enjoyed every single bit of making this movie! Not the last day though…because we shot from early till throughout the night till the next morning – that was really hard!
You have been in Punjabi cinema for quite some time now. How have you seen Punjabi cinema and the perception of Punjabi cinema change over the years?
I have been a part of the industry from the days when it was so cool to now, when it’s actually really cool. A lot of today’s youth and internationally people are really connected to Punjabi cinema now. There was a time when people didn’t even want to speak Punjabi openly because it was considered Pendoo, but now that’s not the case and everyone is connecting more to the culture. I just wish there was actually more for women to do within the industry and we had more females involved. So many young girls go and watch Punjabi films, yet the industry is lacking in female role models in many aspects.
So what do you have planned next?
Well firstly I need to recover our money for ‘Channo’ – so that’s the first aim, to make the movie a success. Then let’s see what happens next.
Finally, a message for all your fans reading this interview.
Lots of love to you all always. Please go and watch ‘Channo and please do avoid piracy, thank you always!