Thursday, 15 November 2018

Flora Saini: I was destined to play Stree

Flora Saini: I was destined to play Stree
03 Sep

She’s worked with Nagesh Kukunoor in the films ‘Dhanak’ and ‘Lakshmi’, and she’s also been a part of the cast in Vidya Balan’s ‘Begum Jaan’. Flora Saini has worked dozens of South films too. But chances are if you’ve watched ‘Stree’ recently, you would not be able to guess that the actress behind the intimidating apparition in the film is Flora. In what was one of Bollywood’s best kept secrets off late, no one knew Flora was playing the Stree in the film. She was a closely guarded secret and the actress though anxious to see reactions to her part, had accepted the reality of being anonymous, at least till the film’s release. She says, “I was nervous and excited to see how people would react to my role and especially my appearance. The people who worked with me on creating the look, from the costume, make-up and VFX departments of ‘Stree, had all warned me that no one would recognise me in the film. After the early screenings on Friday, I got confirmation of that fact, when my friends and family who saw the film, failed to realise that I was playing Stree.”
But Flora doesn’t mind the anonymity at all, because she was convinced about the prospects of the film, from the time she first read the script. She adds, “As an actor, I understand the fact that the character and the film is a lot more important. In fact, I always knew that ‘Stree’ would strike a chord with the audiences. When I first read the script, the mix of horror and comedy caught my attention in an instant. I’m a big fan of Raj and DK’s ‘Go Goa Gone’ and writer Sumit Arora has done a fabulous job writing ‘Stree’s dialogues too. It’s such a funny and interesting film, that I always knew it would work wonders.” Flora reveals that once the positive reviews and word-of-mouth started pouring in, she felt even more excited.”
Remarkably, Flora had first turned down the offer to work in the film. She reveals, “Shiv, my friend was handling the casting of the film. He pitched a role of a prostitute which required just one day’s work for shooting with Rajkummar Rao. I turned it down and since Shiv is my friend, I joked with him, that he’d just offered me a role for just one day of work. Later he called me for another audition and I met another friend and actress who was there to audition for the role of the prostitute. When I saw her audition, I was instantly hooked to the lines and the accent. I asked Shiv, if this was the same role that he’d offered me?” After realising that she’d turned down an exciting part, Flora expressed her desire to be part of the film. She adds, “A few days later, I got a call from Amar (Kaushik, director) sir that he wanted to offer me the title role. I jumped at the opportunity, even though Shiv and Amar sir wanted me to know that the role had no dialogues. I just wanted to be part of this quirky and interesting film. And I guess, even after turning down a part, I still got to play the title role. I was destined to play Stree.”
Flora will be seen next in the Marathi film, ‘Pari Hoon Main’, where she will be playing the role of a Bollywood star.


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