Isha Talwar’s portrayal of a feisty bahu who runs a drug empire with her mother in the recently released Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo, earned her rave reviews. It’s easy to assume that the actor may have needed to step out a comfort zone to essay a character like this, but Talwar says it was quite the opposite.
“Bijlee is not such a tough role for me. For me, playing girl-next-door, plain Jane, vanilla roles is far more difficult. Physically there are only two action sequences in the show and I enjoyed doing those,” says Talwar, adding, while it was not so tough, “I busted my eye during the action sequence and I had to rest it out for four days in a pitch dark room because it had becomes extremely light sensitive. So, only that bit was a challenge”.
The 35-year-old shares that she had an entirely different concern on her mind — she wanted to ensure the portrayal and storytelling of Bijlee, a character torn between a same-sex relationship and a marriage of convenience wasn’t just “on the surface”.
She elaborates, “Portrayals of LQBTQI+ characters are not very prominent in our cinema . With OTT, we are slowly exploring these relationships. But if you ask me, I was extremely apprehensive and had long chats with the director about playing the character when it was first offered to me.”
The Article 15 (2019) actor’s recent success has expanded her legion of fans, but Talwar, not too long ago, had no work even after appearing in the crowd favourite, Mirzapur.
“Everybody has their go-to actors and they are a bit closed about working with newer people. The same faces are repeated over and over because, in big commercial films, a lot of money is riding on the actors rather than the story of the film. That’s why it is difficult for many newcomers or talented performers to get sufficient opportunities in films,” she points, adding that Bollywood need not be such a “difficult industry to survive in” as people here have made it out to be. “Creativity does not thrive in such an atmosphere and it’s high time people realise that,” she asserts.
As she navigates her way in this industry, Talwar believes she has done well for herself so far. “My only pursuit is to do everything with my whole heart. I don’t like goals. I work in a very dynamic [industry] and I don’t wish to put unnecessary pressure on myself,” she ends.