If Bejoy Nambiar rings you up and says he’s written a role for you in one of his films, and wants you to play that character, then you don’t say no,” begins Rubi Chakravarti, one of the stars of the recently released film, David. Luckily for us, she, “after doing a dance and screaming internally”, said yes.
The film, directed by Nambiar, stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Tabu, Lara Dutta and super star Vikram among others and is like a trilogy all in one. Chakravarti, who plays Vikram’s mother, says the character isn’t too far from her real personality. Aside from the fact that it may perhaps be less vivacious, the character is a strong one with a close relationship with her son. “I’ve always been a hands-on mother to my two children, so this powerful bond was easy enough to portray on the screen. Vikram, of course, makes it easier,” she says, adding that her co-star even had to tolerate a resound, hard slap from her. “Unfortunately, I got it right in the first take,” she laments, mischievously.
Speaking about working with a star like Vikram, Chakravarti says he is tremendously professional and knows the craft of filmmaking perfectly. “One can only learn from him. He has no airs and graces. He’s so generous with his advice and is very encouraging, especially with junior artistes,” she says. When asked what he was like off the sets, pat comes the reply: “Oh, he’s a doll. He’ll just charm the pants off you! He’s outrageously flirtatious, and I love it.” Her respect for Nambiar too is apparent when she speaks of him as someone who is “intense and an absolute perfectionist”. And the best thing about him, according to this Bangalore-based theatre veteran and comedian, is that he “lets actors do their thing, because he has faith in them which is why he chose them”.
This isn’t the first time Chakravarti worked with the Shaitaan director. She first worked on a theatre production in Bangalore with him, so says it was a surprise that he tracked her down for this role. Chakravarti believes it is the depth of character that she was able to bring to the screen. And although, she’d love to dance and sing around trees, it is a role that in some way reflects her personality.
With four films in her kitty, Chakravarti says she’s living the life she loves and it is all unplanned. “I’ve done plays, films, comedy, writing and much more, and they all have such different methods of professionalism that I cannot pin-point one as my favourite. Add to that, I make sure I am still very much around for my babies,” she says proudly, adding that it is only thanks to her family that she is so grounded after receiving adoration and accolades for her endeavours. “If my kids and husband made a big deal of me then I’d have been big-headed. But they sort of take me for granted. I’m just a mum. That is what keeps me rooted,” says the star, who loves that her work space offers her a platform to address serious issues in a less intense and approachable manner.
So will we see her in more films in the future? “Insha’Allah”, she says, signing off.