Filmmaker Apoorva Lakhia’s Haseena Parkar has actor Shraddha Kapoor playing a negative character for the first time. The biopic that started screening on Friday is based on the life and times of dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s sister Haseena and has the actor sharing the screen space with her real brother Siddhant as Dawood.
Siddhant was signed first by Apoorva. “I couldn’t believe that Apoorva wanted me to play the part because I could not imagine myself as Dawood Ibrahim. Apoorva was confident that I would be able to do it. But he wanted me to convince him that I look that part,” says Siddhant, who took his father Shakti Kapoor’s clothes from the 70s, borrowed sunglasses and did a look test with a photographer friend. Apoorva liked it, and he was on board.
Shraddha wasn’t the first choice for Haseena Parkar—she got the role after Sonakshi Sinha backed out due to date issues. The 30-year-old actress knew nothing about Haseena, but relied a lot on Apoorva’s research for her role that chronicles the mafia queen from a teenager to a 40-year-old mother of four and how she ended becoming the Godmother of Nagpada. “It was an emotionally challenging role, and I loved the story of Haseena, who was fondly called Aapa. It’s a real-life character, who has faced so many hardships in life and suffered so much loss in life,” says Shraddha.
“Apoorva had met Haseena and spent time with her. He had a good understanding of her character, which came handy for me.” To get as close to Haseena as possible, she gained seven to nine kilos and used prosthetics. Siddhant read up a lot on Dawood and attended workshops. “It was easy to work with Shraddha as we share a great bond as siblings,” he says.
The film also stars Ankur Bhatia as Haseena’s husband Ibrahim Parkar, Rajesh Tailang as her defence lawyer Shyam Keswani, and Priyanka Setia as a public prosecutor. Shraddha is prepping for another biopic, this time on badminton player Saina Nehwal, and is working in Saaho with Bahubali actor Prabhas, while Siddhant will be seen in Paltan.