Radha Bhatt Shares A Funny Incident From The Sets Of Sunflower, Her OTT Debut, And More In This Exclusive Interaction With ZEE5
Actress Radha Bhatt will be seen essaying the role of Mrs Ahuja on Sunflower, premiering on 11th June 2021. We recently got in touch with the actress to talk about her OTT debut with ZEE5, her experience of working on Sunflower and more.
Indian Television and Bollywood actress, Radha Bhatt, is all set to make her big OTT Debut with ZEE5’s upcoming Original series titled Sunflower. The series is helmed by Vikas Bahl and Rahul Sengupta and will star Sunil Grover, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukul Chaddha, Sonal Jha, Ranvir Shorey and others in prominent roles. Sunflower web series revolves around a murder committed in the Sunflower Society and the investigations that follows it. Radha Bhatt plays the role of Mrs Ahuja, a married woman in her late 30s who lives with her 9-year-old son and her husband Mr Ahuja (Mukul Chaddha). The actress recently opened up about landing this role, her experience of working on Sunflower, her thoughts about OTT and more. Read on to know what she said.
Meanwhile, take a look at the logo reveal of Sunflower right here:
How excited are you for the release of Sunflower?
I’ve been really looking forward to the series. As an actor, you always look forward to doing some amazing characters and working with exceptional directors and actors. I got this opportunity to share screen space with some amazing actors like Sunil Grover, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukul Chaddha and Ranvir Shorey. And this is also my big debut on the OTT platform. So as an actor I’m really excited to see its release.
View this post on Instagram
How was your experience of working on the sets of Sunflower, especially with the experienced actors?
It was great. I had many scenes with Ranvir Sir and Mukul Sir and there were no negative vibes at all. In fact, I was just observing them on how they perform certain scenes, their rehearsals and more. There was so much to learn from these actors.
At the same time, there was so much ease between us. Initially, I was a bit nervous about doing scenes with such senior actors, but they really helped me to pull through the entire process. Give and take is very important for any actor and the give and take between me and Mukul (Chaddha) Sir is beautiful, the chemistry is really something to look forward to.
How challenging was it to play the role of Mrs Ahuja?
First of the character is very different from me. I never thought I could look a certain way. I can’t reveal much about the look, but it’ll be a completely different avatar from what you’ve seen so far in my shows and movies. Here I’ve experimented with my hair and my looks so much that I look completely different. It’ll surely take you a second to recognize me as Mrs Ahuja
Moreover, the nuances and beauty of this character are completely different from my previous roles. As an actor, you always want to see the range within you. So Sunflower is one of those projects where I’ve experienced that range and even the audience will be able to see it.
View this post on Instagram
How was your dubbing experience amid the pandemic?
I dubbed in the previous month itself, i.e. on April 6. Most of my scenes were inside the house, so the outdoor scenes that required dubbing were really less. So, the day I arrived in Mumbai, the lockdown was announced. I directly went to the studio, got my dubbing done, and then was waiting for my flight back home to Delhi. I was also really scared as I live with my parents and hence had to be more cautious when I venture outside. But since I know my job needs to be done, I had to get out and adhere to my commitments as an actor.
How different was your experience of shooting during a pandemic?
Initially, when you went to a set, there was a completely different vibe and everybody used to enjoy being on set. So I think that was a major difference that one wouldn’t openly talk to someone like they used to. Once the scene is done we’d go to our green rooms or vanities, and personal interaction was very limited. But the production company did a great job as all the precautionary measures were in place. I was on the set for 10-12 days and there were regular covid tests being done, sanitization was being done. And this ensured all of us that we were being taken care of by the production house.
Any interesting anecdote from the sets that you would like to share?
So there was this scene that was only of two lines in the script. It was supposed to be between Mr and Mrs Ahuja (Mukul Chaddha and Radha Bhatt). It was a small scene where we had to do an action and then it was supposed to be cut there. But Vikas (Bahl) sir and Rahul (Sengupta) sir, didn’t say cut and the scene kept going on.
So Mr Ahuja was supposed to ask me to get a knife and I was supposed to go in and out of the frame. Now the prop person probably forgot to keep the knife there and I ended up getting a football into the frame. Mr Ahuja screamed at me and then I got a vacuum cleaner instead. So this scene went on for almost five minutes and the directors seemed to enjoy it, and hence they didn’t even say cut. After that, the comic timing and give & take between me and Mukul sir had gotten so much better that we kept improvising in other scenes as well, and it came out so naturally.
It was a great experience working with these amazing people. Another memorable incident was when Ranvir Shorey praised me. I was going towards my green room. And that when Ranvir sir said, “Radha, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about you. I heard you’re doing a great job.” I said, “Thank you, sir”. That was the moment when I felt like it was all going in the right direction. So it was very motivating and inspiring for me.
View this post on Instagram
What was your reaction when you found out that you’d been selected for the role of Mrs Ahuja?
So the casting team had been following up with me regarding the audition video for almost 2-3 days and I was busy with a family function. I had to go to another event after this function and hardly had five minutes to shoot the audition tape. So after a lot of insistence from the team, I quickly recorded an audition and sent it to the team, and I had no clue I’d get selected for this character.
So after 2-3 days she calls me and tells me that I’ve been selected and I couldn’t believe it. I expected the least out of that audition tape as I made it in a hurry as a courtesy to the casting team. But when this happened I was completely surprised and shocked. Later when I was supposed to meet Vikas and Rahul before the first day of my shoot, I did a lot of research and studied the character well. But then they said one thing to me, that the character is what you did in the audition and that’s exactly what we want. I went back to the hotel, watched the tape 3-4 times and just stuck to it.
What’s next for you after Sunflower?
Right now I’m not taking up any projects. I’m taking a break because of this covid. Moreover, my mother-in-law has also been in the hospital for quite some time now. She’s recovering right now. But I’ve consciously decided to take a break till everything settles down. I’ve declined a few projects as well. Although in our profession you never know, I could just get a project and I could be shooting the next month as well. But right now I’m taking a break.
How is OTT space helping budding actors?
It’s a great platform. Because of OTT, we’ve seen so much new talent recently. There are designated slots on TV. Everything on TV is so rigidly structured, you can’t even have a lot of film releases in a year in Theatres. Whereas OTT is like an ocean of content. There is no timeline, there is nothing restricting. I think it’s an asset. OTT has given us so many opportunities, so many good actors, such amazing performances.
In fact, this is my first on OTT. I’ve done a small part in another web show also, but this is my proper debut on OTT, and I’m really looking forward to it. So I think OTT has given a lot of opportunities to actors in terms of good content. I think stereotyping has also reduced to a great extent. As you can see the same actor on OTT doing different characters and different roles around the same time. It’s like a blessing in disguise.
Well, that’s all from the graceful Radha Bhat aka Mrs Ahuja from the Sunflower Society!
Stay tuned for more such stories.