In conversation with Suzanne Bernert

Talented actress Suzanne Bernert, who impressed audiences on the small screen (Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat and Kasautii Zindagii Kay) with her powerful acting, will be seen reprising the role of Sonia Gandhi in the Anupam Kher-starrer ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’. The movie has been creating a lot of buzz ever since the trailer of the political drama was released and India’s ruling party i.e. BJP endorsed it. The movie stars Akshaye Khanna in the role of Sanjay Baru and Aahana Kumra as Priyanka Gandhi.

In conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Suzanne talks about the movie and more…

Tell us about your experience shooting for the movie.

I saw the first look of Anupam Kher as Dr. Manmohan Singh in a poster that was released via his Twitter handle, back in 2017. I found out who was doing the casting through that poster and contacted Bombay Casting via Email, Facebook and Twitter. After a while, I received the request for an audition, which I shot in Germany (on holiday at that time, at my parents). I rehearsed by studying the footage that was sent, to bring out the performance in the video. After I came back to Mumbai, I signed the contract on 6th of January 2018. Director Vijay Gutte said in an interview that I barged into the movie (laughs). I have been part of Honeymoon Travels (Reema Kagti), Iti Mrinalini (Aparna Sen), Ramdhenu (Shiboprasad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy), No Problem (Anees Bazmee), so this was not my first encounter. The shooting experience was amazing and I loved it. We shot in the UK, Delhi and Mumbai. I got to see a lot of interesting places and meet great people. One of the perks of shooting is you end up where you normally would not.

How did you get into the role of Sonia Gandhi? What preparation did you do for the character?

I had one-on-one readings with Vijay, my director, who put me on the path and his vision. I tried to be as blank a page as possible, so that I could be what the director wanted and needed for his story. I was also given video links by the team to work on the whole character. I had favourite videos that I watched on loop. My method of approaching any role is to work from the inside out. After some time, it all starts coming together; and when you are in get-up, which is the last piece of the puzzle, you become the person you are portraying. I did not find difficult to get into the character as I have been in India for a long time and I am very well acquainted with Hindi. I approach all my roles with sincerity and I was not intimidated by the character.

Do you follow Indian politics? What is your take on it?

I follow the news but I am not a political person. I support social causes.

There is a controversy revolving around the release of the movie. Any comment on the same?

Nowadays, every movie has its own controversy. Some or the other section of society’s sentiments are hurt.

How was your experience working with your co-stars?

It was a great experience. I bonded with Aahana Kumra, who plays Priyanka, while shooting in Delhi and we became good friends. Arjun Mathur and I shared breakfast while shooting in England. Anupam Kher treated me like he knew me for ages. I did not have scenes with Akshay, Divya and others, but we all met on this journey of The Accidental Prime Minister. The whole team and crew was awesome.

Good luck, Suzanne!

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