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Yami Gautam: Not many films reflected my calibre

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As a school teacher behind the kidnapping of 16 children in A Thursday, Yami Gautam has evidently stepped into a role far removed from the ones she’s attempted so far. While the actor did not mirror any artistes who has played a similar part on screen, she did consume a fair share of international flicks. “There are some good psychological thrillers made in the past. I watched a couple of films. I am fond of the genre, but a lot had to be left to imagination. I had to make my character’s story [relatable] and that takes a lot of homework.” 

Gautam says her desire to understand her flawed character’s psyche took a toll on her. “When I’d reached the set, I’d feel heavy in my body. I realised that I was aiming to understand Naina, and was not judging her. The mental conditioning can be overpowering, but that’s an important part of the process.” 

A still from A Thursday

Having been perceived as a vivacious actor, Gautam says she has attracted similar parts, most of which, she says, were “not a true reflection of my [calibre] as an actor”. She doesn’t discredit the work coming her way, but points to films like Uri, Kabil and Vicky Donor as films that showcased her prowess. “I was constantly looking for scripts that could help me express myself, as an actor, I need to explore my potential. A Thursday presented that opportunity.”

In line with the role that she played for the Disney+ Hotstar series, Gautam made it a point to avoid getting familiar with the kids who she holds hostage on screen. “One child is equivalent to 10 kids on set. We shot with 16. I didn’t want to become too familiar because they would not take me seriously when the cameras rolled. They were very smart, and aware, and we understood one another’s energy. They are such an integral part of the film, and have done a terrific job. For some sensitive scenes, we had to ensure that we shot them separately with the kids to get the desired reaction.”



As a school teacher behind the kidnapping of 16 children in A Thursday, Yami Gautam has evidently stepped into a role far removed from the ones she’s attempted so far. While the actor did not mirror any artistes who has played a similar part on screen, she did consume a fair share of international flicks. “There are some good psychological thrillers made in the past. I watched a couple of films. I am fond of the genre, but a lot had to be left to imagination. I had to make my character’s story [relatable] and that takes a lot of homework.” 

Gautam says her desire to understand her flawed character’s psyche took a toll on her. “When I’d reached the set, I’d feel heavy in my body. I realised that I was aiming to understand Naina, and was not judging her. The mental conditioning can be overpowering, but that’s an important part of the process.” 

A still from A Thursday

Having been perceived as a vivacious actor, Gautam says she has attracted similar parts, most of which, she says, were “not a true reflection of my [calibre] as an actor”. She doesn’t discredit the work coming her way, but points to films like Uri, Kabil and Vicky Donor as films that showcased her prowess. “I was constantly looking for scripts that could help me express myself, as an actor, I need to explore my potential. A Thursday presented that opportunity.”

In line with the role that she played for the Disney+ Hotstar series, Gautam made it a point to avoid getting familiar with the kids who she holds hostage on screen. “One child is equivalent to 10 kids on set. We shot with 16. I didn’t want to become too familiar because they would not take me seriously when the cameras rolled. They were very smart, and aware, and we understood one another’s energy. They are such an integral part of the film, and have done a terrific job. For some sensitive scenes, we had to ensure that we shot them separately with the kids to get the desired reaction.”

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