Tisca Chopra on Bollywood’s Underwhelming Phase: ‘Little Course Correction Can Lead to Something New’

Actress Tisca Chopra was recently seen in one of the few hits of the year, Jugjugg Jeeyo. She played a pivotal role in the Dharma Productions film. While the film went on to make good business at the box office, Bollywood is still struggling to find a strong footing post the Covid-19 pandemic. In an exclusive chat with News18 Showsha (before the release of Brahmastra), we asked the Dahan actress to weigh in on the reasons behind Bollywood’s struggle at the box office.

“I am not really sure if I’m the right person to answer this question because I am not too business oriented. I am an actor and I am a very small part of a very large industry where economics and territories discussions take place. But there’s a small thought process I have is that change is the only certainty. That’s the only which is a given,” Tisca confessed.

“Entertainment has always been around in some form or the other. It’s a basic human need to get together and watch stuff. Whether it was theatre or concerts or movies. I am sure that after a little course correction, the entertainment business… It is full of very bright and enterprising people. Kuch na kuch audience ke palate ko samajhke, ek naya form, ek naya improved 2.0 version aayega which will again work wonders in every way,” she added.

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While it is to see if Bollywood manages to find a strong hold at the box office in the time to come, Tisca’s attention is on her upcoming Disney+ Hotstar series Dahan. Releasing this weekend, Tisca essays the role of an IAS officer who lands up in a cursed village named Shilaspura.

The trailer hints at the series being a horror tale, but Tisca clarified that it is not horror series. “I think it is a little bit of a misnomer to call it horror. For me, it is a human drama and the person confronting an unreal world which confounds her as much as any viewer that ‘What is all this, what is all this happening, what are these traditions, what is this world.’ And I think she takes the audience with her on that journey. I don’t think it is specifically horror, it is more supernatural,” she explained.

When asked if she ever experienced paranormal incidents, Tisca revealed, “There isn’t a specific incident where I have encountered ghosts but I’ve been brought up in the hills so, for me, all these kinds of things are a part of — I can’t tell where imagination ends and where my reality begins. At one point, they mix, you can’t segregate it. So I believe in these creations, and I find it easy to believe. I don’t find it difficult to believe in all this.”

Dahan was mostly shot in the ancient havelis of Rajasthan. Given that one of her co-stars Rajesh Tailang is from Rajasthan as well, Tisca revealed that she and the team of Dahan were treated to traditional Rajasthani food during their stay.

“Since Rajesh ji is from Rajasthan, he treated us to Ker Sangri (a traditional Rajasthani meal that is made using dried berries and beans). It was a stunning meal we had. I think we were shooting that day, it was just amazing. I have extensively travelled through Rajasthan and I truly love the state. I think it is one of the most artistic states of our country,” she said.

“When we reached Mandawa for the first time to shoot, we couldn’t believe how beautiful the Havelis were. It was just wonderful, the whole atmosphere. We would all come together at one of the directors’ or actors’ rooms and host small parties. It was very theatre oriented. It was a very warm atmosphere,” she added.

Sharing a hilarious anecdote from the sets, Tisca revealed, “We were staying at Matsya Vilas and the management had the same brand of soap — Medimix. The whole unit smelt the same so we called ourselves the Mandawa Medimixers.”

Dahan releases this Friday, September 16, on Disney+ Hotstar.

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