Team Unkahee had a converstion in which Director Anushree Mehta the entire cast Hiten Tejwani, Ashoke Pandit, Sehban Azim, Ravi Khemu, Anupriya Goenka and Ashwin Mushran opens up about the shot film. Also, about their character about the sensitive issue and more.
Director: Anushree Mehta:
1. The story has thrilled and engaged us till the end with the suspense of who is the murderer. How did the idea of this concept come out?
The idea to make a one location murder mystery was always very exciting and yet seemed like a tough nut to crack.
To not move locations and characters and change costumes and literally not give any visual breaks except various kinds of shots. Yet keep the audience glued and entertained till the last minute is a HUGE challenge.
After Unkahee has released I have received unprecedented response and most people have loved it. I am super grateful. So the idea was always there to take this kind of a challenge up and then when I finally wrote the film; and got such an amazing cast to agree to act in it; I knew I had a winner in hand for sure.
What are challenges that you faced while making this story during lockdown and managing the 6 suspects? Who amongst them makes it more fun on the sets?
Well making Unkahee was a challenge in itself because first of all I had to shoot the film in 12 hours and as you all know it’s a 41 minute film and to shoot it in a 12 hour shift in itself seemed like I was racing against time which I was literally.
It seemed like I am a part of a action thriller where there is a huge race against time, the clock is clicking types and that was one and everything seemed to be going wrong behind the camer.
That day but what was happening in front of the camera was pure magic and because it was my first film.
As a director I had a stellar cast and a great team to work with, thing go wrong all the time life doesn’t go as planned.
If you have people to support you the right kind of people who will be there for you in your need is what I actually had my team which I am extremely blessed to have.
They have my back all the time and jitni problem aati gae humne mil kar unko solve karte gaye. That happened it was like a roller coaster ride for all of us especially for me because I spent the day eating only Parle – G because couldn’t consume anything else.
So, Parle- G and water was what I was having and everyone the cast my team everyone thought that I have lost it and just on a role jaise humlog shoot kat rahe the which was like the greatest challenges.
That we faced shooting the film in 12 hours and apart from that there was not a single moment that humare set pe laadai ho rahi thi ya bohut tension tha.
We were all having a lot of fun alongside problems and Hiten being the biggest mastikhor on set.
He will laugh and crack jokes and make comments we also have a great working relationship he and I are very comfortable working with each other waise set is a happy place. Like I said my team is great and rest of the cast and everything toh bada maza aaya and Hiten kept cracking jokes till the end sabse zyada woh masti karte hai woh toh lagta nahi hai aap actually kaam kar rahe ho it’s like a fun I am extremely greatful for everything that Unkahee has given me.
– Hiten Tejwani:
Apart from the killer, you are one who also brings out a twist in the short film. How was it being the undercover officer and still being treated as a target?
To shoot it in one location is a challenge itself ..but our director and writer Anushree Mehta was very clear what exactly she wants and she did brilliantly ..To understand the mind of a suspect who is trapped in a room and he has to save himself that was the biggest challenge ..we were so engrossed in our roles there was hardly any time for us to joke around.
– Ashoke Pandit:
You are an amazing filmmaker and an actor too. If you get to choose between the two what would it be? Also, during the shoot does the director inside you take part in the creativity?
At first I am a creative being, any medium that allows me to express and tell a story may it be acting,direction or production is always a welcome one. The only difference is that when you are an actor you have the vanity not to carry the entire film making process on your shoulder. It is a far relaxed job but definitely a trying one. Here it was director Anushree ‘s belief that I can play this character.
– Sehban Azim:
People love you as ‘Malharji’ on Tv and after watching this they are definitely going to fall for the angry Haryanvi guy? How did you prepare for your role? Also, how tough was the hitting sequence with Tia?
I am not sure if they gonna fall for a Haryanvi guy. As in Santosh is an entirely different character. But I’m sure they will be amazed watching me as Santosh and Malhar is a different character altogether, he is a very rightest guy always doing the right thing.
Whereas, Santosh is a guy who is very impulsive and does whatever he feels like doing. But I’m excited to get the response on how people are liking it, how people see me as Santosh.
With Tia it was little difficult I was a bit scared initially I was scared that what if I might end up hitting her in real. But she was very supportive and did a very good job, Anupriya Goenka she is a brilliant actress and I think we had an easy time doing the sequence. I’ve a good feeling with the story, with the whole cast and it was a great team work. Anushree has done a brilliant job directing it and I’m hoping for a great response from the audience.
– Ashwin Mushran:
6. What made you say ‘yes’ to the character Roshan? Have you ever hacked something in real life?
When Anushree approached me to play the part of Roshan in Unkahee , I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t usually get the chance to sink my teeth into the suspense and serious genre and this was exactly that. I didn’t hesitate at all to say yes. Anushree was very clear about what she wanted and the intriguing nature of the script and the fact.
She wanted to shoot it all within one day was definitely a factor. I was also very excited it with it being a single closed room location. My background is stage acting and something like this is a blend of Cinema and stage.
That made it a challenge but a lot of fun at the same time. Hats off to her for keeping us all together and pulling it off in the time she had.
No – I’ve never hacked something in real life. The closest I got is trying to install an independent operating system on a tablet once and I bricked the whole device. Don’t think I’ll change my day job. Which is why we’re actors. We get to play the people who we will never be.
– Anupriya Goenka:
You are currently ruling the OTT with different shows and we are loving it. How are you managing the back to back hit during this lockdown?
Well it’s an amazing feeling to have back to back hits during the lockdown like Asur and Aashram which were hugely appreciated and accepted with a lot of love from the audiences.
I can only thank them with all my heart for giving us so much love and for loving Natasha in Aashram and Laila in Asur and giving me so much support. I think we are because of the audiences and I shall keep trying to entertain them and keep giving better performances in more interesting roles
8. You played ‘Tia’ who says, never to be ashamed of being someone you are. So what is your take on India being developed accepting the third gender as marriages are still not legal yet?
I truly believe in LGBTQ rights and I think third gender marriages should be legalised. It’s a way of life and it’s quite normal to be attracted to the same sex.
If two people want to live together and make a home together they should all have freedom in the world to do so.
So, I really hope that gay marriages should be legalised and we as people around should give the gay community all the acceptance and love that they need. For me there is no difference in a relationship between same sex or in opposite sex. It is a choice and it’s a way of life.
– Ravi Khemu:
The twist is the story is because of you. What made you attracted towards the character. Playing a grey role is even tougher when people don’t really know who you are?
Well this was for the first time that I was offered a character opposite to what I look like. Normally I am offered a rich man, commissioner, politician etc. So this character gave me a little space to break that monotoney and do something different. And above all to think about this character to be a killer was surprising for the audience.