She calls herself risk-taking material who has no room for fluffy cinema. Actor Mahie Gill, who sizzled as the new-age, sensation-seeking Paro in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, that made her the talk of the town, is back in an edgy avatar.
She is playing the role of aspiring Kannada actor Maria Susairaj, who killed her boyfriend in cold-blood in Ram Gopal Varma’s film Not a Love Story. The film was initially titled A Love Story and after much dilly-dallying, the title was finally changed to Not a Love Story.
Based on a real life incident, Not a Love Story traces the psyche of Maria, who along with her lover, Emile Jerome Mathew, kills her boyfriend, Neeraj Grover and cuts the body into pieces to get rid of the evidence. “The film is about how two normal, happy-go-lucky people who end up becoming hardened criminals. It is about what made them commit the crime and the emotions the two go through after the murder,” says Mahie. Never afraid to experiment or to follow her keen instincts, Mahie says she is very selective about her roles. “I am more interested in doing female-oriented roles. Fortunately, Bollywood has evolved over the years and there is work for everybody,” she adds.
Though Varma’s film is pegged as a thriller, it’s more gothic horror, with a beautifully shot emotional drama at its centre. Anusha Chawla, played by Mahie is a dark character whose frustrations erupt in violence. “It’s a truthful portrait of a woman so troubled that she commits this crime. In the end, she is apologetic and struggles to tell the police about it,” explains Mahie.
But making Maria’s character realistic wasn’t easy at all. “Ramuji had researched extensively for it, speaking to friends of Maria and Jerome. But there were scenes that I found very difficult to shoot. The hardest part was to shoot the murder scene and there were scenes shot by me with a hand-held camera,” says Mahie. The film was shot in Malad close to the scene of crime. “For seven days I was put up in that house, with four-five cameramen standing around shooting. It was extremely difficult,” she adds.
Unlike her Dev D co-stars Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin, Mahie’s career hasn’t sped along after the successful debut. Neither has she been in the news for the right reasons — or the wrong ones. I still don’t know the way this industry works. I hired a publicist only recently at the insistence of my friends,” says Mahie.
Reportedly, the actor disappeared after her smashing debut. “I was busy with work, I did two films, Aagey Se Right with Kay Kay and Shreyas Talpade which didn’t do so well and Paan Singh Tomar alongside Irrfan Khan which is slated for a July release,” says Mahie, who has a third film with Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, in which she plays Jimmy Shergill’s wife. “It is Tigmanshu’s interpretation of the classic film,” shares Mahie. Meanwhile, the actor has chopped off her hair for Buddha in the Traffic Jam, a thriller based on writer Arundhati Roy. “I cut my hair and Ramuji liked the look so much that he asked me to keep that even for Not a Love Story,” she says.
As for her private life, Mahie is reluctant to be drawn into a discussion, “I’m dating someone but he is not from the industry,” is all she says. TOI