Dimple Kapadia: “Always thought I was more of a man than a woman…”

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“Having a masculine front in a man’s world has it’s uses”, Dimple Kapadia’s opening line in Christopher Nolan’s much awaited ‘Tenet’, is what the actor says describes her and her screen character Priya best.

Kapadia adds, “I always thought I was more of a man than a woman even in my real life, so I completely agree with it”.

Playing Priya, an arms dealer, in the sci-fi thriller, the actress recounts how she nearly didn’t do the film, “The brief was she is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I think I look like a sheep. I think that was required for that character and I fit in. I didn’t go through the script, I was given a two page audition and I was so scared .Thinking how am I going to do it? So, I turned around and said I don’t do auditions, how could I say I couldn’t do it. But, better sense prevailed and despite all my fears and anxieties I nearly didn’t do the film and thought my as well do it. If I don’t like it, I wont do it. Christopher Nolan was coming to India and they said do the audition with him and yet I was uncertain – 90 percent I was not getting it, so I went without any pressure taking my nephew, thinking at least he will get a picture with Nolan. Then we did the audition and Nolan said, ‘we need to grey you a bit’. I thought he is being polite to let me off and when I finally got the part I couldnt even believe I was being cast and then I got terrified how will I go through this. An English film with Christopher Nolan, how do I do this? But, with him he knows exactly what he wants so even when he is casting as well. So he had it figured out but I hadn’t and I kept telling him am not trained, let me do a workshop, and they said no”.

With a journey which began nearly five decades ago with Raj Kapoor’s ‘Bobby’, Kapadia says, “I auditioned first fifty years ago and now I have done this. The energy in my first audition was a lot more nervous and I remember I had to walk down the steps for Bobby and in my nervousness I jumped a few steps and landed straight and they were like wah kya shot hai and I was like oh no that was me nervous. Here too, the first three takes. I went blank and they were like ‘Oh its fine’. But, you know nothing has changed (laughs)”.

The actor, who has showcased her versatility in films like ‘Sagaar’, ‘Rudaali’, ‘Leila’, ‘Kaash’ and ‘Being Cyrus’ to name a few, says she would never play a self-pitying woman in her career, “I always thought I was was very strong and wasted my youth doing some silly films, but I liked playing the Dacoit, Inspector. I liked showing my strength. Though I am happy with the narratives for women; they were better even before my time”.

‘Tenet’, which has had limited release in the United States, released in the United Kingdom and will release in India on 4th December.

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