On the second day of the Bollywood Hungama’s two-day OTT India Fest, Tillotama Shome was asked by a fan about how one should approach intimate scenes. Tillotama gave a detailed answer and revealed fascinating trivia.
Bollywood Hungama OTT India Fest Day 2: Tillotama Shome opens up on how she shot for the nude scene in Qissa: “Irrfan Khan was feeling shy. If the focus was on my breasts, they went straight on my breasts. No one was like ‘Aap theek ho na?’”
Tillotama Shome began by saying, “There are cultures which are very free in expressing physical affection, love and lust. Ours is more private, right? It’s not like you find people kissing and making out on the roads in India. When it comes to expressing intimacy on screen, there’s an awkwardness. If your script doesn’t demand it, your actors are going to smell it. And they are going to find reasons for not doing the project.”
She added, “But it can be absolutely essential to a film. For instance, Lust Stories 2 (2023) explores lust and is a certain gaze on female desire which required Amruta Subhash’s character to have sex with her partner and my character to masturbate. The sex was so essential to the script that there was no way either of us expressed any discomfort. Since Konkona Sen Sharma is also an actor and dealt with this discomfort, she was very sensitive about it.”
Konkona’s advice to the filmmakers at this point was, “Please don’t keep asking your actor, ‘Are you okay?’. We are okay and we’ll do our job. Let us do our job! We are professionals.”
She then spoke about her experience, “In Qissa (2015), there was a scene where I had to be nude. I had to tell my father (Irrfan Khan), ‘You want to become a son. But what do I do about these breasts?’. I point at my breasts (while saying the dialogue). Irrfan was also feeling shy (laughs). Meanwhile, I saw how the focus puller put focus. He didn’t even make eye contact.”
Tillotama Shome continued, “I remember telling director Anup Singh if it’s okay if (I don’t get fully naked) as I was feeling so shy. I also told him that I knew I had to do it as without (the nude shot), it wouldn’t make sense. He kept the women ADs around me. After every take, those five women would come around me like a blanket. As for the male crew members, not once did they make eye contact with me. If the focus was on my breasts, they went straight on my breasts. No one was like ‘Aap theek ho na?’. It was considered like any other scene. If storyboarding and the homework are done, you don’t even need an intimacy coach.”
Coming back to Lust Stories 2, she stated, “Koko (Konkona Sen Sharma) had instructed the entire crew. No one was allowed to say ‘Aaj hum woh waala scene karenge na?’. She would be like ‘Scene number kya hai, just say it. Don’t make a big deal out of it’.”
The Bollywood Hungama OTT India Fest, in association with Cinema Waale Film and Television Productions LLP and Across Media Solutions, held on the 18th & 19th of October 2023 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai were presented by Sonata Poze, powered by TVS Jupiter and Kheloyar, Driven-by JK Tyre Blaze Rydr, alongside Matchmaking partner Bharat Matrimony, Stylish Audio partner Skullcandy, Banking partner Bank of Baroda, Healthcare partner Fujifilm Healthcare, True Chocolate partner Smoor, Astrology partner Astroyogi, Wellness Partner HCG hospitals, Cricketing Partner Metashot in association with Festival partners Satvik, Snacking partner Special Choice, Outdoor partner Bright Outdoor Media, Radio partner Radio City, and celebration partners Johnnie Walker and Heineken Silver.
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