Tisca Chopra
Chaya Unnikrishnan (DNA; August 6, 2018)

Ever since Taare Zameen Par (2007), which won Tisca Chopra rave reviews for her performance as the mother of a dyslexic boy, the actress has been playing strong roles in films that are off the beaten track. She will be seen next in Lashtam Pashtam, which is about brotherhood and friendship. Here, she talks about her role, working with newcomers and doing a web series...      

The title Lashtam Pashtam has created quite a buzz. What does it mean?
It is from a song in the film, which is very catchy. The makers thought they would keep that as the title. It means a code of brotherhood. It’s also a folk proverb. I actually got to know the title after we finished the shoot!

Tell us about the film and your role.
The film is essentially about two boys — one from Pakistan and the other from India — who live in Dubai. They become friends, but their relationship takes a turn for the worse. How their friendship triumphs is what the film is about. I play a woman who is affected by one of the wars between India and Pakistan. She lives with the emotional scars of a personal tragedy, which she passes on to the next generation. It’s a character that starts off young and ages through the film.

How was it working with a debutant director, Manav Bhalla, and the newcomers?
It’s always nice to work with fresh directors. They bring such passion and enthusiasm to the work. It was fun working with Manav. The new actors are full of ideas. It’s lovely working with them. They are all a lot more trained than we used to be. 

Did you share screen space with Om Puri in the film?
No, I didn’t share screen space with him because we are in different segments of the film. He plays a Pakistani character and I play an Indian. But the day Omji passed away, I was with Naseer sir (Naseeruddin Shah) and he told us a lot about him and one could gather he was a wonderful, warm man.

Besides this film, what are you working on?
I am shooting for a web series Hostages directed by Sudhir Mishra. It’s the official adaptation of an Israeli show by the same name. Then, I will start a bunch of films in September. I am also scripting a feature film.