Yami Gautam Dhar: ‘I don’t overanalyze if I like a script!’

Yami Gautam Dhar in OMG2. Photo: Hype PR

Her latest film, OMG2, has been a shade overshadowed by the gigantic success of the co-release, Gadar2, but has still managed the perfect amalgam of success and applause. The bold theme of sex education has struck a chord with audiences all over the country and even overseas and the film continues to be strong in week two.

Yami Gautam Dhar, who represents the conventional social mindset in the movie as a lawyer, opens up on the film, her role and her prep. After making her debut in 2008 on television with Chand Ke Paar Chalo, she took the cinema route beginning with the Kannada Ullasa Utsaha followed by Punjabi, Telugu and Malayalam film each before finding anchor in Hindi with Vicky Donor.

Excerpts from an interview follow.

You were studying Law and left it to be an actor. And now you are playing a lawyer here. How was the experience?

There have been many lawyers onscreen, so we know the basic mannerisms and gestures. I have myself played one in Batti Gul Meter Chalu that few watched! (Laughs) But the most important part here is imagination. When I read a script, I like to be very thorough with it and keep reading it up to a point when I am tired. And in each reading I see something different. Then there is the matter of diction, enunciation, how do I say a line, and not just deliver it. I have to feel that emotion, do something I have not done as an actor. That’s what I did here.

Writer-director Amit Rai is known for realism, as in his film Road to Sangam. Whereas the OMG brand and Akshay Kumar are commercial, larger-than-life. So where was the meeting-point for you between the two sensibilities?

Every film has its own rhythm, every director his own style of film-making, and what he wants from an actor. Every director has his vision, and an actor must be in sync with that. At the same time, I must look a part of me, and be natural and authentic. There must be no parallel or similarity between any of my performances and what I speak.

Also, silences are sometimes more powerful than words. I sat a lot with Amit on my character, who represented our normal societal conditioning, and at one point you can also think that what she is saying is right! At the same time, what the opposite person was saying is also valid. The conclusion of the film decides the issue.

This film talks about sex education. Your first film, Vicky Donor, was also a bold subject, and you struck gold with your debut. But you did some really disappointing films in between along with the good ones.

With Vicky Donor, there was the same reaction as OMG2, but it also ended up as a family entertainer, a cult film. As an actor, I have never shied away from such roles. When I read a script and I like it, I go for it, I don’t over-analyze, and yes, despite some films, most have connected with the audience. And now, I have choices! I had a good run with my OTT releases, and before the disruption that came, 2019 gave me URI—The Surgical Strike directed by Aditya Dhar. So I got my husband, and the year also gave me Bala!

Both Gadar2 and your film would have done better if they had been solo releases.

This clash brought back memories of my Kaabil and Raees releasing in the same week in 2017. But, if you ask me, there must have been some compelling and unavoidable reasons why our films had to release on the same day. Personally, I think Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar represent those real heroes who we can believe will take on 10 people at a time and emerge victorious. We wished each other well and the results will show that!

How was Akshay as a producer, because you have not worked opposite him or as co-actor.

Well, he loves people who converse in Punjabi with him! He is very upfront and candid and speaks his heart out. I remember his first call, and then the meeting we had on Zoom with Dr Dwivedi, Amit Rai and him. Akshay knew the script by heart.




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