Mainstream Bollywood has generally shied away from portraying alternative sexuality in their films, and even when they do, characters are often reduced to nothing more than caricatures. However, in Karan Johar‘s segment of Bombay Talkies, the director explores homosexuality in a much more sensitive manner than his previous films – though whether his characters were authentic enough is still up for debate. His short film actually features a kiss between actors Saqib Saleem and Randeep Hooda, which is definitely a first for mainstream Bollywood. So since this week’s theme of The Front Row is the portrayal of alternative sexuality in Bollywood, host Anupama Chopra was sure to ask them about their experience shooting for the scene. Here’s an excerpt from tonight’s episode.
Randeep Hooda: We had a chat just before the scene. I said, “Look, we are consummate actors, this is where we are.” And we had a hug and we did the scene. I think it was a one take.
Karan Johar: Yes, one take. The moment that Randeep comes in through the door, the camera is just there. Randeep was actually shooting for a film that I was producing- Ungli,and I had to send him back in time because the director really needed him. So we had an hour to shoot. It’s a short film, with a short budget so had the financial constraints. We had to kind of make it in that time in any case. So, they came and they shot and suddenly when it was over, we didn’t even discuss all the pressure that we had about this moment. It was done.
Randeep Hooda: I asked Karan at that moment in fact. I said, “Shall we do another one for posterity?” Like we have been thinking about it so much and we got it done so quickly. And he said, “No, It’s fine. We got it.”
Watch “The Front Row with Anupama Chopra” tonight at 8:30 pm on Star World for the full conversation with Karan Johar, Onir, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem and Sridhar Rangayan. For more details on the show, log on to their website, follow them on Tumblr, Twitter and on Facebook.