Elena Kazan turns a mysterious alcoholic in JOHN DAY
For Elena Kazan, JOHN DAY turned out to be one movie making experience that she wouldn't forget for some time to come at the least. Though language was not an issue for her (she can speak Hindi as well as Bengali film), Elena had some interesting days on the sets of this film where she had Randeep Hooda and Naseeruddin Shah for company. Reason being that not just is she playing a chronic alcoholic in the film, she is also enacting the part of a young woman who suffers from a tragic past, has an air mystery around her, is pretty much on the edge and yet carries a sense of innocence in herself.
"It is this very complexity that drew me in," says Elena who was born in Kiev (capital of Ukraine), grew up in Berlin, did her higher education in the USA, stepped into Kolkata for work and soon found herself facing the camera, "I have done some work before but playing this part was special since it had to be done truly differently."
Though her role requirement wasn't to arrive drunk on the sets to be into the skin of the character, Elena did her homework right so that it all looked convincing.
"And one right way of doing that was to keep it all real and behave naturally. You don't see regular drinkers staggering and falling around every now and then. Yes, they are tipsy but then they don't have a stereotypical body language, as has been demonstrated in countless films. My director Ahishor (Solomon) just wanted me to underplay it all and given the fact that I am also supposed to carry dark shades made it all the more interesting. Yes, my character has an issue but then this is not the only thing about her. She is drowned in love more than alcohol."
One of the major reasons for her selection in the film was the fact that she hasn't been exposed much on the big screen so far.
"I didn't want someone with any kind of image," says the director of JOHN DAY, Ahishor Solomon. "There is certain kind of mystery attached to this character and had I taken a known face, it would have backfired. I must have auditioned more than 30 girls and ultimately chose her since adds on to the mystery and her core persona too has a little bit of edge to her."
He adds with a smile, "The fact that she was so convincing as an alcoholic further made me sure that she was right for the job."
A co-production of K. Asif, Anjum Rizvi and Aatef A Khan, JOHN DAY arrives in theatres on 13th September.