"Shoojit spotted me at a commercial shoot"
By Gunjan SharmaKamlesh Gill, who has impressed everyone with her role of a whiskey-drinking mother-in-law in 'Vicky Donor', says the character came to her by chance.
Gill, 75, says she was shooting for a commercial when director Shoojit Sircar saw her and he was so impressed that he cast her without an audition. "I was shooting for a commercial in Mumbai when Shoojit noticed me and he offered me the role. I never had to do any audition unlike other actors in the film," Gill told PTI.
"Shoojit was very nice to me. He not only allowed me to improvise the script and bring in Punjabi punches but also took care of me on the sets. After the dubbing was done, Shoojit told me that every time he listens to my parts he laughs a lot. I was satisfied that it had turned out well. But I never expected it to be this big," she added.
The actress has found quite a fan base thanks to her role in the movie, which is based on the controversial subject of sperm donation. But it is not Gill's first brush with fame, who has done theatre, serials and also starred in Imtiaz Ali's 'Socha Naa Tha' and 'Love Aaj Kal'.
"The role that I still find closer to my heart is the one which I played in a comic play 'Mujhko to Loot Liya Mil Ke Mausa Mausi Ne' and a punjabi movie 'Laava Futya' because these roles made me realise my passion and potential for acting..
"My 1970s' serial 'Aur Bhi Gham Hain Zindagi Mein' had made me as popular then as Vicky donor has done now. I was actively involved with theatre but I had to leave it after my husband's death because I had two young daughters," said Gill, who retired from Indian Railways after serving for 40 years.
Things have started looking up for her again post 'Vicky Donor'. "I'm getting calls from all over with people saying they love the rapport I share with Dolly. The whole idea of sharing a drink together with one's daughter-in-law is unconventional.
But it has clicked. I guess it's a sign of the times. So far no director has approached me for any movie roles but I have been getting constant calls for shooting commercials." Gill settled in Dharamkot after her family moved to India from Lahore post partition. She managed to complete her education despite odds.
Her love for singing transformed into a passion for acting with her husband's support when she joined Railways. Her first play was a hit and she never had to look back. PTI