Gurinder, I think she loves the filmmaking process just as much as she does the end result. I think its very important to her to have people on her set that she can have fun with. And if you look at the outtakes and the end credits, she always has some shots from different locations while were filming and you get a sense of how she likes to run the set. Theres always a really jovial, fun atmosphere and that stems directly from Gurinders personality. Shes very vivacious, just a I would say a hedonist but she certainly loves life, you know? She loves food and she loves music and she loves film and she loves to laugh. I think you see that in her films, especially in Bride and Prejudice. Theres just such a love of life. Its a fun movie.
How long did it take you to get accustomed to working in the Bollywood environment?
I dont know. I just take it as it comes. I didnt see it as a big deal. For me, I was just excited by the opportunity to have the chance to work in another culture, another part of the world.
There were many differences but ultimately its the same thing. Its jumping around and pretending to be someone else.
There were certain, obviously, cultural differences between the way things were done in India versus here, and sometimes it was hard not to judge those because were used to a way of doing things in the West. Frankly, in India the way things are done sometimes just feels completely disorganized. And theres times where you are judging that. But then you just sort of embrace it. Yes, this is the way it gets done here. And you have to respect them because they make a hell of a lot more movies than we do and some of them are really good.
It was kind of like life mirroring art. It was about not having any prejudices and putting them aside, and trying to look at the similarities and not the differences. And if there were differences, maybe trying to celebrate those. I personally found it a great experience just seeing a whole other way of living and then specifically making a movie in a whole other way of working, which not many people from the West would ever get a chance to do.
Did you do anything special to bond as a cast?
We had quite a lengthy rehearsal process actually, which was pretty unusual for a film considering the shoot was so long as well. But everyone managed to be in London for quite a few weeks. There was a lot of dancing rehearsals and stuff for most of the cast, and working out the song numbers. It was great just sort of hanging out and going to dinner. I made some really good friends. Naveen Andrews who plays Balraj in the movie, who is a fantastic actor
Everyone is falling in love with him on the TV series Lost.
Yeah! I havent seen it yet.
Hes so good.
Hes brilliant and hes the nicest guy. He and I spent a lot of time hanging out in London and in India. Indira Varma, who played his sister Kiran, shes a very funny, very talented actress. Anupam Kher, who played the Indian father, he became a very good friend of mine. It was just great spending that amount of time with people who you wouldnt necessarily normally meet. People really looked after me in India. Anupam sort of showed me around his world and his industry. It was a pretty great experience.
Was there anything you learned from working in India that really just blew you away?
Its funny. Before I went to India, even before I knew I was going to do this movie, it was somewhere I was always curious about. I love traveling and many of my friends had been there at different times. I had read books and seen things about India. But the one thing people always say when you ask them about it, Whats it like? What was so cool? They sort of have this weird look where they start trying to reflect and remember all the things that happened and all the things that they saw. And then they turn back to you and say, Youve got to go there. And that really infuriated me because I wanted to know what it was like (laughing)! But it truly is that kind of place. Its so rich, its so diverse. Its so colorful. Its so fragrant, in a good way and a bad way. Its so crowded, its so picturesque. Its so noisy Its incredible. I dont think I could explain it. It really is the kind of place you have to experience because it truly is another world. Its not like another world, it is another world. Its just on planet Earth. Its magic.