How Jessica Chastain's character from Zero Dark Thirty inspired Diana Penty for Parmanu
20 years ago the earth shook in the Pokhran desert of Rajasthan and India became a nuclear state. On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day, Zee Cinema - Home Of Blockbusters is all set to showcase India’s red letter day with the World TV Premiere of ‘Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran’ on 15th August at 12 noon. Starring John Abraham, Boman Irani, Diana Penty, Anuja Sathe amongst others, the movie is a riveting patriotic tale that talks about a real nuclear mission carried out secretly while the American satellites hovered overhead, keeping a close eye. Diana Penty portrays the role of the only woman in a uniform - Captain Ambalika in the movie. On the occasion of its TV premiere, she gets candid about the relevance of the movie, her role, and much more.
1. How relevant do you feel a film like is Parmanu in today’s day and age?
According to me, I feel a film like this was much required as the youth of today don’t really know the details of how India became a nuclear power and the obstacles India faced. It was a secret mission which saw the involvement of the CIA, scientists, engineers, the army and intelligence agencies. It was the collective effort of a team of people, which came from different backgrounds and were experts in their own fields.
2. In the movie you play the role of Captain Ambalika. What does it feel like to be one of the few women to have played the role of a lady in a uniform?
Being the only woman that was a part of the group I was in a fix at first about the role as I didn’t know how strong Captain Ambalika was supposed to be. I was not sure what direction was to be given to this character so Abhishek said that I should watch Zero Dark Thirty and observe Jessica Chastain’s character.
3. Despite Parmanu being a multi-starrer, how did you manage to stand out and leave a mark?
Every person in in movie had not only a role to play but also a character to represent. I was Captain Ambalika, the only woman character in the core male-dominated group. She is an extremely strong character who got my completely engrossed in the role.
4. What made you say yes to play the role in the film?
When I met Abhishek Sharma and he narrated the plotline, and after reading the script, I just knew that I had to be a part of this film. It was not only his commendable knowledge about the tests but also the in-depth research he had done regarding the tests. Another aspect that drew me towards Parmanu is that it mostly sticks to the real facts and has only a few elements that were added to enhance the storyline. Portraying the role gave me a sense of pride and I hope that it leaves the audience too with a sense of respect for the nation after they watch the film.
5. Would you want to say anything to those who missed the film at the theatres?
The tests conducted at Pokhran were intriguing indeed but one cannot overlook the fact that Parmanu is not a typical Bollywood movie. When India had undertaken nuclear tests in 1998, I was in school at that time and I was aware of the sanctions that were imposed on us but I only knew the basics. Similar is the case with many of the young generation of today.
This film may be a step towards knowing the challenges and obstacles faced, how the CIA got involved in the tests, etc. so for all those who missed the movie on the big screen watch the World Television Premiere on August 15th on Zee Cinema at 12noon.