Recently released Lucknow Central saw Diana Penty playing the role of Gayatri, an NGO worker. In an interview with a leading Indian daily Diana Penty revealed about Nikhil Advani’s wife who aided her for the preparation of the character.
Diana said, “Gayatri is an NGO worker. She deals with criminals. She has this inclination towards reformation of the criminals. I read about the role online and the importance of it. There was a lot of prep that way.
I spoke to Nikhil Advani’s wife. She runs an NGO and she deals with minors and undertrials while my character deals with adult convicts. But there is one thing similar between both of them, their belief that everyone deserves basic human rights. Sentence is the convicts’ punishment but beyond that they should be given human treatment. They should be given a second chance.”
Diana is grateful for playing the character in the film, as it led her to understand the law better.
She said, “Once they (criminals) are out, they are so disconnected with the world. So, there should be vocational training to help them to cope up with the world. The NGO workers help them get education, make them learn some skills that would help them lead their lives normally. So that’s also I got to learn about. See, these are the things that you do not get to learn while being in the kind of job I am. So, because of this role, I got familiar with so many laws, I wasn’t aware of. And only through the way, I realized that I feel very strongly about it.”
Being inspired from the character, Diana further spoke about her interest to contribute in the reformation of such criminals in real life.
“I would love to. I thought about it. It’s a great and quite a job. It can help in betterment of the society. We can help them live a good life and make them good human being. We can make sure they don’t get into the same zone yet again. So, it is a good thing to do. But yes, it is not easy. It’s not something I can wake up and get into it. There is a misconception that NGO is a job, which requires no training but that is not true. You are dealing with people who are highly sensitive and vulnerable. So, you need to have some sort of skills and training, educationally you must be backed with understanding of psychology and social studies. You should be qualified. So, it is a full-time job basically,” Diana said.
She added, “Interesting part is that 80% of the people in jail are in for petty crimes because of a heat of the moment act. A lot of them want to undo the crimes they have committed.”
Talking about her being very selective in doing films, Diana said, “First of all, let me clarify. It is not like 500 people are knocking on my door saying please do my films. I did not know about Gayatri till Ranjit narrated the story. But when I heard the story, the character appealed to me. I felt like this character would help me to add diversity to the little work I have done so far.”
Adding further about how Farhan Akhtar assisted her in performing the character, she said, “As a co-actor, this is first time I met and worked with him. He is extremely well prepared and takes preparation very seriously which shows how dedicated he is. He never wastes time on set. He helped me in enhancing my performance by default.”
Diana will be next seen performing action sequences in Parmanu featuring John Abraham, which is scheduled to release in December.