Raima Sen is gearing up for Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Vaccine War. She plays a journalist who believes India won’t be able to make the vaccine to combat the Coronavirus that left the globe crippled and gasping for breath. She could be the second antagonist of the story after the virus itself.
In an exclusive interview with Firstpost, the actress spoke about her prep for the character, working with Agnihotri, and the challenges she faced when the world was under lockdown.
What can we expect from your character in The Vaccine War?
I play a science journalist in the film, and this film is about two groups of people, one that thinks India can make the vaccine and the other that thinks it can’t. I obviously belong to the other group. There were a lot of people that felt India wouldn’t be able to make the vaccine so I play that.
How was your prep for the character like?
I met Vivek Agnihotri and he explained the role to me. He told me people wouldn’t love me for this role but they would’ve be able to ignore me. In life, there’s the good cop and there’s the bad cop, so I play the bad cop. He asked me to play my role honestly and believe in what I was doing and let the audiences decide. It was challenging for me as an actor to play a negative role honestly and convincingly.
What were the challenges you faced during the pandemic?
Initially, I was scared due to so many deaths around us. Firstly, I didn’t expect this pandemic to happen, my whole family had it. At one point, we all were frightened because nothing was happening. Some part of me probably believed that we can’t do it. Things began to open gradually and India did what it did and it was great, I don’t think anyone would’ve imagined it. I asked Vivek about the facts in the film and he said that everything was factual, there were so many women scientists that left their families behind.
During the pandemic, did you ever feel there was a need to make a film on the virus and how we as a nation combated it.
I didn’t even know it was a majority of the women who did it. People should know what they went through and we have to honour them, everyone should know their story all over the world. The female characters in Vivek’s films are always very strong.
How would you describe Vivek Agnihotri as a director and your experience of working with him?
He gave me the script a month in advance and I went to his office, and we did the reading with the whole team. He was very nice to me on the sets and made me comfortable.
Both Vivek Agnihotri and Nana Patekar have been critical of the kind of films that are being made today. What is your take on it?
There are so many films being made today. Some people want to watch a film just for entertainment because their lives are so miserable, so those films are also important. Films based on real issues are also being made, so all kinds of films are being made today, and everyone has a voice.