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Fahad Faasil and Nazriya Nazim in 'Trance' Image Credit: Supplied

Indian National award-winning director Anwar Rasheed returns after seven years with this story led by Fahadh Faasil and an ensemble cast of accomplished actors.

In ‘Trance’ Faasil plays Viju Prasad, a self-proclaimed motivational speaker from Kanyakumari who is transformed and rechristened as Pastor Joshua Carlton —a miracle healer — by two business tycoons.

Following its release in Kerala on February 20, ‘Trance’ has been receiving ruptures of appreciation for its bold content, stylish filmmaking and stellar performances. The film was shot in Kanyakumari, Mumbai, Kochi and Amsterdam.

In an email interview with tabloid, Faasil spoke about his ‘Trance’ experience.

Fahad Faasil Image Credit: Supplied

How did you prepare for ‘Trance?’

I hardly do any kind of preparations before a shoot. My prep begins while shooting. It’s a combined effort of everyone on a set. I can never do it alone. That’s when I get it I guess.

With ‘Trance’ the biggest challenge was to sound like the character than look like it. The film was not based on anyone. So I wanted to make sure I didn’t resemble anyone and make it look as real as possible. I tried I mean. Mr Resul Pookutty and his team were very helpful on the location for live sound. I will always cherish everything about this film.

This clearly is an intense role. What were the hurdles that you had to overcome while getting into the skin of Viju/Pastor?

I don’t handle crowd very well. The most challenging part was to perform in front of 2000 junior actors. But again that’s the joy of performing arts. By the end of the shoot there was a connect between me and each one of them. I may not know all of them by name but each of them reacted to action. There was an evident give and take process happening.

‘Trance’ wasn’t easy. I can tell you about scenes that went on for days- almost all the scenes actually. But the hard work was for a new theatrical experience. So I can’t complain. There is no shot I am satisfied with. I see only my mistakes. I am yet to get the right shot that will woo my filmmaker.

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Fahad Faasil and Gautham Menon Image Credit: Supplied

Viju is carrying a past trauma I understand, so to bring out his mood swings did you talk to any psychologist?

I consulted Dr Anwar Rasheed [director]. I honestly don’t think what I went through really matters to the audience. I have tried my best to entertain them.

Do you generally work with the writer and director from the scripting stage itself?

Yes, I usually spend time with the team from a very early stage. Most of the time even before a plot is decided. Sometimes a team is decided and that takes us to a plot. Sometimes a plot decides a team. These are the two ways I function. Either ways I interact with my team regularly. The experience with Anwar Rasheed was a trance. He is a gem. I look forward to more films from him and thank the trance team.

Nazriya Nazim takes on a cool avatar for ‘Trance’

Nazariya Nazim Image Credit: Supplied

Nazriya Nazim is back on-screen in a role that is far removed from her previous vivacious girl-next-door characters. In ‘Trance’, she plays Esther Lopez, a hip young woman living life to the full. She shares the screen with real-life husband Fahadh Faasil once again — they were last seen in the much-acclaimed ‘Bengaluru Days.’

Your role in ‘Trance’ is clearly a new experiment. What’s the feedback like?

Great feedback! It’s a role the audience has not seen me in-someone different from my earlier characters.

Tell me about Esther.

She is someone who has been broken at a very young age and is still trying to get out of her mess. That is something that bonds her with the pastor-Fahad’s character. That’s their common ground-they both have been broken somewhere and are trying to get out of it. Esther is still trying to fight.

Did you rely completely on the director for this transformation? Or was there some home work done on the side too?

While playing all my characters I rely completely on my director. For ‘Trance’ it was Anwar ikka- someone I know personally well and I love his films.

I might have prepared on the habits of this character-this character smokes, she is an alcoholic too. I didn’t want to look on-screen like someone who did not know how to smoke. Those are the things I worked on. Otherwise we go on set and it’s from there.

Nazariya Nazim Image Credit: Supplied

Working with Fahadh again must have been wonderful. Do you discuss work once back home from the sets?

Working with Fahadh this time also, was a lot of fun. During ‘Bengaluru Days’ we were trying to figuring out each other. Now we have been married for the last five years of marriage. For ‘Trance’ we were like two actors on the sets and we discussed the scenes. I am particular about not talking about scenes at home. But there are days when we ask, ‘Was the scene okay today?’ But not more than that. Work is discussed on sets with the director.

Fahad never gives me tips but whenever I ask him for tips, he has helped me in a big way. It has helped me.

Besides cinema, what other activities do you spend time together on?

We love travelling, make small trips together and watch movies together. Actually we do everything together now.

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Fahad Faasil in 'Trance' Image Credit: Supplied

‘Trance’ is now showing in UAE cinemas.