I have grown as a person and an actor post Shakeela: Ester Noronha

Ester Noronha sent the audience into a shock when the biopic of Shakeela released recently. The actress-singer plays the role of Suhaana, who was Shakeela’s body double in the 90s.
I have grown as a person and an actor post Shakeela: Ester Noronha
Ester Noronha

Chennai

“Being born and raised in Bahrain, in a non-filmy family, my knowledge of Shakeela was very limited. And even when I was offered to play a role, I didn’t delve deep into details. However, I was taken aback when I heard that she had a body double named Suhaana. Imagine using CG work in the 90s for an adult film. Suhaana is someone, who contributed so much to Shakeela’s stardom and is an unsung hero. I strongly felt that Suhaana needs an identity and people need to know the story that went behind the making of Shakeela’s films,” Ester explains. 
The actress adds that she would have chosen Suhaana’s character at any cost. “Even if I were offered to play Shakeela, I still would have chosen Suhaana. Even the other day Shakeela said how Suhaana was her shadow and faded into oblivion. This character is an eye-opener of sorts,” she says. 
Ester assures that the film despite celebrating the life of an adult star has managed to deviate from glamour and vulgarity. “People already know that part and have witnessed it. There is nothing taboo or bad about what happened beyond that. We are talking about an era without media limelight or social media. So, there are lot of other things we have focused on,” the actress tells us. 
Ester has been part of Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada film industries previously. “This film has changed the way I look at life. I have grown as a woman and an actor. After playing Suhaana, I have asked myself a lot of questions. Being an actor, we have an opportunity to get a sneak-peek of another person’s life. I took this role up with so much excitement. I only started realising the complexity of the character after shooting for it. Also, there were seasoned actors like Pankaj Tripathi on the sets. After the first day of shoot in Thirthahalli in Karnataka, I broke down during the call with my mom,” Ester reveals. 
The actress on a concluding note says that she would continue to explore in different languages and roles. “People would now recognise me but I wouldn’t take that for granted. I will continue to do roles I feel aren’t clichéd and I have done previously,” she remarks.

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