Kulvinder Bakshish Singh is a well-known diction coach in Bollywood. He recently worked with Jacqueline Fernandez for her upcoming film Ram Setu. He shares how things started and the experience of collaborating with her. They have collaborated for other projects too.
“There’s an agency called Pals and Peers, they look after all the work of Jacqueline Fernandez. While shooting for Laal Singh Chaddha, due to the second lockdown, there was a gap that happened in between the shoot and this agency called me and told me that Jacqueline wants to meet. She wanted to work on her Hindi diction. So when I met her, I can’t say she spoke well but she understands Hindi very well. She told me that she has difficulty in performing when it comes to Hindi lines. She remembers lines but the feeling, and emotions which language has of its own does not come easily. Since then I have started working with her. She is fond of reading books, and she does read and is very creative as well. So this is how it all started,” he says.
Kulvinder worked with the actor on her upcoming film, Ram Setu, which has already been shot. The movie stars Akshay Kumar in the lead.
“We had sessions for dialect and language and I was also there on set while she was shooting for around 2 months. She has worked really hard and you will definitely see that in this film. There’s another beautiful film titled Priya Rajvansh. It’s a biopic of actor Priya Rajvansh, who was seen in the film Heer Raanjha with Raj Kumar Sahab. Pradeep Sarkar is directing that film and Jacqueline is playing the lead character in it. In that film, there are both Urdu and Hindi language. She is prepping for that with me now,” he reveals. About his experience with the actor, Kulvinder says she is not learning the language for the heck of it or just for her films, she enjoys speaking in Hindi and wants to learn it out of her love for the language.
“She is very serious and dedicated about her work, be it language, be it acting. Jacqueline is a good listener and picks up things quickly. More than the teacher, the commitment of the student matters and she has everything to the T. So does her work well and is very positive. When we started working, we used to talk very normally. Now she has started learning Hindi literature as well. There’s a very famous Indian book Rashmi Rathi written by Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’. She has been reading it now. Earlier she used to read everything in English but now she’s been trying to work more on Hindi language by reading Rabindranath Tagore, Shivaji Sawant. She is also trying to get an understanding of Urdu and Sanskrit too. Jacqueline is always eager to learn new things and takes care of the people who work for or with her. She is very pure-hearted. She runs an NGO which is for people who live on streets and donates food to them. She is a big animal lover too,” he continues, “Jacqueline has a lot of potential but the sad thing is the makers are yet to tap her capability well till now. The fact that now along with commercial cinema, she is also focusing on content-driven films would help her do better. She is happy that good scripts are coming her way. I just wish the best for her.”
So what are the things that one needs to keep in mind while coaching a female actor as compared to her male counterpart? “There is no difference as such. I believe that the person who really works hard and is serious regarding their work gets the reward. One should trust their teacher and be eager to learn new things. Jacqueline has this trait. She also questions a lot of things, discusses new things and works harder every time,” he says.