Fox Searchlight Pictures opens The Second Best Marigold Hotel nationwide on March 6th, 2015.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How different is being on a set of an Indian film different from this experience?
Tina Desai: [Before The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel], I just finished a Hindi drama in which I play a character that finds out that her father murdered her mother. She ends up taking her father to court to avenge the mother. It's a very dark, intense and deep film where I cry, yell and scream a lot. So, after that I came onto The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel set which was my second film and a huge difference because it's a comedy and very light-hearted. Everyone's laughing and having a good time. I didn't have to go home with a headache every day because I was just laughing and laughing on and off camera. I loved the experience and part two was more of the same with dancing thrown in. I love doing comedies. After this experience, I think it's amazing to do comedy because of having to play off everybody's reactions.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you imagine your character in the film when she's a senior citizen?
TD: I think that she might've taken over things at the hotel a little bit more, very respectful, more graceful and also more resigned to Sunny's madness. I don't think she'd fight him that much; she'd just let him be and find a way to support him without blocking his dreams.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How would you define a good friend? ? TD: Somebody who just lets you be and is compatible. There's nothing that can explain that. Sometimes you meet someone who's very different from what you think you're used to or comfortable with, but you're compatible in a way that you can't really explain. Also, a good friend is someone who doesn't judge you too much and doesn't make you afraid to be yourself, and still be understood. It's someone who you can support and be supported by. That would be a true friendship.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you think the quality of human relationships are affected by the advancement of modern technology?
TD: I'm confused myself because I think that with all of these applications it would be easy to keep in touch with people from around the world. So, I actually feel more connected to people with these applications, but whenever you watch things online about "put your phone down", "go out to be in the moment", I agree because people sometimes ask me at the end of the day how I spent it and I realize I spent maybe 4 or 5 hours on the phone just messenging friends which might not really be productive. But I think it's great to be able to connect with people and be a part of their lives, so I'm confused about whether I should be going out and experiencing things instead of just being on my phone.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What's it like acting during the extremely hot and humid climate of India?
TD: I'm very comfortable in the warmth, so the heat doesn't affect me. When you're shooting a scene, you're so into getting the lines right and performing well that the other things like extreme cold or extreme heat don't affect you much because you don't let them affect you. What can you do about it? Everyone was huffing and puffing and sweating, but not during the production of this film because it was shot in the winter when it's freezing at night. You still have to wear your jacket during the day. That was very different, so that's why I think they chose that time so that everyone would be comfortable. When I was on the set of the TV series Sense8, it was during October, the hottest time of in Bombay: October. You can't do anything about it--you can't have the a/c on because of the sound.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What helps to keep you grounded and spiritually strong?
TD: My family is the best thing. We moved to Bombay when I was very young. We've had some difficult times when I was growing up, and have been able to tide over that by being a unit. So, once you've been through that, you aren't as affected by tough situations because you know that you'll come out strong anyway. So now tiny things don't affect me. My strength and sanity comes from my family.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Where do you imagine retiring later in life?
TD: I'd move to London because I love that city to death, but I also like Paris, but not enough to make it my main home. So, I will make Paris my weekend home and London my weekday home.
NYC MOVIE GURU: At heart, are you more of a city or more of a small town girl?
TD: Definitely the city. I would go mad in the small town. I need to be in the city where you have things to do to keep yourself busy.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel about the abundance of superhero movies in America?
TD: We do make films that are more emotional and make tons of dramas. But we try very hard to make the superhero action films. Some of them work, but a lot of them don't. We take a lot of inspiration from The Fast and the Furious or Iron Man, but you guys do it better. I like the kind of films that have deep, inspiring messages, but I also like superhero hero films. It's very different from what we make back home, so I like that mix and don't think that should be stopped. So, why not continue? You have a mixed back and do it well. I don't see any problems.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Is inner beauty underrated nowadays?
TD: No, in fact. I think that it's something that's encouraged more and more. I think it's practiced now and encouraged. I'm experiencing it more now than I did a few years ago, so I don't think it's underrated. Those who do have the confidence and courage to show their true individual spirit are recognized and appreciated more. People are understanding and practicing that more.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What would make a great double feature with The Second Best Marigold Hotel?
TD: I think the film Baghban would make a good double feature. Also, Last Vegas.