Spending many a day as a medical doctor in the emergency room, Kalpana Pandit finds life to be a little easier swapping her career pursuits as a physician for long days on movie sets. Sure, producing and acting have its respective challenges, but for Ms. Pandit, who has starred in films such as the Tamil production of Pani Thuli and Bollywood projects Tum Ho Yaara and Love Khichdi, life in the emergency room was far more difficult. Interestingly enough, Ms. Pandit has found a way to blend her career as a medical doctor with her budding new profession as a filmmaker. Attending a cultural event in downtown Anaheim last weekend, Ms. Pandit spent a few minutes chatting with Buzzine Bollywood about the debut project of her new production house: Jaanleva 555 under the minty new House of Pandit banner.
Ms. Pandit also talked about her career as a medical doctor, how much she misses India, and more!
Parimal M. Rohit: You go back and forth a lot between the United States and India. What is that like?
Kalpana Pandit: For me, living mostly in the United States and partly in Mumbai, I do miss a lot of the culture while I am here.
PMR: You have been working on a new production under your banner, House of Pandit. What can you tell us about this new film?
KP: This is my very first solo production, my first ever Hindi feature film from the House of Pandit. It’s called Jaanleva 555, it’s a romantic mystical thriller spanning generations. It is going to be a musical only because of the basic fact that we ended up with 13 amazing numbers, of which about eight of them are dance numbers. The key numbers – five of them – were choreographed by Mr. Longines Fernandes. Those have turned out incredible. That is one of the USPs of the film. The other part is the cinematography. We shot in the exotic jungles of South India for 40 straight days, holed up in a dinky hotel, middle of nowhere. It was awesome. The story is incredible.
PMR: Are there any of your own personal experiences here in the United States that you will infuse into your films in India?
KP: I don’t know if you know my background, but I am a medical doctor. My entire existence in America is based on hospital work. Whatever I learned is real life experience. I was an emergency room physician. I deal with very extreme situations. I deal with the extreme behaviors of human life sometimes. All of that has added a very strong dimension to my acting career. Acting is easy; production is easy (when compared to the ER).
PMR: Any interesting stories you can share from your medical career that intersects with your acting career?
KP: I can’t really tell you stories because they are very personal, very grievous to the people involved with them. But the funny part is one of the stories, which I literally went through about four years ago, somebody approached me with that particular script, the same role as an ER doctor. That was very uncanny. The fact that they had made a completely unconnected story with the same circumstances was very uncanny. I do hope that movie is made because I think I can do a pretty good job.
PMR: Jaanleva 555 is anticipated to release in Summer 2012, but there is something unique about the film beyond its plot and shooting locations, right?
KP: Of course I want the whole world to watch my films. One (reason) is because it shall not be boring films. They are going to be great entertainers. What I will do is take the biggest fantasy parts of entertainment and put them into my films. The only thing that I will take away to real life is the profits that I make. I am pledging a percentage of profits every one of my films to critical medical causes. That is my goal. That helps me because I love the entertainment field, and because I have my background in medicine, I think I can get the two together really well.
PMR: On a lighter note, what is your favorite film of all time?
KP: I think The Sound of Music. I have a ton of favorite films, but when someone says the word “film,” the The Sound of Music comes to mind. I think that was one of the ones that made me want to make movies one day, just seeing the grandeur of the whole thing.
'Jaanleva 555' is directed by Sundeep Milani and stars Ms. Pandit alongside Abrar Zahoor, Akash Hora, Anant Joshi, Ranjeet Jha, Cliff Janke, Willy Manchanda, Mann Hora, and Shona Chabra. The film is expected to release this Summer.