British actress says how making the film changed her
Cassically trained British actress Fagun Thakrar has been in Hollywood promoting the historical drama that she stars in along with co-star Martin Sheen.
‘Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain’, has been inspired by the world’s worst real-life industrial disaster that resulted in more than 10,000 deaths in December 1984.
Leicester-born Fagun moved to London where she studied Medicine at the University College London and also has a Masters in Acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
As part of her preparation for the character of “Rekha” in the film, Fagun began researching and came across a sepia toned photo taken at the time of the disaster that showed a little girl comforting her toddler brother. The girl was looking straight at the camera, sitting next her dead parents.
This picture, had a deep harrowing impact on Fagun, as she felt that little girl’s eyes were watching and asking for her story to be told to the world.
The British actress says as she continued to research the disaster in Bhopal, she discovered that the Union Carbide plant still stands, now abandoned, in the city where it caused so much destruction.
Fagun says: “As I was re-creating those end-of-life moments I realise how much those innocent people suffered that night while wandering blinded by the burning sensation of the poisonous gas.
“This disaster hit the poorest and weakest of society disproportionately hard. Those running away from the plant on foot ended up taking even more of the gas into their lungs from the exertion. Children were particularly susceptible due to their height.”
Fagun’s character, “Rekha” carries the emotional weight of the loss of her husband who is the first one to be killed in an industrial accident in the Carbide plant a few months prior to the big disaster. Her role serves as a reminder throughout the film of the true human cost of putting profits above people.
Directed by Ravi Walia, ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’ stars Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal Penn, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Fagun Thakrar. It releases in cinemas worldwide on 5th December.