Actor Ananya Panday opened up about her experience taking intimacy workshops for her upcoming film Gehraiyaan‘ in a recent interview.

The makers of the movie, which is slated to be released on February 1, had hired intimacy director Dar Gai and intimacy coordinator Neha Vyas to train the actors. 

Speaking to India Today, Ananya said the lead actors, including  Deepika Padukone, Sidhant Chaturvedi, and Dhairya Karwa, were all ‘giggling like teenagers’ during the workshops. “I feel like Shakun [Batra, director of Gehraiyaan] really planned it out well because we had a lot of workshops together, which was very helpful.”

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The 23-year-old shared that it felt like the workshops helped the team break the ice with each other. “We were almost like children in school because we had a proper schedule. We had classes for two hours and we had intimacy workshops together and then we had an acting workshop for five days. We were full-on in these workshops and it helped us break the ice with each other.”

“When we started the intimacy workshops, we were giggling teenagers, we were feeling a little funny and awkward and we would look at each other and smile. It was something new. I don’t think anyone in our [Hindi film] industry has had an intimacy director yet, specifically on a film. It was new for us. Navigating that, we learnt a lot about each other,” she added.

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The ‘Student of the Year 2’ actor shared that the workshops helped her know more about herself. “But I think, individually, I learned a lot about myself also. It helped me let go a little bit because when you have to show that vulnerable side of yourself to the camera, when you have to let out the ugly side of you to play a scene, it can be scary. Those things helped me break down the fear of letting go, helped me submit and go with the flow and let whatever is inside me come out,” she told India Today.

Previously, actor Deepika Padukone had also spoken about the difficulties in shooting intimate scenes. She credited filmmaker Shakun Batra for creating a safe environment on the sets of the movie. 

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At the film’s virtual trailer event, she said, “Shakun gave me and all of us the comfort, you feel safe and secure because intimacy is not easy. It is not something that we ever experienced or explored in Indian cinema before in a way we have in this film.”

“So, to go down that route of intimacy and vulnerability is possible when you know the director is not doing it for eyeballs. Because that is where the characters are coming from, their experience and journey. It is possible when you feel safe and secure in the environment,” Padukone told reporters, according to PTI.

‘Gehraiyaan’ will release on Amazon Prime Video on February 11.