Actress Natalie Perera joins award-winning music superstar Machel Montano and esteemed actor Kabir Bedi in the hot new summer film BAZODEE which releases in theaters nationwide this Friday, August 5. She sat down to talk about her much-anticipated international film project in this exclusive new interview:
Tell us about your character Anita Panchouri in BAZODEE and her storyline.
Anita is a young, vibrant Soca fan with East Indian heritage from Trinidad. She is one of those people who is in touch with her culture, extremely dutiful, protective of her father and has her life completely planned out. However, love and life cannot be constrained by plans and when she meets aspiring Soca artist Lee de Leon she finds herself at a crossroads where she must choose whether she will follow her plans or follow her heart.
How was this character different from other characters you’ve played in the past?
When I first read the script for Bazodee written by Claire Ince I was surprised and exited to read and audition for a story about a woman with Indian heritage from the Caribbean. As a fellow Island Indian, I found Bazodee a rare opportunity to tell a universal love story in a completely unique way and represent people from small Islands. Then of course, Machel Montano’s music also sets this film apart from anything you’ve ever seen before!
What was it like filming in Trinidad & Tobago? Any specific things you enjoyed there?
Filming in Trinidad and Tobago was the best part of the experience. We were lucky to shoot the beach scenes in Pigeon Point which was simply heavenly. Another perk of the job was that the cast was invited to Soca fêtes during the wind up to Carnival where Machel Montano was performing and we had the opportunity to be immersed in the amazing Trinbagonian music and culture.
What are some of the themes in BAZODEE that those in the Indian diaspora would be able to relate to?
Everyone loves a good love story! I think this film gives a voice to people who choose to follow their heart. It is such a fun, light hearted and unique film and the music would certainly have everyone jumping out of their seats.
How was it like working with Machel Montano?
Working with Machel Montano was great. As a young girl I used to pretend I was a famous pop star in front of the mirror with my hair brush for a microphone and as an adult working with a huge star like Machel I got an opportunity to access my inner musician/dancer. I found that experience so liberating. Getting the opportunity to work alongside such a big name is intimidating but super exciting because it gave me the chance to stretch my skills, learn from him, grow as an artist and rise to the challenge. Machel is so full of energy and he’s so generous with it, that it was easy to work alongside him and I think that shows in the final result.