Cape Town actress Carishma Basday is riding the wave of her first lead role
Actress Carishma Basday hops on a surfboard and rides waves on Durban’s North Beach, in her latest role, breaking all stereotypes that traditional Indian females shouldn’t surf.
The actress plays Sunitha "Sunni" Patel, a 20-year-old who has a secret dream of becoming a surfer even though her father forbids it. Sunni then defies the odds and her father and makes her dream a reality - all with a handsome young surfer dude by her side.
"I fell in love with the story, message and the character. It’s the first movie of its kind that explores the surfing culture within the Indian community. In preparing for the role I had to learn how to surf. My husband is a surfer so he was more than happy to teach me. Surfing is tricky - there isn’t really a lot to learn, and the technique can be learnt in a day but getting out there, and getting your timing right is challenging," said Basday.
She said the highlight of the film for her was being first on the call sheet.
"Being the lead actress, being on set every day and slipping into character was challenging but great at the same time. I built close relationships with the cast and crew," she said.
Basday said coming from an Indian family she related to the role, but also put a lot of pressure on herself to carry it out to the best of her ability.
"I had multiple conversations with Eubulus Timothy and my script had scribbles all over it because I wanted to do justice to the role. Working with Priya Luthman and Mahendra Ragunath was also incredible and they took on every day with so much of dedication and confidence. I was also very fortunate to have Greg Kriek (Cory) as my love interest, we worked well together and helped each other prepare for our scenes," Basday said.
Her initial thoughts on the film after it was complete was that it looks exquisite.
"I was blown away with the production value. It looked exquisite. It was also a bit nerve-wracking to watch because you think to yourself that you could have done certain things better or a bit different, but overall I think it’s a beautiful movie and each character is important and it all comes together so well," she said.
In the film Sunni’s father, Naren battles to get rid of this orthodox ways, however seeing his daughter’s dream come true makes him realise he can’t always be her protector.
“The mindset of some people are very closed."I hope this movie inspires parents to have a dialogue with their children and try to understand what they want or how they feel," said Basday.
While Basday says being in front of the camera is what ignites her soul, she is also thinking about writing and producing.
"I am intrigued by writing and I have a few ideas I am currently working on. On the TV front my dream role would be to play a character that’s different and dynamic. I like dark, in depth stories that’s driven by action. I also love animals, so any movie that treats animals in a respectable way will also be interesting to play," she said.
Basday encouraged people to watch the movie because she believes it a beautiful South African story that anyone can relate to despite race, colour or creed.
"It will resonate with viewers and also challenge their perceptions and hopefully make them think differently," she said.
Watch the trailer here: