Two supernatural horror films have been battling it out at the Indian box office over the last couple of weeks.
Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor’s Stree recently crossed the Rs 85 crore mark at the box office, and The Nun broke the Conjuring series’ opening weekend record in India with a stellar Rs 28 crore. But behind each film’s success, there was a dark horse performer.
Actors Bonnie Aarons and Flora Saini (also known by her screen name, Asha Saini) played the silent villains of both films – the Nun and Stree. While the movies have raked in the big bucks, the actors have emerged from the darkness to talk about their experiences working on them.
“I don’t think anyone of us thought that Stree would do this well maybe because it is a horror-comedy. It’s new and fresh. It is totally experimental but the kind of response we have got, I’m sure nobody was ready for it,” Flora, a veteran of over 50 movies, mostly made in Tollywood, told IANS. Flora has worked with the likes of Rajinikanth, Vijaykanth, Prabhu, Karthik, Balakrishna, Venkatesh, Jagapati Babu and Rajasekhar.
Meanwhile, Aarons, who is somewhat of a veteran character actor in Hollywood, having been a part of films such as Dear God, Shallow Hal, Wristcutters: A Love Story, I Know Who Killed Me, Hell Ride, Dahmer vs Gacy, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, told TooFab that she was honoured to be asked back into the Conjuring universe. “It was fantastic,” she said. “I’m so grateful to them you know for allowing me to play this character. I love it. It’s so much fun. It’s fantastic.”
The actor, who has said that she was rejected for several roles because of her unusual appearance, likes horror movies. “When you watch a horror film, you release a lot of fear,” she continued. “You know, you experienced this fear, but then you release it and there’s nothing that feels better than releasing your fears.”
Her makeup as the evil nun Valak in the Conjuring series was so scary, that a bat (yes, a real bat) “took a good look at (her) in that Valak makeup and flew right into a tent.”
Both Flora and Aarons are currently enjoying the success of their films. While Stree has been both a critical and commercial winner and is inching towards the hallowed Rs 100 crore club, the same cannot be said of The Nun. The fifth film in the Conjuring universe scored the biggest international opening of the series, but also its worst reviews.