Marija Makeska interviews Goldy Notay, star of the upcoming movie “Amar, Akbar and Tony”.
Actress Goldy Notay is known for her roles in Sex and the City 2 and It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, and is starring in the upcoming British comedy Amar, Akbar and Tony. She gives everything to her roles, showing a diverse set of acting skills, from removing a burka in Sex and the City 2 for a sexy scene in a car, to playing Sonia in Amar, Akbar and Tony.
The movie, inspired by the Bollywood Comedy Amar, Akbar and Anthony, is about a Sikh, a Muslim and an Irish Catholic, Amar (Rez Kempton), Akbar (Sam Vincenti) and Tony (Martin Delaney). They’re three friends who live ideal, trouble-free lives until unforeseen circumstances move in to change that. The original starred Shabana Azmi, who later played Goldy’s mother in It’s a Wonderful Afterlife. Goldy Notay stars as Sonia, Amar’s sister.
For the movie It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Goldy gained 28 pounds to ‘fit’ the part. After losing all that weight again, she was seen in ITV’s mini television series The Town opposite Martin Clunes, where she played the deputy mayor of a town where a double murder takes place. Goldy has also appeared on Silent Witness, Holby City and the American show Warehouse 13.
Tell us a few things about yourself. How did you start acting?
Firstly, I blame my mother, who named me after an actor in India named Goldy. The seed was planted. I also blame a girl named Shannon Burnett who was in a school production of Oliver. I was wide-eyed and gormless whilst watching her on stage and I remember thinking “I want to do that”.
What is your favorite role you’ve had?
On stage my favourite role was Harleen in Rifco’s Happy Birthday Sunita, the fashionista with crippling heels and perpetual dieting. But she unashamedly hugged anyone in eyeshot, and she made the audience laugh, which gave me a glorious buzz every night. On film, my favourite role was Roopi in Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife. It was a juggernaut of a role because I gained 2 stone, cancelled my gym membership, stopped eating quinoa, and didn’t wear any make up in order to play the frumpy Southall woman’s activist girl next door.
You play characters that may spark controversies in your culture. Has this ever affected your private life?
After filming Sex and the City 2, I was embarrassed to use the “S” word around my family, so for ages my mother thought I was in a film called The City until she discovered the truth. A journalist in India wrote an article about how I’d allegedly enraged Asian feminists because in the film I’d removed my burka to reveal a sexy designer outfit. In my new film Amar, Akbar & Tony I have a sex scene in a car which I haven’t told my family about. I’ll cross that back seat when I get to it.
Do you think of your roles as a form of expression?
My job is to tell the tale, to honour the script with integrity and truth. The “expression” comes from idiosyncratic nuances which I selectively steal from others around me. I’m always intrigued by the quirkiness of humans, and their responses to what life slings at them.
We only get to see the final cut of a movie, but a lot happens behind the scenes. What was your favorite time while filming Amar, Akbar and Tony?
My favourite experience on set was a wedding scene. You’ll have to see the film to find out who gets married. It was quite an extravaganza thanks to all the set designers, crew and extras, as it truly felt like a proper wedding. And we got to Bhangra dance too, and, for a Punjabi girl like me, any opportunity to shrug my shoulders to a beat is a thrill.
Though you work on stage and on film, do you prefer one over the other?
No preference, just different really. Stage has a dynamic equilibrium with a personal audience relationship. But unprecedented things do happen and one can’t simply stop and do another take. It’s also much more tribal than film, whereby with the latter one can spend a lot of time in a trailer ,which can culminate in a lonelier experience. “Hurry up and wait” is a familiar concept in this medium. It doesn’t have a linear structure, as scenes are not filmed chronologically. And if you suddenly have a brilliant idea after you’ve filmed a scene, frustratingly you can’t incorporate it! But I love filming on location. I spent a month in Morocco filming Sex and the City 2. It was laborious wearing 4 inch heels and a burka in the scorching sun but the souks in the Medina were mystical and they had the best ever Mint Tea!
Do you have any project planned for the future?
I’m currently filming Red River, playing a woman who was a child bride and is now grooming her daughter to follow the same trajectory. It’s directed by Emma Lindley, who appeared on many ‘UK directors to watch’ lists.
What is your personal greeting to the readers of “The Spread”?
My Dad meticulously spreads the jam on his toast right to the crust so that every bite tastes good. Metaphor for life really; reach the edge, find the demarcation points and enjoy licking your fingers!