After playing pivotal roles in films like SATYA, MONSOON WEDDING and GANDHI, MY FATHER actress Shefali Shah is now all geared up to play the main lead in KUCCH LUV JAISAA. In a candid chat she speaks about the film, acting with Rahul Bose, working with producer cum husband Vipul Shah and more.
Tell us a bit about the film KUCCH LUV JAISAA. KUCCH LUV JAISAA is a story about two strangers spending one day together and how that one day changes their life. It's a romantic film and not a comedy. There is romance between the two characters, but it's an unsaid romance. It's a very unique kind of love story. It's not a teenybopper love story. There are some relationships you can't put names to. But that person makes a difference to your life and even changes your life.
What role are you playing in this film? I play a housewife named Madhu who goes out and decides to spend a day to her liking and lands up spending a day with a criminal (Rahul Bose). She doesn't know he is a criminal. She thinks he is a detective. He is a criminal on the run who uses her as a cover.
Did you do any kind of research for this role? I did spend a day with an under trial. I wanted to feel how it is to go out of your comfort zone. You need a stranger who can unnerve you and who can actually shake your ground. Before the film started, I went to Thana jail.
So how was the experience spending a day in jail? To begin with, it was very scary, very daunting and very intimidating. I didn't know what I was getting into and I didn't know if it was the right thing to do. But finally by the end of the day it was a day spent with any stranger, on a human level. We could talk about a lot of things. It was an experience I'll never forget.
In the film, your husband played by Sumeet Raghavan forgets your birthday. Has it ever happened that your real husband Vipul Shah has forgotten your birthday? No, because I start reminding him almost 20 days in advance. He dare not forget my birthday or I'll kill him. Yes, a lot of times he forgets to get me a gift, but he hasn't really forgotten my birthday. I don't let him forget my birthday.
Are you doing this film because you are Vipul Shah's wife and he is also producing the film? Vipul came into the film much later. The film was offered to me by (director) Barnali Ray Shukla. She wanted me to play Madhu. I was just sharing this with Vipul as a wife that I'm doing this film and that I loved the film. He asked me about the storyline and I told the film's story. So he asked if Barnali would be interested in doing the film under our production house. He was broadening his reach as a producer and not just a director. So I asked him to meet Barnali. Then they met and decided to work with each other. That's how Vipul came into the picture.
When will we see you in a film directed by Vipul Shah? That you'll have to ask Vipul Shah. I never ask Vipul to cast me in his films. I respect the director's choice of casting people. It's the director's vision of who he sees in the role.
Rahul Bose is considered to be a very good actor. How was the experience working with him? It was great. We've worked before. He's a very self-assured actor. His sensibility of performing and mine is the same. He is very subtle and understated. He really goes deep into the character and expresses it in his own way. We have fabulous chemistry on screen. It really works for both of us.
How was it working with Barnali? It was fabulous. I love the way Barnali writes. She leaves a little unsaid. She's not somebody who spells out everything. It gives a lot of scope to the actor. She knew the script at the back of her hand. She knew exactly how to treat it. I can't imagine anyone else making this film.
This is the first time you are playing the lead role in a film. Do you think people will accept you as a heroine and come to watch you? (After a long pause) I really don't know. Finally, it's not about the leading lady of a film. It's about the kind of interest a film generates in you. If people like the promos and can identify with it, they'll definitely come to watch it. We have a pretty intelligent audience. The audience is very receptive and progressive. How else do you expect a BHEJA FRY to be a super duper hit? Even MONSOON WEDDING and SATYA. They weren't hero-oriented films. They were about ensemble cast and they worked beautifully. Eventually it's the film that works or doesn't work.
What are your future projects? There are a couple of scripts that I'm looking at. I haven't finalised anything as yet. At the moment I'm completely involved in promoting this film and we are moving into a new house. So the last leg of the house is getting ready. The new house is in Lokhandwala.
Your play Bas Itna Sa Khawab did very well. Will we see you doing more plays? The play is still on. We have just taken a break because of the cricket season. We resume again from 29th.