She made her presence felt in every opportunity that she got – be it smashing the patriarchy in the Neeraj Ghaywan’s short ‘Juice’, playing the ‘mother’ of superstars like Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh in ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, and Akshay Kumar in the film ‘Waqt: The Race Against Time’, be it DCP Vartika Chaturvedi in International Emmy Awards winning web series ‘Delhi Crime’ and the recently released anthology ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’. The National award-winning actress Shefali Shah has done it all.
While anyone would hardly disagree to call her a much successful actress of the present time, the actress says the love from the audience only drives her to rediscover herself as an artist and never become complacent.
Shefali Shah said, “I think success made me more anxious, put myself on self-doubt whether I am capable of delivering more and it is always keeping me on my toes. Perhaps that is why success never made me complacent! I am honoured for the love I get from the audience but I know now that they expect something substantial whenever they (the audience) see me. In the recent times, every script, every character that I am part of, are very different from each other. For me, building each character is like learning to walk again. Perhaps, that is why with each performance, I am redefining, rediscovering myself as an actress, as a performing artist. I am only pushing myself and the appreciation from the audience is driving me to do so.”
She also turned director and helmed a short film ‘Happy Birthday Mummyji’ that was released on July 23.
Currently the actress is quite occupied with the shooting of two films – Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer ‘Doctor G’ and Alia Bhatt-starrer ‘Darlings’.
Shefali shared how some of the major changes happened on film set due to the pandemic.
“We have started shooting already and all production houses are extremely cautious and following every COVID protocol. So, there are certain changes in terms of maintaining social distancing or even the one that is a little irritating but very important is, RT PCR test, it is like every other day my nose is dug by a health worker for the test! (laughs) But we understand the importance of it for sure,” said Shefali.
But has she changed emotionally as well during the pandemic after going through the whole experience of lockdown, being confined in one place?
“Of course there is an emotional shift that happened within me. I just realised how unpredictable life is…on one hand we all are counting our blessings that all our family members and loved ones are safe, on the other hand we also realised what are the bigger problems that we have in the system! On a personal level, even though I always valued relationships, the value of physically meeting and hugging my loved ones, I realised now! We all did it in the past when we made plans and cancelled for whatever reasons. Now, I feel, work can wait, I want to meet and give the best hug to the one I love!” Shefali signed off.
–By Arundhuti Banerjee