Shweta Tripathi started her career with a Disney serial Kya Mast Hai Life at the age of 21 years. However, it was not until Masaan that she got her first major break into the film industry. The actor is excited for her upcoming film Haraamkhor co-starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film was made four years ago. However, it got stuck due to objection from Balbharti and censor board. It was Shweta’s first feature film. During a candid interview with indianexpress.com, Shweta tells us that as an actor she has been keeping an eye on all the delays and court proceedings. At times, she even found it frustrating. Below are some excerpts from the interview:
Haraamkhor has been delayed by four years. How it affected you as an actor?
It was my first film. So it’s heartbreaking when your film gets delayed. At times, it was also frustrating. Balbharti had an objection over some posters of the film. They found some similarities between film posters and their logo. So we removed that poster. Then, censor had its own objection. Film’s director Shlok Sharma will be able to tell you more clearly on that. As an actor, I always kept inquiring of what was happening during meetings with the board even though I wasn’t present during those meetings. I am happy that film is finally releasing.
You have worked with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Haraamkhor. Tell us about your experience of working with him.
A lot of people think that as a person, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is very serious. However, he is very funny and witty. Once he opens up with you, he can be the funniest person around.
Your father is a bureaucrat. You grew up in New Delhi. How do you approach characters that are very different from your own life?
I had a very comfortable upbringing. When we work in a film, I sit with writers to understand the mannerisms and mind of that character. Most of the times, the writers understand the vernacular and the place which is shown in the film. For instance, the two girls who acted along with me in Masaan were from Varanasi. So I talk to people and learn from their demeanour and habits.
How female characters of Masaan and Haramkhor are different from each other?
Shalu from Masaan was a very mature and responsible woman. The character that I am playing in Haramkhor is, on the other hand, is raw and immature. She is 13-14-years old girl who doesn’t understand things and lacks sophistication. I had nightmares while doing Haramkhor. You will understand it once you watch the film.
The romance portrayed in Masaan was very different from what we see in Bollywood films. Do you find Bollywood films romantic?
Masaan had a pure romance. You could relate to it. A lot of people after watching the film told us that -they wanted to be in love after seeing Masaan. I love films like Wake Up Sid, Tamasha. I will watch any film directed by Imtiaz Ali. I loved Rockstar. However, I feel much more can be done. People do want to see love stories that are relatable.
Did you like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil?
I would watch any film which has Ranbir Kapoor. I did like the first half. But I watched it for Ranbir Kapoor.
Have you seen La La Land?
I loved La La Land. I would love to do a film like La La Land which has so much simplicity and joy of cinema in it.
Did you relate to Emma Stone’s character in the film?
Yes, I connected with the Auditions scene. It has happened to me. Sometimes you would do a ‘crying’ scene and casting director’s phone would keep ringing. They would talk on the phone while you are still doing the scene. No one including director says anything. I have got multiple audition rejections.
Any recent auditions rejection?
I auditioned for Geeta Phogat’s part in Dangal. Eventually, Fatima Sana Shaikh was selected for the role. However, after watching her in Dangal I must say she is brilliant in the film. Fatima recently called me after watching the trailer of Haramkhor. She complimented me for doing this role. I congratulated her on her portrayal of Geeta in the film.
You started your career at 21-22. Masaan happened much later in your life. Were there any moments of breakdown?
The breakdowns happen all the time. But I don’t let breakdown to consume me. Instead, I go on living my life normally. There is always a struggle in any profession. A star kid has a different kind of struggle. Being an outsider, people don’t give you many opportunities. One wrong move and it can all get over in a blink of an eye.
Will you do an item number in a commercial film?
No. For me, doing substantial roles is more important. I am ready to do a one-line role, but that has to have some substance. I would love to do films like Wake Up Sid, Zindagi Na Mile Dobara, English Vinglish and many others. My upbringing has helped me to make mature choices. I want to make my parents proud of my work.
What was the best compliment you got after doing Masaan?
Vishal Bhardwaj called me after watching the film. I wasn’t expecting that. We were in Cannes for Masaan screening when this lady who was part of an editing team of Masaan told me something that really touched me. She was from another country. After watching the film, she told me that she wished she could have a daughter like me.