So far, actor Amruta Subhash has been able to do to the unavoidable: to not get pigeonholed as an artiste. The National School of Drama graduate was a known name in the Marathi film and theatre circuit, but it was her role in Zoya Akhtar’s musical drama Gully Boy as Murad’s (Ranveer Singh) mother Razia that got her the attention of the mainstream Hindi cinema.
And recently, it was playing a fiery bar dancer and single mother Lily in the Netflix series Bombay Begums that garnered her acclaim.
“I am grateful that filmmakers are not slotting me, whether it is economy class or anything,” Subhash quipped.
“They are all coming with different sorts of minds and characters. I am so excited and happy about it,” she told PTI in an interview.
The 42-year-old actor made her film debut with the 2004 Marathi feature Shwaas, which won the best feature film at the 51st National Film Awards and was also the official entry from India to the 77th Academy Awards in best foreign language film category.
She forayed into Bollywood in 2008 with Nandita Das’ Firaaq and then featured in Hindi films like Gully Boy, Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 and Choked, Hindi-language web series like Selection Day, Sacred Games Season 2 and Bombay Begums.
Boundaries of region and language are “dissolving”, the National Award-winning actor said.
“There is no regional boundary of Hindi, Marathi (cinema) or any other; all those boundaries are transcending. Everyone is trying to do their best. There is only good and bad cinema in terms of content.”
Subhash, who doesn’t want to limit herself to any language, is keen to work in Malayalam and English films.
“Language was never a barrier for me, it is all about the role. Actors can shine only if the content is good,” the Mumbai-born actor added.
She also shared her process of building the world of her characters.
For Gully Boy, Subhash said, she met many young Muslim women around her building premises and requested one of them to take her to their house to let her have a glimpse into their life. She also scoured the Internet for photographs of Singh, who played her son in the acclaimed film, with his real mother to get familiar to their bond.
“I kept on staring at his mother and kept telling (myself) that I am her in the film. So that photograph helped me have that vibe with him,” the actor said.
“I am grateful to many such people who have opened their doors and hearts for me and they have contributed to my journey as an actor,” she added.
But with the season two of Sacred Game”, Subhash relied entirely on the script and credits the writing team, led by Varun Grover, for sharing a detailed sketch of her character Kusum Devi Yadav, an intelligence agent.
“… Because RAW agents are secret agents, you can’t meet them. The writers team kept on feeding me with information. It all helped me,” she said.
Subhash’s latest release is legendary filmmaker Sumitra Bhave’s Marathi movie Dithee, which is currently streaming on SonyLIV.
The actor will next be seen in the Hindi movie Dhamaka, directed by Ram Madhvani. Also starring Kartik Aaryan, the film will be released on Netflix.