Maanvi Gagroo’s portrayal of Siddhi Patel in Amazon Prime Originals’ Four More Shots Please has been received well by the audience. While her character is fighting her own complexities, she is also the younger and the most vulnerable one of the four leading ladies.
In a candid chat with indianexpress.com, Maanvi spoke on how Siddhi is very different from her, working with an all-woman team and how Indian audience is slowly accepting women-lead content.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Four More Shots Please is your most glamorous show to date. How much fun did you have?
I enjoy fashion. This is the first show that let me be a certain way. There is so much focus on clothes, hair and make-up. Everybody’s been saying that it is so lovely to see me in this new avatar.
Q. But did you relate with Siddhi Patel?
In terms of my relatability to the character, physically, I am not under confident and I love making new friends. Siddhi is a little conscious because that has been drilled into her as a child. She is not good enough for her mother and she has constantly craved that validation from people. That is something I didn’t relate to, but at the same time, I related to that feeling of being judged. Everybody at some point of their life has had the feeling of being judged.
Also, I have a huge group of female friends and I value that friendship. So that way it is very relatable to me.
Q. How was your off-camera bonding with co-actors Kirti Kulhari, Bani J and Sayani Gupta?
All four of us knew that we need to have a good, healthy relationship outside the set for it to reflect on screen. Baani and I instantly connected somehow, from day one of the workshop. She is very protective of me and I love her. With Kirti, I didn’t like her initially but when we started shooting I became very fond of her. Even she told me that she thought I was weird and rude. Now we laugh about it.
Sayani was the last one to get cast. But we have a lot of mutual friends and we got along really well. The best part is even when any of us had issues, we talked about it and cleared it out. Our communication is so strong. Right now, we all have a WhatsApp group and we are extremely active on it.
Q. How was it being in an all-woman team of Four More Shots Please?
Not only is the cast female, the crew is also female – our director, both our showrunners, the producer, our writer, dialogue writer, DOP, editor, there were so many of us. It’s obviously a different experience. I was worried that everybody would be yelling and our hormonal cycles will be clashing (laughs), but nothing like that happened. We had a ball and became very comfortable very early in the production.
I feel very good when I meet hard-working, intelligent women and get to work with them, I feel like this is our tribe!
Q. Do you think the audience has opened up to women-oriented content?
I firmly believe that art imitates life. As a society, we are growing. There are so many conversations happening which didn’t happen 10 years ago, about feminism, representation of women in media. And because of these, people are also changing. So, there is more openness to such kind of content.
But I feel there is still a long way to go because we still end up seeing things as “female-centric”. We don’t call movies “male-centric”, so we need to understand that ultimately they are all stories. Some stories will have a male protagonist and some will have a female protagonist.
Before Queen and The Dirty Picture, there were just five-six movies where you had a female protagonist. Even globally, there was Bridesmaid which did well. There was Ocean 8, series like Girls and Orange Is The New Black. Now we, as Indians, are watching a lot of global content. So, I think one section of the society is ready and gradually it will spread to other parts as well.