January 28, 2021 2:23:16 pm
Eros Now original Metro Park is back with its next season. The series promises to present a raw, real and relatable story about the eccentricities of a Gujarati family settled in America. While Purbi Joshi and Ranvir Shorey return in the lead roles as the Patels, veteran actor Sarita Joshi will join the show in a very different avatar as the ‘E-Nani’.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the Padma Shri awardee talks about Metro Park 2, shooting from home and playing a ‘Gujarati Baa’ in multiple projects.
Excerpts from the conversation…
How excited are you about Metro Park 2?
Trust me, I am really very eager to watch the show. I enjoyed myself so much while working for it. I have been receiving some really kind feedback from the industry and that makes me feel so excited. After the lockdown, it was such a good opportunity to work on something so light-hearted and fun. The trailer looked really funny to me, and I hope the audience too likes it.
Tell us a little about your part in the web show.
I cannot reveal too many details as that would spoil the fun. In short, it’s the character of Payal’s (Purbi Joshi) mother, and how she gets involved in their lives. It’s a very simple character but there’s lot of comic traits in her. You will also get to see some gimmick and involvement of technology. Honestly, I had to work hard for the part to bring in the timing but it was all worth it.
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From the trailer we see that your character is living with the family through an iPad. What was your reaction when the offer came to you?
I was a little taken aback although I was ready to travel to the USA for the shoot. I remember both Purbi and Ranvir were very excited to have me on board, and that made me eager too. Purbi also told me that it’s quite a meaty part given the mother will be throughout involved with the Patel family. However, the lockdown was announced, and I thought the project would be shelved. But they called me back, and explained how I could shoot my parts from here. When they sent me the script, I laughed so much, that I really wanted to be a part of it. Also, given we were not shooting for almost a year, it seemed like a good chance to get back to work.
Having worked all these years on sets, how was it to work from home?
It was really difficult to shoot without a co-star and I was honestly a little apprehensive too. There were long dialogues, and I told the makers that it wouldn’t be easy to do it all myself. Although I had my daughter and niece around, the director was kind enough to send a cameraman. It all became professional then, and I got comfortable. I think as actors, we are still not used to working without someone calling ‘action’.
Also, what was really challenging was not having any co-actor to react to my lines. Luckily for me, the people I had around would often smile at my performance, or give me feedback. That really helped me gain confidence. I really had fun and I hope the audience too feels the same about my character.
It’s rare to get a chance to work with your children. Did you regret not having Purbi around physically?
Absolutely I missed working with her. But given the circumstances, I think we both were happy to be able to get this opportunity. Also, not just Purbi, I have been wanting to work with Ranvir also for a long time. They both are such wonderful artistes. I had really enjoyed the first season of Metro Park, and even loved how the director had made it in such a simple manner. This is why I was happy to come on board this show.
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Will we get to see your real mother-daughter bonding in the show?
I think more than the bond, everyone will enjoy our performance together. Given we shot our scenes separately, I am also excited to see how it has been merged together. This is something new for us and even for the audience.
While the young generation of actors are preferring the digital medium, what’s your take on the same?
Even I think it’s making some wonderful content. The best thing about the medium is that it’s very realistic. As actors, the time commitment is also not very long. Yet it gives you the chance to do something powerful. Also, in this fast paced world, everyone is consuming content on the go. I think it was very important to have this alternate medium and given the kind of shows that are being made, I am very excited about it. I hope they write more parts for actors like us.
It’s been long since we saw you on television. What’s happening on that front?
Well I did Humari Bahu Silk last, before the lockdown halted work. Since the new SOP did not allow actors above 65 years to be on set, I had to let go a few projects. Also, all the offers that came in, haven’t been too exciting. So I am waiting for something good to come my way. Other than that, I have Roohi Afzana next with Rajkummar Rao. I am really looking forward to the film as it’s something very different from what I have done.
In Metro Park 2 you do attempt something different, but don’t you think you have been boxed into this ‘Gujarati Baa’ character?
I think that’s the biggest drawback of our profession, especially in our country. They do keep offering me similar parts. However, there are makers who do give me a chance to don something different like in Chand Chupa Badal Mein, Simmba or now Roohi Afzana. The reason why I don’t do too many television shows is because I don’t want to keep repeating myself. However, once in a while these ‘baa’ characters are so well written that you don’t want to say no. Apart from being the lead, these roles also pay quite well, so there’s no harm (laughs).
Helmed by Abi Varghese and Ajayan Venugopalan, Metro Park Season 2 also stars Pitobash, Omi Vaidya, Vega Tamotia, while Milind Soman and Gopal Dutt will be making special appearances.
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