Actor Shefali Shah hinted that her new web series Human is “daunting, intimidating and complex.” The medical thriller revolves around unethical human trials of a banned drug that costs a lot of lives and creates chaos.
In an exclusive chat, Shefali said preparing to play a neurosurgeon who’s also the owner of a prestigious hospital was exciting, even though some kind of medical knowledge was needed. Shefali added that medical procedures were shot in the presence of a neurosurgeon. “Who my character is determines what kind of a doctor she is. So you don’t recognise her only as a doctor, you recognise her as a person, as a human.”
Human reunites Shefali with her filmmaker-husband Vipul Amrutlal Shah who’s directed it along with Mozez Singh. The last they worked together was 17 years back in the film Waqt (2005), with Vipul Shah at the helm. Shefali said she agreed to do it because of the script and role, and no other reason. “I will never tell him (Vipul) to make a show or film for me. And he will never offer me something that doesn’t value my presence. He wanted me in it and I wanted to do it,” she said, adding that Human became the perfect collaboration.
“Vipul is a chilled out guy to work with. He’s very receptive to suggestions. My working style has changed drastically over the years and he was very patient with me because I have a lot of questions. I decided to turn the character upside down. We respect each other’s work way too much.”
Human, that has Shefali Shah’s Dr Gauri Nath and Kirti Kulhari’s Dr Saira Sabarwal at the centre of the plot, is set to premiere on Disney Plus Hotstar on January 14. While Shefali is glad that the show is lead by two women, she said their characters are “not even two sides of the same coin.”
Revealing how Gauri pushed her completely out of her comfort zone, Shefali added, “Gauri is not only unlike anything I have played, she is unlike anyone I know.” But can we name Gauri in the same breath as her DCP Vartika Chaturvedi from Delhi Crime? The actor opined that despite being at the core of the story, she had a strong cast to rely on in the Emmy Award-winning Delhi Crime.
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Human stars Mohan Agashe, Seema Biswas, Aditya Srivastava, Vishal Jethwa, and Ram Kapoor. Shefali said being on the sets with a noteworthy cast made her feel like a student. “I learn every day. I don’t know everything. I’m hungry and I want to grasp everything. And it’s not a conscious process. It just happens. I was so thrilled that I was going to share screen space with such incredible actors.”
“Actors can be great in their own space, but the point is to break that and become characters and all of these guys did. They make me richer as an actor,” Shefali candidly said.
Now having pulled off women-centric stories, does Shefali feel a kind of responsibility or restriction in terms of delivering her best shot? “I do not have any responsibility. I know that someday I might not work and I fail. I do know one thing that I will give it my heart, soul, everything. That’s the way I function. So whatever I do becomes life altering for me. I do want to pick roles where I’m at the center. But there can be men and women together on the same platform. I’m not here to overtake others,” she shared.