Shweta Basu Prasad and her character Aishwarya in Amazon Prime Video India’s web series GangStars are poles apart. “Aishwarya is lonely and shrouds that loneliness with arrogance, why and how, the audience will watch in the series,” Shweta said in an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com.
“I am complete opposite if you ask me. I am an extremely happy person, so much so that my friends and family think I am crazy. I am a little goofy at times too, which Aishwarya is not. However, I had a great time portraying her. The more different the characters are, the more fun it is to play them. And because she was more gray, the possibilities to explore were endless, which cannot happen with a positive character,” added the actor who plays a bipolar tantrum-throwing superstar in GangStars, the first ever web-series in Telugu language.
Amazon Prime Video is making inroads into the regional space with GangStars which began streaming early this month. Directed by Ajay Bhuvan, the show also stars Jagapathy Babu, Apoorva Arora, Navdeep and Siddhu. The 12 episodes series has also been dubbed in Tamil and Hindi. Its first look posters and teaser showed the lead characters in their uber-cool, savvy avatars.
Shweta’s recent television show Chandra Nandini wrapped up in November last year. The actor, who has done a lot of work in Tamil and Telugu cinema, has remained busy with her own productions. So what was it that pulled her back to a Telugu project? “I absolutely love Hyderabad and Telugu film industry. I had been busy completing my graduation, my documentary film, and then producing short films. I was quite off acting and busy behind the camera, till Chandra Nandini happened and it pulled me back to acting. So yeah it had been a long gap since I did any Telugu project. I am glad GangStars happened and I look forward to doing more projects now.”
GangStars also happens to be the first Telugu web series in the Amazon catalogue. Shweta said she was ecstatic with the audience feedback. “All of us in the team, are elated with the overwhelming response that GangStars has received. I am so proud of the team for pulling the project together. I think it’s only the beginning. Digital is no more the future. It’s the present,” she said.
Watch | GangStars – Official Trailer
Shweta also has Hindi film The Tashkent Files, co-starring Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Tripathi and Mithun Chakraborty, in the pipeline. As per reports, the Bollywood thriller deals with the mysterious death of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Shweta revealed how the film landed in her kitty by sheer coincidence. “I got into The Tashkent Files’ prep immediately after Chandra Nandini wrapped. In fact, it was the same week that I learned Chandra Nandini was going off air, when I received a call for Tashkent Files, crazy coincidence!”
“I am playing a political journalist. I have written columns and done few interviews back in my days post my graduation as a mass media and journalism graduate. But this role required a lot of other preparations,” the Badrinath Ki Dulhania actor added.
She, however, refused to give out more details. “I won’t be able to divulge in giving any more information about the film. With time, more details will be revealed,” she said.
Shweta instead gushed with the mention of turning a director someday. “I have been producing short films since I was 23. After acting if there is anything I enjoy, it’s production. I have worked with Phantom films for over a year as a script consultant and then assisted Anurag (Kashyap) for a short film as well. I am using my experiences working behind the camera, now as a producer and I am loving it. It keeps me occupied when I am not acting. But of course, acting remains my first love,” she said.
Shweta has been in the business for over 15 years. Starting off as a child actor with films like Makdee and Iqbal, the National Award winner did several TV shows too, before taking a break for studies. Being a young achiever, where does she see herself in 10 years? “Exactly where I was 10 years ago, and now, giving interviews, but for different projects,” she signed off with a smile.