Actor Suchitra Pillai had a busy lockdown owing to the release of four projects in the web space. The actor thinks the audience has had enough of gangster dramas and is therefore happy to be associated with Lockdown Rishtey, which begins streaming on MX Player from October 21.
An MX Exclusive, Lockdown Rishtey is a collection of five stories exploring human relationships during the global pandemic. The Abhijit Das directorial has a cast which boasts of names like Rohit Roy, Gurdip Punjj, Anjum Fakih, Indraneel Bhattacharya and Abhishek Kapur. Pillai is among the narrators of the show, which has been completely shot on mobile phones during the lockdown.
During an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Suchitra Pillai spoke about filming the show at home, the ever expanding web platform and experimenting with different genres.
Excerpts from the conversation.
You were a part of several shows which released during the lockdown. How is Lockdown Rishtey different?
All my other shows were shot before the lockdown happened. This one was shot during the lockdown. Frankly, I wish I was even more a part of the show than I am right now. I came in as a narrator for one of the stories. The whole concept is very interesting and the fact that 45 actors have actually been a part of this. Also because it is dealing with relationships. When emotion is such a big part of it, you need to have actors around you to interact. Pulling off something like this when you don’t have physical proximity is quite an achievement. So kudos to them for that.
What’s your role in the show?
There are five stories and I’m introducing one story called ‘Rail Ka Dibba’ which is about this boy who lives in Singapore on his own. He comes to meet his family in Mumbai where eight people live in this small apartment and then the lockdown happens. He’s stuck there. He’s not used to having so many people around him. People relate to such stories because it could happen with anybody. That’s what’s nice about these Rishtey stories.
But didn’t you miss being the actor this time?
Of course I missed it. But then you can’t be greedy all the time. You win some, you lose some (laughs).
How was it shooting at home?
I’m lucky that being in Mumbai, I have an apartment with a terrace. It looks lovely in the shoot as well. Abhijit said I need to shoot it on my own. My 12-year-old daughter held the camera. She has definitely become good at doing that.
How do you see the growth of digital space in the past few months?
It is here to stay, and how! Even Bollywood biggies are taking note of it and want to be a part of it. Ultimately, as an actor, you want to work. There’s good stuff happening in the space. People are coming up with good stories and the way they make it, is interesting. I’m going to be a part of it for a while.
Where do you see Lockdown Rishtey in the digital space, which is currently crowded by gangster dramas and thrillers?
I think people have had enough of gangsters and shouting and screaming. It’s nice to see something that could very well be happening in our homes. That’s the beauty of Lockdown Rishtey.
Your part in Betaal was quite experimental. How open are you at this juncture to try out different genres?
I can’t reveal much, but what I’ll be portraying in my next OTT project is something I have never done before. So I’m getting really good stuff. After seeing me in different types of genres in the four releases I had during the lockdown, people are now offering me out-of-the-box stuff. This is great for my creative freedom.
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