I regret my initial choices, says Shraddha Das
She has seen highs and lows and now she is in a happy space. The actress talks about her upcoming films and more in a candid chit-chat with CE.
Shraddha Das has been part of some exciting projects in Telugu and Hindi. The actress will next be seen in director Praveen Sattaru’s actioner PSV Garuda Vega in a crucial role. “I play a journalist in this film and she is always game to bring a lot of things to light and takes a lot of risks with her life. I speak in a very different tone like Arnab Goswami (laughs). It’s not that my role was modeled after him, but the tone with which he presents himself has excited Praveen, who decided to incorporate it into the film.”
Not many know that Shraddha holds a degree in journalism. “Pursuing that course helped me to get the rhythm right. I’m not familiar with Telugu and I worked really hard to get the accent right. There was no teleprompter and I had to say the dialogues on my own. So, I memorised the lines. Adding to that, there were many little things like the way you look at the screen, how you sit and dress to be taken care of.”
In spite of working with Praveen in Guntur Talkies, she had to audition for Garuda Vega. “Praveen literally put me on my toes. There was no one to talk to me in Telugu, and being a perfectionist, Praveen always insists on a single take. So, he sent me two monologues and I auditioned on my phone and sent the video across to him. Being a North Indian, it takes a lot of effort for me to speak pure Telugu as a few words look like tongue twisters (laughs).”
Shraddha wants to try her hand at dubbing. “The team helped me with the language and performance. I have no qualms about dubbing for myself, but only if Praveen is convinced.”
The actress is excited for her next Hindi film, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz wherein she will be seen as a struggling B-grade Bhojpuri actress, who also has a part-time business. “This role is important in changing Nawazudding Siddiqui's life in the film. The look is garish in the sense that she wears a lot of fake brands, eyelashes, and bright makeup. She is a brave girl and doesn’t have any inhibitions. I have one love making scene in the film but it doesn’t look vulgar at any point. I really enjoyed working on this role as it was complicated, demanding and challenging. I feel one needs roles like that which proves you are an actor,” says Shraddha.
Talking about working with Nawazuddin, she adds, “I was nervous to work with a star like him. Although he is not intimidating, I couldn’t sleep for two nights out of anxiety. When I went to the sets, I was shivering and my director made me comfortable. After two-three days, my fear went off. I would love to work with him again and again.”
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had ordered 48 cuts for Babumoshai. Reacting to the controversy, Shraddha explains, “After the film was given an ‘A’ certificate, I have no clue why they insisted on 48 cuts. You can’t control children from watching a film in a theatre. A person can decide if he/she wants to come to the theater. There is no censorship in Netflix or on the internet. If that’s the case, then why you try to regulate and cut down everything here? In Babumoshai, all the characters are from UP and you can’t expect them to speak good English, refrain from using abusive language and doing goondagiri.”
The actress regrets working in glamourous and insignificant roles in her initial days. “In the beginning, I didn’t have a choice and I did what came my way. I used to be sad and unsatisfied when I came back home as I couldn’t contribute much for those films. Despite being a popular actress, initially, I didn’t feel content at all.”
She says she used to wonder if it would make difference at all if the makers removed her portions from such films. “Lately, I realised that I don’t want to take up such roles and go through trauma. Now, I’m in a comfortable space. Hence, I want to be choosy and act in films that have a substantial role for me.”
The 30-year-old actress is also part of filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh’s upcoming production venture Mirchi Malini. “It’s a one-hour short film and will be aired either in September or October. I play a journalist again in that,” signs off Shraddha.