Explore Old-World Romance of Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi in ‘Once Again’

by September 2, 2018 0 comments

The actress Shefali Shah speaks with the reporter Shalini Saksena about her role in ‘Once Again’ and what makes this film unique. She said, ‘I’m a impulsive actor’.

After giving a great performance in Dil Dhadakne Do as Neelima Mehra, Shah is back in Once Again, playing Tara, a widow with children, in an old-world romance opposite Neeraj Kabi.

What is your role in Once Again?

I play Tara. She was married off at age 19 and widowed at 22. She raises children on her own, lives alone and runs a restaurant. She is a Mangalorean who is strong and not bitter despite the hardships she faces. She is content with life until she meets this man. She has never felt like a woman until now because she has been so consumed by the children and the restaurant.

What is the highlight of the film?

The love story has an old-world charm, not the kind you see now. It’s very poetic, lyrical and delicate. It’s about two people who come from different strata. You won’t imagine that the two would connect. It’s a kind of love story that is unsaid and unrequited. It’s all there and that’s why it is so explosive. Even though it is not allowed to be outwardly so, their relationship is volatile.

We typecast love. Is that correct?

Romance is typically between two people who are attracted to each other not just emotionally but physically as well. Love is universal. It is a broad term. As far as this film is concerned, that is one of the things that it talks about — that much later in life just settle down and accept the way life is treating you. If you choose to change it when you come across someone, be ready to accept it and change despite the taboo.

Define love.

It’s completely consuming. It’s about losing and willing to let go of yourself. There is no other way to love.

You have been part of TV and films. Which one would you choose?

If I had to choose between films and theatre, it will not be a preference but depend on the role, the director and the script. Between a film or TV, I wouldn’t do TV.

Do you have a checklist for a role?

I go with my gut feeling. I’ve never planned my career. I am ready to take chances. If it means not doing any work for two years, I will do that and wait for something that excites me. What excites me is the role, script, importance of the role in context of the script and the director.

Has the industry played to your potential?

It is easy to get typecast and that is what happened to me disappointingly. But choosing to do stuff which excites me and is my age has changed. I have done some powerful and beautiful films.

Do you get butterflies when your movie is about to release?

No. The making of the film is the highlight for me. But every time I go for a shoot I have flying dinosaurs in my stomach. But not when it releases because I have done my best and every film has its destiny.

Are you critical of your work?

Yes, very. When I am shooting, I go with my gut. If I don’t feel it I know it will go wrong.

Do you prepare for your character?

I prepare a lot for the script in terms of who she is. Where does she come from? What has her journey been? What are her gestures? Stuff like that, the smallest of things but I don’t rehearse the scene unless the director wants me to. I am a spontaneous actor. The main thing is to get the character right.

How did you prepare for Once Again?

I was very lucky with this role. The film was written in German, translated first into English and then Hindi. By then, I was onboard. When we used to work on the script, there was a lot of inputting that I gave. I was lucky to be part of this. I am a Shetty and know how Mangaloreans cook and food is an integral part of the film. There was intensive work that went into it.

The one thing you love about this industry.

It has to be Mr Bachchan.

What keeps you busy when not shooting?

A lot. I have a rich life. Acting is part of my life and I love it. I am a housewife, run my house and proud of it. I am a mother. I cook, I read, write and paint.

Upcoming projects.

I have done an interesting web-series directed by an Indo-German director. The project was announced when Canadian PM Justin Trudeau was in India. It is based on real-life police cases. We have shot Season 1 which is fantastic. There is another project in the pipeline — another web-series.

Writer: Shalini Saksena

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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