She refuses to call herself a choosy actress. But her filmography suggests otherwise. Shilpa Shukla is best remembered for her rebellious character in Chak De! India. After a series of minor roles, she’ll be next seen in Ajay Bahl’s BA Pass in a lead act. The actress of Ladhaki-Tibetan origin is playing a middle-aged woman who seduces a college student. In a frank chat, the 31-year-old shares her thoughts...
Did it bother you that your character was way too bold?
As an actress, you keep asking yourself the question: where do I draw the line? And in my experience, the answer lies within you. It’s not about how much you expose in front of the camera - everybody does that anyway. What matters is whether a film is worth pushing the boundaries. As an artiste, I have to take a freefall when a character calls for it.
How do you strike a balance between your professional and personal beliefs?
In real life, I’m a very spiritual person. But the truth is I lost that source of balance after Chak De!. It took me six years to go back to my original position. My job is to portray those who aren’t me. People come in different shades - grey, black, white - and I’m not responsible for their existence.
Don’t you fear being typecast in this particular character?
I have a very good feeling this time around that a typecast won’t happen in my case. Besides, I have an interesting mix in my repertoire and people are bound to take notice of not only this particular role but also the films I’ve done earlier.
As an actress, don’t you think you’ve spent too much time with one film?
Not, really. BA Pass came my way at the beginning of 2011 and I was in Delhi at that time. After reading the script in e-mail, I sought my parents’ permission. They were okay with it and that gave me a boost. Speaking of the time spent, I feel if a film is good enough, time shouldn’t be a liability. Given the travelling we’ve done with the film, it’s been a fulfilling journey.
Is it true that you shared creative differences with the director?
What else do you expect? This kind of film hasn’t been attempted before, at least not in our country. Besides, the arguments Ajay and I used to have on the sets never pertained to lovemaking scenes. As soon as you step out of your comfort zone, you begin to have creative differences. However, thanks to these discussions, I managed to deliver my best.
BA Pass releases on July 12.