Maska actors Prit Kamani, Shirley Setia are cooking up meals, and dreams
Maska actors Prit, Shirley on their Netflix film that follows a cook working at his family restaurant, but harbours acting.
Singer-turned-actor Shirley Setia and Prit Kamani make their digital debut with Netflix's film, Maska, which drops today. Writer-director Neeraj Udhwani's Mumbai-centric film, which also stars Jaaved Jaaferi and Manisha Koirala, is set in the quaint and dying world of Irani cafés.
"The title has several connotations, and so does the film," says Kamani. "In Bambaiya lingo, lagaoing maska means to butter someone up. Then there is bun maska, a staple fare at Irani cafés. There is also your bread and butter for survival and buttering your bread on both sides to gain from two things," adds Kamani, who plays Rumi Irani, a youngster torn between carrying on the family's legacy and creating one of his own.
Last seen in Hum Chaar (2019), Kamani plays a cook "who has to get his salli boti and prawn patio right because that's what his fathers and forefathers did. I am born to run the family café, but I dream of becoming a movie star," he explains. "Maska has old [ideologies clashing with] new. Rumi is initially lost, and goes off track, but ultimately realises his true calling."
As part of his prep, Kamani learnt how to cook. "And I had a good time eating it," says Setia, who plays Persis, a blogger-photographer working on a coffee table book on Irani cafes. "Mumbai is an integral part of Maska. We play Parsi characters and shot for it across the city," she informs.
Seen as one another's romantic interests, Setia's character enables that of Rumi to find his calling.
To chase her acting dreams, Setia moved from hometown, Auckland, to Mumbai. She makes her big-screen debut with Sabbir Khan's Nikamma, which marks Shilpa Shetty Kundra's return to Bollywood. "I want to sing and act. I have just started acting," says Setia, who runs a YouTube channel that sees her render covers of Bollywood chartbusters.
"We auditioned for Maska and we know that several people before us had tried their luck as well. I met Prit for the first time on the set," she says. "I had heard of her as a singer," chips in Kamani, who will next be seen in an Anubhav Sinha's production.
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