As she begins readings for Alia Bhatt’s maiden production Darlings, Shefali Shah relieved to bag a funny film after a spate of serious roles
Shefali Shah and Alia Bhatt
Busy moving from one project to another, Shefali Shah is working at a frenetic pace, but she has no complaints. The actor has not only resumed the shoot of 'Human', but has also begun workshops for 'Darlings', which sees her sharing space with Alia Bhatt.
Her attachment to the film is evident as she begins the chat by saying, “Darlings is a fantastic script. Jasmeet [K Reen, director] is clear about what she wants. Alia, Vijay [Varma] and the rest of the cast have been doing readings. Thank God it wasn’t over a Zoom call, because I find it impersonal. [In our reading], we have reached that stage where we are going [above and beyond] the written word. As an artiste, it’s fun when you let the script go, and keep [improvising].” The drama was originally slated to roll in February. “We lost two months because of the lockdown. 'Darlings' will go on floors anytime now; we will shoot in a bio-bubble.”
Set against the backdrop of a conservative lower-middle-class neighbourhood, 'Darlings' tells the story of a mother and daughter who find courage and love in exceptional circumstances. It’s the “wicked humour” that drew the actor to the film. “It talks about something important, but at the same time, it’s funny, dark and wicked. I was looking for something like this for a long time, but [makers] often come to me only with serious roles.”
The movie marks Bhatt’s foray into production. Lauding the actor for broadening her horizons, Shah says she is inspired by the young generation’s go-getter attitude. “These kids are focused; they know what they want and how to get it. When I was young, I didn’t even know I wanted to act. I started doing theatre, after which I landed a serial. It took me years to realise this is my calling. I never planned my career until recently. I never met directors, nor did I have an agent. Today, people create opportunities for themselves, which is progressive. Otherwise, as an actor, you have to keep waiting for a good script to be offered to you.”
Also read: Shefali Shah: For the longest time, I've wanted to direct but I wasn't sure