Shreya Dhanwanthary, who garnered acclaim from Scam 1992, The Family Man franchise, among others is currently on cloud nine as she gears up for Chup: Revenge of the Artist that releases on September 23. In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, she talks about her being fortunate, working with co-actors and more. Excerpts:
You seem to be quite fortunate with films like Chup… and Adbhut too early in your career. Your thoughts?
I don’t know what to say when I read my name on the poster of Chup… along with such great actors like Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, and Pooja Bhatt, I can’t believe it. I don’t know if I am choosing the right projects or I am doing well. I am grateful that I have gotten great comments and reviews so far. I felt I would get bashed at some point since it is inevitable, but I am glad that it has been like that till now. I hope I can continue to keep getting opportunities.
R. Balki is known for experimenting with subjects and with Chup… you are a part of his world. How do you feel?
It was an immediate love for Balki and this is the case with me for the people I work with generally. I feel ecstatic that I got to work with him in Chup… He is someone who gives me a playground to perform. I don’t think he is a task master rather he is too kind and sensitive. As actors, we always starve for affection and Balki used to say words like spectacular, fabulous, stunning after every shot.
A still from the film
How well are you aware of Guru Dutt’s cinematic universe?
I grew up in the Middle East and the only connection with India was through films. As a result, I ended up watching a lot more films than the average Indian kid did. I saw Kaagaz Ke Phool a long time ago, which is also about a filmmaker’s journey, and even Chup… is something like that, so it’s a little metaphorical.
Were you intimidated by stalwarts of the 1990s, Sunny Deol and Pooja Bhatt?
I think everyone was a little terrified of me whenever I was on the sets. People say Sunny is shy, but with me he wasn’t. Pooja is like my soulmate, like ‘do jism, ek jaan’. We all got along very well. I am like a bulldozer who doesn’t see ice at all (laughs). I feel that the more I meet different people in the industry, the more interesting I become as a person.
How do you feel about creating your own fanbase on OTT with shows like Mumbai Diaries 26/11, The Family Man franchise?
I don’t want to take credit for choosing good roles and scripts. It all has to do with timing and luck. I have worked really hard for a decade and I have started to get lucky now.
Do you feel more responsible with an amazing slate of projects in your kitty starting with Chup…?
I myself am not aware of how my journey will unfold from here on. Like an audience, I am also waiting for my films. There are days when I have anxiety, but most of the time it’s excitement.