Soha Ali Khan has won hearts with her performances in movies like Rang De Basanti and 31st October, among others. The actress is currently gearing up for the release of her upcoming series Hush Hush, which is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 22. In an interaction with The Free Press Journal, she shares her experience of working with director Tanuja Chandra and co-actors. Excerpts
Can you elaborate about your character in Hush Hush?
I am married. I have two children and a good husband too. She has a happy life. She used to be an investigative journalist, and she is protective of her family. She is passionate about her opinions and speaks her mind distinctly and doesn’t mince words, so I like this about my character. I have usually played far more demure characters. Even the last one I did on the OTT platform was demure and good. Saiba’s character is not about pleasing other people. We are four friends who live together in a colony, a gated community.
You don’t work much, is there a specific reason?
I definitely appreciate work-life balance. I chose to have a child later in life. So, I can spend a lot of time being a parent. That has been a priority for me. Contrary to a lot of women who are great multitaskers, I can only handle one thing at a time. I can’t manage to do more things simultaneously. I felt when, I became a mother that I had forgotten myself. Now, I understand that was a great mistake. You must retain other identities and other passions. It has taken me two or three years to appreciate that.
On the work front then, I did Kaun Banegi Shikharwati. We have done Hush Hush. There will be more work, traveling, writing books, and meeting friends. I feel we are here for a short time. The most important thing for me is to spend time with my loved ones, and I am fortunate to be able to make choices. I understand a lot of people don’t have that. I just feel happy.
A still from Hush Hush
What do you think sets OTT and cinema apart?
First, the journey takes a lot longer because we are shooting eight hours of cinema. Apart from that, your characters need to develop. So all the characters need to be justified. Also, you have the ability to tell different stories. You are not constrained by budgets; you are not burdened by stars and theatrical distribution; the idea remains on an equitable footing. I am excited as a consumer as well as an actor.
How was your experience of working with Juhi Chawla?
I don’t know her well even now. My character is very muhfat. She speaks her mind and uses colourful language, which is not what I do. Especially for people I have a lot of respect for. I have had very confrontational scenes with her. That was challenging, but as a professional actor, you do that.
Did you have any pressure during the shooting of Hush Hush to look beautiful?
Not at all. If your white hair popped up, our director, Tanuja, would allow us to let it be. It’s not a glamorous role. I am so conscious about my camera facing, but you surrender yourself because you are focused on performing your scenes. You don’t know where the camera is placed, and that’s how it should be.
Do you agree that recent female driven stories are doing well on OTT, however there seems to be a dry spell in cinema halls?
Well told stories I agree, do well. At the end of the day, the two sexes are connected. We don’t watch women’s or men’s films as such. We watch films that are women-centric, but every film has both men and women cast. When men like women, live with women, and love talking to them, they will also watch it if the films are good. They can’t do it without us, and we cannot do it without them.