Movies

Sayani Gupta on India’s tryst with audio shows, and why she’s a fan of the format

Sayani Gupta  

After garnering fandom for her performances in projects like Axone, Margarita with a Straw and Four More Shots Please!, actor Sayani Gupta is now branching out into audio shows.

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Having already been part of Buri Nazar for Audible Suno, Sayani is now gearing up for the release of her latest with the same platform ⁠— Mine and Yours — a modern-day love triangle where she plays the role of a bisexual woman, who explores and introspects on questions concerning sexuality and queerness. Ahead of the release of the second season of the series, that also stars Nakuul Mehta and Kubbra Sait, Sayani talks to us about what to expect from the intriguing project.

How did you prepare for this role? Did it include any research talking to people from the LGBTQIA+ community?

To be honest, the preparation was very light. The character is not very complex; she is a regular human being and she just happens to be bisexual. (smiles)

However, I did a lot of research earlier when I played the role of Khanum in Margarita with a Straw. A part of my workshop then was going and speaking to people from the LGBTQIA+ community; I also visited a bunch of gay bars and pubs in New York to observe and understand the culture better. I am an ally, and some of my close friends belong to the community, so I could empathise with the character. Since it is a very-well written script and a wonderfully fleshed-out role, all I had to do was be honest with my lines.

How different is the script for an audio show compared to a conventional TV show/movie?

The script is not that different, but the screenplay definitely is. But since I’d already done a show earlier for Audible, it wasn’t that difficult to adapt to it. Even as a kid I dabbled in a lot of shruti nataks… which literally translates to ‘audio shows’. That experience helped me too, as the syntax is the same.

What can people expect from your character, and the show in general?

The personalities of the characters are very specific and different, and there’s a lot of drama and comedy. Nakuul’s friend’s character is also super funny. I just want people to watch it because we have done some very good voice-work, if I may say so myself. (laughs)

How was it working with your fellow actors?

I had worked with Nakuul before, while Kubbra and I have known each other for a long time. So it felt like jamming with friends! Considering this was during the pandemic, we stuck to mostly doing Zoom readings.

Sayani recording for the show

Sayani recording for the show  

Generally, recording for audio shows or even dubbing for that matter is a very solitary experience. But while recording for Mine and Yours, the three of us were put in a room; this helped us play off of each other’s energy, and made the entire experience very interactive and exciting. The sound design makes it even better; it literally feels like the story is happening right around you.

Do you see yourself working in audio shows or podcasts again in the near future? Does a format like this have a future in India?

Definitely! India has a very old tradition of audio shows: radio plays. In fact, my father worked at All India Radio, so I was brought up on radio shows. Audible has taken that old tradition and married it with technology, so that people can easily access and consume this type of content in today’s day and age.

I actually still remember people’s voices from the radio shows I used to listen to as a kid. It is a different kind of sensory experience, and is still a beautiful one.

What are the future projects you are working on?

I am currently shooting for the next season of Four More Shots Please! I rarely get excited about my projects, but I am quite excited for this season and for everyone to watch it. Also, Inside Edge season three is going to release soon, and some of my films are in post-production.

Season 2 of Mine and Yours is currently available on Audible


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 4:53:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sayani-gupta-on-indias-tryst-with-audio-shows-and-why-shes-a-fan-of-the-format/article37070105.ece

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