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Shweta Basu Prasad is hungry for character-driven roles

Shweta Basu Prasad in Hotstar Specials’ ‘Hostages’ Season 2  

Actor Shweta Basu Prasad, the child actor who was introduced by Vishal Bharadwaj in Makdee way back in 2002 is confident that her role and character are well fleshed out in the second season of Hostages 2. She clarifies that while a role is written, it is upto the actor to play the role by getting into the character.

“A role and character are never the same. My director Sachin Mamta Krishan and series director Sudhir Mishra made sure I got into the character of Shikha convincingly. Sudhir Mishra is one the finest directors; he knows how to manipulate an actor’s emotion, sensibilities and expressions. This is the first time I am playing a role like this and I loved every bit of the shooting for the series,” she says in an interview with MetroPlus.

The 29-year-old is confident the audience will root for Shikha as the character is well fleshed out and is consistent. Explaining it as a role parallel to that with Prithvi — the protagonist of the show — Shweta describes Shikha as a diligent and honest intelligence officer who comes across a file, pursues it but is constantly shunned and pushed away in the department.

Shweta however, regrets not getting to do a scene in the series with Divya Dutta whom she hugely admires.

Having acted in Bengali, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil cinema, Shweta has also worked in various departments in the entertainment industry. A mass media graduate and a trained classical musician and dancer, she also wrote and directed a documentary on the origin of classical Indian music titled Roots in 2014 where she interviewed A R Rahman, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar, Amit Trivedi, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Birju Maharaj, Imtiaz Ali, Shubha Mudgal, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and L Subramaniam, among others. The 60-minute-long documentary is available on Netflix.

“Apart from films and television I have explored behind-the-camera work, and worked as a script consultant at Phantom films. While on shoots, if I am not shooting for a scene, I would do any work that I can pick, including taking the clap, cue, basically assisting my directors,” she says.

Lockdown diaries

Working in films is how she learnt her craft as an actor, which is why she is always eager to play roles that challenge her. During the lockdown, Shweta made a vlog on lockdown life and is toying with the idea of turning it into a series. “If, after editing, I feel there is enough content, I will go ahead with it, otherwise it will become another home video for my personal collection,” she laughs.

Calling herself an active member of the binge-watching club, Shweta appreciates OTT platforms and the availability of unlimited quality content. She however says exposure to good content and cinema is a privilege she grew up with. For which she credits her movie buff parents who are regulars at film festivals and watch movies of all genres irrespective of the language. “Schindler’s List was the topic of discussion at our dining table. I had the exposure to world cinema as a child. OTT however is a boon for actors and the industry as a whole and has brought down the scope of piracy,” feels Shweta.

The actor was last seen in Tashkent Files, a 2019 conspiracy thriller about the death of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri directed by Vivek Agnihotri. Shweta is waiting for her next release titled Shukranu on Zee5.

Hostages 2 will start streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar on September 9.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:32:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/shweta-basu-prasad-talks-about-playing-an-intelligence-officer-in-hostages-2/article32542700.ece

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