Actor Shebali Shah, along with her husband Vipul Amrutlal Shah after a long hiatus, has teamed up for their upcoming web series Human. He will be seen in the lead role of Doctor on the Disney + Hotstar show he co-produced with Moses Singh. Vipul and Shefali co-starred in Amitabh Bachchan-Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra’s Wakt: The Race Against Time 17 years ago in 2005.
In a new interview with the Hindustan Times, Shefali talked about the pros and cons of working with her husband, the issues of her character on the show and more. The actor also said that he immediately connected with the story after reading the script. However, he is very worried about the reaction of the people to the show. Human, starring Ram Kapoor and Kirti Gulhari with Shefali, will be screened on January 14 at Disney + Hotstar.
Excerpt from the interview:
Man is your husband’s product, he’s co-directed. What advantages or disadvantages did this bring you?
So I don’t think there are benefits. It’s not like I got it because Vipul is running. They wrote that part with me in mind and they wanted me to do it. He told me to read the script and after that you said you are the best judge. Vipul is a very simple and cool director. He knows what he wants, and at the same time he believes in cooperation. He believes filmmaking is an overall endeavor, thank God for that. The most sensible directors do. So did Moses.
Vipul did not give me something that I was not interested in or valued. I did not ask him to make a picture or anything for me. I did not say to Vipul ‘Yeh mere liye kar (do this for me)’.
Disadvantages? The way I talk to him in personal life, if taken to film, people will misunderstand. This may sound ridiculous to us but people will think, ‘Oh my God, there is something wrong with this marriage.’ After a while, it (our joke) was fun for people.
Ram Kapoor said, ‘You know, there’s another show going on on the side. Between the two of you (Vipul and Shefali) ‘. But, we must keep in mind our mutual respect. I can openly say to any other director, without worrying about any misinterpretation, or vice versa (in our case it can not be so). We had to be a little more careful, not because of what we felt for each other, but because of how it felt. Of course, it does not matter after a while because everyone knows that I am a Muhfat and Vipul is a clear man. Trust me, I was pushed a lot. We worked long hours and I didn’t get any offers.
Is there any real life example of your preparation for the character?
No. Everyone involved in the show, including all the assistant directors and writers, I, too, have never met, heard of or met someone like her (Shepali’s character is Dr. Gauri Nath). In real life behaving like this, I do not know that the mind and heart are very complex. Gauri Nath came without an instruction book. Absolutely. Also, as you mentioned, you can’t understand the problems of this character (Dr. Nath) even after watching the show. The same goes for me. I played the character, I lived it and I lived the show. But even now I can not fully surround her in my mind. I could not control my mind around her.
Then, how did you work on understanding the character?
With each script, I read, read, read some more. We got a lot of readings with Vipul and Moses (directors). Dr. Nath is written as a very strong woman, she has a safe place and I found it good. But after some reading, I asked them (the directors) for another appointment and told them, ‘I know you wrote her like a lion, but I want her to act like a snake. What if a woman like this has sensitive and vulnerable behavior? If she is depressed and weak, what if she also has this incomprehensible mind. ‘ They were shocked but Vipul and Moses both agreed with me. It made her even more excited and enjoyable.
Want to talk about the most challenging part of working in man?
Gauri, a challenging character. Like I said, there is no model for her madness, no model for the way she thinks or feels, she is just like that without shyness. I had to become the man I was not. That character pulled me out of my comfort zone and broke my skin. Everything was hard, she was not easy.
Also Read: Human Trailer: Shefali Shah and Kirti Face Tough Choices in Thriller on Drug Tests
Despite two decades, you have made very few plans. How well selected are you as an artist and how do you see your preferences?
God, I am so choice. It bothered me before. I had a lot of love and respect but it was never translated. Then I got to the point of saying, ‘I know what I want, so I’m waiting.’ The situation has changed a lot after the Delhi crime. It was a game changer for me. Last year, I did many things I had never done in my entire life. I did six projects last year. Also, these are all leads and parallel leads which are all fantastic characters.