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“I decided to cut myself off from the urban world for Masaan” – Shweta Tripathi

You have seen her acting in a couple of TV shows and numerous commercials. Now, Shweta Tripathi has stepped into the world of movies with last week’s release ‘Masaan’. Even though ‘Haraamkhor’, the first film she shot for, is awaiting a release, she has already made a splash with her performance in Masaan. In this interview, she talks about her love for acting, all the hard work which went into preparing for the film and life after the release of Masaan.

Masaan is your first film to have hit theatres. The response to the film has been very good. How do you feel about that?
It feels like a blessing as it is very important for an actor to have his films released in theatres. When an artist makes something, he expects people to see it. As an actor, I would like my work to be seen by a large number of people. All the people from the fraternity, who watched the film, loved it. In fact, people whom we do not know personally are asking their friends and families to watch the film because they really liked it. It is good to see appreciation coming from all corners.

Masaan went on to two top awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Did that make you feel confident about the prospects of the theatrical release of the film?
Absolutely! You need to pump in a lot of money to market your film. Masaan is a small budgeted film and hence, we could not have spent too much on marketing. The film garnered a lot of attention after it was screened at Cannes. But at the end of the day, it is a small film. Even now when the film has released, a lot of people do not know about the film. We are trying our best to ensure that the film reaches out to as many people as possible. I know a film like Masaan needs some push and I am going out of my way to inform people about this film. I urge them to watch it as I am supremely confident about the product.

You got the UP accent right and the various small town nuances came across very well. How did you prepare for the role?
Shalu Gupta is a well-educated girl who can converse in English but is interested in Hindi literature. I decided to cut myself off from the urban world which I was a part of. I spoke to our writer Varun (Grover) and he gave me a list of writers whose poetry Shalu devours. Neeraj (Ghaywan) asked me to watch a couple of Hindi films like ‘Nadiya Ke Paaar’ which are based in the hinterland. I started reading books written by these writers and stopped speaking in English. The two actresses who play my friends in the film are from Benaras. I started talking to them to them to get a hang of the culture of Benaras. I am from Delhi and had a very cosmopolitan upbringing. Then, I shifted to Mumbai and have lived here for nine years now. So, it was important for me to prepare well in advance and get a little familiar with the milieu of small towns before I started shooting. I needed to uproot myself from the urban milieu and imagine how my life would have been if I were in a smaller town.

Amitabh Bachchan praises Masaan and Vicky Kaushal’s performance

“Playing the character in Masaan did come across as a challenge” – Vicky Kaushal