She may not have multiple projects in hand but is happy to do a handful of roles that give her creative satisfaction. After earning critical acclaim for roles in Waqt — The Race Against Time and Gandhi My Father, actor Shefali Shah is ready with Subhash Ghai’s Black & White. She speaks to HT City.
Finally, we see you play your age in Black & White…
Finally and luckily, too, which is a refreshing experience. I have played quite a few roles almost double my age. I don’t regret those decisions and feel proud to have been part of Gandhi My Father and Waqt.
So, you enjoy playing such roles…
I did enjoy playing those roles but it’s a conscious decision to play my age. I play a 34-year-old in Black & White.
Are you choosy?
I pick a film on the basis of the role and the director. I do whatever I believe in. Otherwise, even if I am sitting at home, it’s okay with me. I have worked with the best of actors and directors.
What lured you to take up this project — Anil Kapoor or Subhash Ghai?
Besides Anil and Subhashji the third reason is the role. Subhashji has tried to do something different in this film and I found it challenging. Anil, of course, was a reason. I have known him as a producer and this time I get a chance to act with him. He is an incredible actor.
<b1>Do you feel lucky?
I have worked with some of the finest directors of our country and I am at a wonderful phase of my career. I won’t take the credit of being a good actor but I do feel that there are good directors who are boldly experimenting with unorthodox subjects. I have been lucky to be part of these projects. I may not have 50 films to boast of but whatever I have done are almost landmark films, be it Satya, Gandhi… or Waqt.
You have Rituparno Ghosh’s The Last Year, too.
It’s my best work till date. I can proudly say that it’s a film to watch out for. Those who have seen it have come up to me saying this.
You also play a Bengali character in Black & White…
I play Anil’s wife Roma Mathur, who is Bengali and a social worker. I had to speak a lot of Bengali in the film and for that I had to prepare. I wear Bengali saris, which are my mother’s.
This film, too, deals with a serious subject…
It’s about a boy who comes to Mumbai and abandons his family and starts living with another family, the Mathurs.
Aren’t you working with husband Vipul Shah?
There are no plans. We respect each other’s work and if he has a role for me I will do it. As of now I don’t think he has a job for me (laughs).