Krutika Deo recalls getting ₹10 in alms during Taali shoot | Web Series - Hindustan Times

Krutika Deo recalls getting 10 in alms during Taali shoot

Aug 22, 2023 06:13 AM IST

In an exclusive interview, Krutika Deo opens up on her experience of playing young Sushmita Sen--a child struggling with their gender identity--in Taali.

Actor Krutika Deo, who is garnering widespread praise for her work as young Ganesh in Sushmita Sen's web series Taali, has said that during the shooting of the show, a man gave her alms thinking she is actually begging on the streets of Mumbai. Taali is based on the real-life, and struggles of transgender activist Gauri Sawant and is streaming on Jio Cinema. It features Sushmita as the grown up Gauri while Krutika plays the young Ganesh. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Krutika talks about working on the Taali and her experience in the Hindi and Marathi industries. (Also read: Taali review: Sushmita Sen tries her best to rescue one-note biographical drama on Shreegauri Sawant)

Krutika Deo featured in Taali.
Krutika Deo featured in Taali.

Shooting on Mumbai streets, getting 10 for alms

Recalling some of the most difficult scenes for the show, Krutika said, “One of the most challenging times was when we shot the scene where Ganesh is forced to beg after reaching Mumbai. We shot on real locations with the cameras kind of hidden, it was sort of a gorilla shoot. I was alone, standing there, begging each time the traffic signal would turn red. A man came, gave me 10 and blessed me. I get goosebumps even recalling that moment. It was surreal. He really thought I am begging. It was kind of a compliment to my acting, but also that feeling …it was weird. Our DOP Raghav sir (Raghav Ramadoss) suggested I should get that note framed and keep it like a souvenir. I am yet to get it framed, but I have kept it with me. And, then I realised that Gauri Sawant and many others like her go through situations like these even today. It was a little difficult to come to terms with it.”

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She also said that the scenes in which Ganesh leaves his home, and the one where he encounters the sexologist were also emotionally demanding and therefore, difficult. “For any 15-16 year old to take the decision. I listened to interviews where Gauri said she only had 50 when she left the house. Thanks to Nandu Madhav sir (I managed to do the scene well). He was so good and supportive. Something magical happened, the moment the take was over, we just looked at each other teary-eyed and thanked each other. I got support from him and he told me even he got some inspiration from a movement that I did. Taali has been a very satisfying experience."

People identifying with the struggles of adolescent Ganesh

Asked about the responses that she got after Taali released on Jio Cinema, Krutika said that she is overwhelmed with the DMs she has received on social media. While some people seem to be learning about the existence of transgenders through the show, many others have identified with the struggles portrayed onscreen.

"It is very overwhelming and I love how this story has connected to so many people. Some of them are probably finding out about the community for the first time. So one of the perspectives is like that they are getting to know new things and now they are reading up about it. And the other perspective is that people have related to the young Ganesh that I play. With their DMs, I can sense that so many of them are feeling, you know, 'seen'. That is very moving to read about.

Hindi vs Marathi industries

Krutika said that she shared a self-audition test video before she was called for a look test and cleared two-three levels of tests after which she was finalised to play young Ganesh in Taali.

She has worked in several Marathi films including Atul Kulkarni's Anya and Madhuri Dixit's Bucket List. Asked about the difference in the working styles in Hindi and Marathi industries, Krutika said that people in both industries work passionately and work hard for their vision.

Asked if she ever felt cornered or othered, Krutika said, “No not really, not cornered. I would say people in Mumbai are welcoming. I do not belong to Mumbai and have found the city very welcoming. As for the industries, I believe there is a plus point in Hindi - the auditions and casting directors (though they started only a few years ago), but there are open auditions and casting directors share all kinds of profiles. I got my first film (Hawaizada, 2015) through auditions and now Taali also came through auditions. Open auditions happen in Hindi industry and they are seeking out actors from different parts of India. If you have talent, you can get the roles.”

She added, “For Marathi - it is only for the state of Maharashtra, so the number of people working there is smaller, scale-wise. It gets crunched and there are very few casting directors, so most of the work in Marathi happens through networking and friendships. In that sense, I like the Hindi work culture because this is more open to outside talent.” She added that she is a Marathi speaking person who hails from a Marathi family and had Marathi education, but the digital platforms and Hindi industries are much more open to outside talent than Marathi industry.


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    Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues.

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