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I've played Ba my way: Shefali Shah

Shefali Shah gets candid with Tanvi Bhatikar on films, television and her forthcoming movie Gandhi My Father.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2007 19:31 IST

Could we start with your role of Kasturba in Gandhi My Father?
Any artiste would die to be a part of a film like Gandhi My Father. Director Feroz Abbas Khan had a very clear vision about what he wanted to make.

The final product is of very high standards and deals with a complex issue but when I had read the script, the story seemed simple and pathos-filled.

Did you draw any references from others who have played the character? Like Rohini Hattangadi in Sir Richard Attenbourgh's Gandhi.
I would never do that. I have lent my own insight to the character.. I've played Ba my way.

Don't you think your role will be sidelined, considering the fact that the movie revolves around the Mahatma and his son?
I think the best role in the film is that of Ba's. She is caught in a tug-of-war between her husband and her son.Whoever wins, she is ultimately the loser. Whoever decides to leave, takes a part of her with him. The men could choose their roles but she couldn't. The audience will relate to her pain and dilemma.

What was the most difficult aspect of playing Ba?
The role itself was quite tough. The film shows Ba from the time she was 25 till her death. A woman's physical body language and intelligence change as her age progresses. It was important not to let the role become a caricature. Even in complex situations, emotions had to be very simple and plausible.

<b1>Isn't there an overdose of Gandhism in cinema today?
What's wrong with that? If you ask me about Gandhi My Father, I don't know how the box office will treat the film.. but it's special.

Fortunately the audience today is not , as narrow-minded as they used to be. A serious or a political film can play alongside a comedy in a multiplex.

Any recent film you wish you were a part of?
Many actually! I would have loved to play the role that Rani Mukherji did in Black or Tabu's in The Namesake.

What do you take into consideration before signing a film?
My role and the director.

Did you miss working in in your husband Vipul Shah's Namaste London?
I loved it but I don't think I would have suited any role.

Since your husband is also a producer now, what role do you play in the production company?
Nothing. He's efficient enough to take care of the company .

<b3>You've acted in TV serials like Raahein, Kabhie Kabhie and Hasratein. Why don't we see you in TV more often now?
TV requires long working hours and deep-rooted commitment. That's not possible for me since my kids are growing up. Also, at one point, TV serials had wonderful stories, which would remain constant till the end.. nowadays, serials don't offer stories.. although I have to admit that the production value is far better.

Is The Last Lear happening?
Of course. Mr Amitabh Bachchan is in it. I also have Subhash Ghai's Black and White.. and most probably I'll be doing Rakeysh Mehra's Dilli 6.

What else keeps you busy these days?
Laughs) Kids, kids and kids.

First Published: Jul 30, 2007 10:58 IST