Sayani Gupta on Four More Shots Please 2: ‘Much bigger problems right now than our show doing well or not’
Sayani Gupta is sure that the second season of Four More Shots Please will again be a hit with fans, considering how everyone is stuck in their homes due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, she also knows that the show’s success or failure isn’t the biggest concern for anyone amid a deadly pandemic.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Sayani talked about the reaction to first season, what the future has in store for her character Damini Rizvi Roy, her favourite character from the series and more:
Four More Shots Please was one of most popular series for Amazon Prime in India. Was it a response that you expected?
No! Amazon was completely confident about this show because they typically have these group screenings and they were like people are loving it. We don’t have direct contact with them so we were like ‘Haan...theek hai dekhege.’
I don’t really overthink the show because that’s poisonous. You just do your job and forget about it. When it came out and became such a rage, so that was quite nice. There are still so many people who keep writing to us constantly. Whether at airports, when we go to malls and all. It’s quite cool.
The last time we saw Damini, she was left alone and lonely after 10 episodes of being in a love triangle. Where does the story take her in the new season?
She is a very complex human being who feeds off the complexities and likes drama. I think to myself why is she getting into all this, why can’t she just simplify her life? But she is not gonna do that and that’s also not good for fiction, drama. She is going through a tumultuous time and trying to figure out stuff at the work front. She gets thrown out of her own news agency that she had founded. She even returns the award.
Now she is trying to do other things with her talent, trying to figure things out with herself on both fronts. There is quite a lot happening.
Grey’s Anatomy and Orange is the New Black are two really popular shows with a big star cast. However, in both these shows, and similar others, the story of lead characters, such as Meredith Grey or Piper Schilling, often seem shallower compared to the characters they are surrounded by. Damini is among the most empowered, self confident women of the lot and yet, her story is often limited to choosing the right guy for her. Do you think Damini’s story, too, can seem shallow at times?
Shallow? I don’t get the question completely but honestly, there are variations in the world. You will see it again in the second season that there is something which is happening in society and she takes a huge stand and there’s a lot of backfire due to it. And she goes through with it because she is not someone who compromises. She is very strong and extremely righteous. It is one of the reasons I really like Damini and love being her.
We all have concerns about other things, we worry about people, we worry about the world. There are certain things that move us, make us want to do something. But when it comes to your personal problems, how shallow it might seem—there are so many things that are privilege problems— it’s true, it is there but it is still your problem and you can’t undermine that. People may say ‘Oh why are you so depressed about a heartache?’
‘People are dying, Kim!’
Yeah, because people are dying and it’s not nice but I am having a heartbreak and it’s not nice either. We are all driven by our personal realities. Otherwise you are a saint or someone who has dedicated their lives to activism. That’s a different path you have chosen.
The show, as glam and shimmery as it seemed from the outside, did want to tell some really important stories of loneliness, body shaming, need for validation, closeted relationships. Was that something that pulled you to the show?
I said yes to the show was because it was trying to put a women-led narrative. It was made by women, about women. Most narratives are about men. There are very very few narratives in mainstream that are actually about the woman. They were trying to represent urban women who are you and me who have careers, are independent, have agency and are flawed and unapologetic about it.
When there are four characters on screen in front of us, we often start loving one more than the others. Do you have a favourite?
When I read the script, Damini and Siddhi were two characters I really loved on paper. And when I saw the show, I think Umang was my favourite. It was real, it was true. In our country—and around the world—homosexuality is such a taboo, or any another sexuality. To break those taboos, it really hit home. And the character was written for Bani, she is almost playing herself in the way Umang is. She is spunky cool and tomboyish girl who has a lovely heart.
The last time we met, we had a great face-to-face interview with the whole lead cast. This time, we are limited to this phone call. How has the pandemic changed work for you? Do you think it will affect the viewership in any way.
I think positive only because everyone is stuck at home. But there are much bigger problems right now than our show doing well or not.
I think it will do well because it has a huge fan base. Every day someone writes to us, why don’t you put out the show. I hope we don’t disappoint them.
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