I am always looking for roles that push my boundaries, says award-winning actor Shweta Tripathi
From Disney Channel to Bollywood and then Amazon Prime Originals, Shweta Tripathi has made her mark everywhere. She tells HerStory how she approaches each project, work mantras, and more.
Sunday November 10, 2019,
5 min Read
Actor Shweta Tripathi has become a household name. Whether it is playing the role of a tomboy, a determined woman or a conscientious doctor, Shweta essays each character with the ease of an actor who loves to get into the skin of every role.
Beginning her career with Disney Channel’s Kya Mast Hai Life, Shweta got her Bollywood break with Masaan opposite Vicky Kaushal, for which she won the Zee Cinema Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
She later went on to do diverse roles with Haraamkhor, Gone Kesh, Mehendi Circus, and has also etched her presence on the web with popular projects like Mirzapur, Laakhon Mein Ek, and even in Made In Heaven.
In a free-wheeling chat with HerStory, Shweta Tripathi talks about how she approaches each project and her plans for the future.
HerStory: Tell us a little about yourself.
Shweta Tripathi: I was born in New Delhi. My father is an IAS officer and my mother, a retired teacher, I completed my schooling from DPS RK Puram, New Delhi and graduated in Fashion Communication from NIFT, Delhi.
HS: What prompted you to become an actor?
ST: I was introduced to the theatre by my parents as a means of personality-development where I could gain confidence and people’s skills. I was placed in almost every play my teachers could possibly imagine.
Somewhere between floating about as a background cloud in a tutu skirt and playing Mother Teresa, I fell in love with acting.
My romance with theatre began young. It was an irrevocable, all-consuming affair that still pulsates through every atom of mine.
HS: Tell us about Masaan, which was an unconventional film in every sense.
ST: My character in Masaan was of very comfortably within the non-risky, good-girl ambit. I essayed the character of Shaalu, the archetypal small-town ‘dream girl’ who men would love to take home to their mothers.
She falls in love with Deepak who was played by Vicky Kaushal, who belongs to the lineage of corpse-burners. Although salwaar-kameez, bangles and a bindi were Shaalu’s physical identifiers, she represented an emerging sect of youngsters that don’t mind overstepping (and perhaps even heel-crushing) the invisible caste demarcations.
HS: How did life change after Masaan?
ST: After the inevitable win at IFFLA and Masaan’s Success at Cannes, my acting journey was geared up, it started a few conversations within the film industry, labelling me as the one to watch out for.
HS: What is your approach to choosing roles?
ST: As an actor, I am always looking for projects and stories that push my boundaries. They should not only challenge my capabilities and talent but also push the buttons of the audience watching it, be it on the web or the big screen.
HS: How has the foray into the web been? Laakhon Mein Ek was hard-hitting and Made in Heaven was a different genre altogether. How was it working with two diverse scripts?
ST: The way I see life is you can't plan really every step.
Now when I see projects I've been associated with, I get drawn to certain stories and I've realised why entertainment is really an important part of then.
Also, what my character is telling the world is equally important.
For me, the platform and the medium are important but I would always want to explore as much as possible be it web, OTT, short films, feature films, radio, or theatre.
Laakhon Mein Ek is one of my most favourite projects, just the journey of Dr Shah Pathare and message made it very important.
The beauty of Made In Heaven is that all its characters and stories are so relatable.
I don't want any similarity between my characters, be it Golu, Shreya Shalu or Einakshi, so diverse scripts are what make me excited and I will always choose that.
HS: Did you ever think Made in Heaven would become so popular?
ST: Karam karo, fal ki chinta mat karo (keep up the work, don't worry about the results) is my outlook for every project I do. I give my 100 percent if not more to every project I do.
Even though I had a cameo in Made In Heaven, I was part of a bigger story and that was a great feeling.
HS: What roles have challenged you the most?
ST: All characters and roles come with their own set of challenges. But I think, psychologically, the most difficult was Sandhya that I played in Haraamkhor and Gajgamini Gupta aka Golu in Mirzapur Season 2.
HS: Your film Gone Kesh is about alopecia, which is quite different as a topic. Can you tell us more about how you approached the role?
ST: I try to raise the bar with every project. For Gone Kesh, I didn't know about alopecia and I think that's the best thing about being an actor because you get to explore so many different worlds and you get to learn.
I spoke to a lot of people who had alopecia, followed them on social media because then it’s like a window to know about their everyday life. Also, I met doctors and dermatologists and found out why it happens, how it happens, and that really helped me in understanding the journey of Enakshi and her family.
HS: What roles are you looking forward to in the future?
ST: In the present and future, I want to explore as much as possible because the more I explore, the more I grow as an individual and as an artiste. I always want to surprise my audience.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)