As someone who doesn't want to miss any chance of unpacking her suitcase of dreams, Shreya Dhanwanthary has always found solace in stories. When it comes to bringing them to life on screen, the lass believes in taking up new challenges and that reflects in her choice of work as well.
After innumerable auditions and a decade long struggle in the industry post her modelling stint, it was her portrayal of journalist Sucheta Dalal in Hansal Mehta's acclaimed series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story which brought her to limelight. Since then, this Hyderabad-born girl has been winning hearts in her own distinct way across different mediums.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Filmibeat, Shreya Dhawanthary gets candid about love, relationships, dabbling with a new medium with Audible's special Valentine's Day original Pitching Pyaar, her upcoming film with R Balki and much more.
Excerpts from the conversation.
'Exploring A New Medium Is Pretty Cool'
Q. You had said that you are attracted to roles which give you a scope to perform. So when the Audible show Pitching Pyaar came your way and you gave it your nod, what was more challenging for you- exploring a new medium or a genre like lighthearted love story, something that you had never attempted before?
A. I think both of them were challenging. In terms of storytelling, exploring a new medium is pretty cool especially this year when I started with a short film The Couple for Amazon Prime Video's Unpaused: Naya Safar. My next release was Looop Lapeta on Netflix and now Pitching Pyaar is with Audible. I think exploring new storytelling medium is quite exciting for me.
'Honesty, Spontaneity And Freedom Are The Three Most Important Things That I Look For In A Relationship'
Q. What's your definition of love? What are the three most important things that you look for in a relationship?
A. Hey bhagwan yeh toh bhaari ho gaya..(jokes). Talking about the definition of love, I think it's the only surprising thing that's left on the planet (laughs). The three most important things that I look for in a relationship are honesty, spontaneity and freedom.
Q. Every actor brings with him/ her a certain sense of energy which plays a pivotal role when you are enacting a scene since acting is all about action and reaction. But when you are doing an audio show, you have very limited tools as an actor. In that case, how did you make sure that you and your co-star Veer Rajwant Singh were on the same page?
A. Oh, Veer and I have worked together before and I absolutely adore him. Our director Saad Khan is wonderful. He made sure that we were comfortable and we knew exactly what we were getting into because we have had rehearsals before as well. So, I was looking forward to it. We were all definitely on the same page and having a lot of fun on that page (laughs).
'I Believe Progress Is Always Outside Your Comfort Zone'
Q. In the last few years with many new age directors entering the picture, the concept of love stories have seen major changes and it's no longer restricted to quintessential storytelling. Makers are not shying away from depicting various shades of a relationship. What do you think has brought about this change? Also, does that make you more confident to step out of your comfort zone as an actor?
A. I think love is the backbone of every story that's usually told in the world and the fact that we are getting novel ways to showcase love because we and the world are constantly changing. So, it's always fun to see novel ways of discovering and portraying love. People are not shying away from depicting various shades of a relationship which is only good. I feel like we can only keep exploring, keep peeling the layers and keep discovering new things to say. I don't know about the confidence to step outside the comfort zone because I believe progress is always outside your comfort zone. So, that's something what I look for.
Q. You always say that you look out for opportunities to tell a story and capture a magic which happens in telling of a story. Sometimes these opportunities take their own sweet time to arrive. How do you utilize the phase between projects?
A. This is the thing that makes all of us in the industry of people who are familiar with freelance culture. I mean we know what to do with our free time (laughs). Books have always been my closest and oldest friends. So, I comfortably spend a lot of time with them. I watch a lot of things including movies and shows. I love to watch story in any format. You know I genuinely watch a lot of things so I am actually up-to-date with most of the things that I want to be up-to-date about. Also, I love spending my time with my friends and family. We sit and chat, play board games so it's lot of fun.
'I Showed The Overwhelming Feeling At The End When I Finished Shooting My Part For Chup'
Q. When we look at your journey so far, you have worked with a diverse range of filmmakers which include names like Hansal Mehta, Nikkhil Advani, Sabbir Khan to name a few. Do you feel each of them have also shaped up the way you perceive cinema now?
A. Yes, I have been lucky enough to work with wonderful people whether it's Raj-DK, Hansal Mehta, Nikhhil Advani, Sabbir Khan, R Balki. I mean these names are incredible and every single person has been an absolute joy and treat to work with. I can't believe that I am been so lucky and they continue to shape how I make decisions, view life, do anything. I give full credit to all of them.
Q. Lastly, your upcoming film R Balki's Chup is already the talk of the town for its interesting mix of cast- you, Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol and Pooja Bhatt. Was that experience overwhelming for you considering it brought together talents each of them who have made a mark in their own distinct way?
A. My film Chup has a very interesting mix of people whether it's Sunny Deol, Pooja Bhatt or Dulquer Salmaan. It was overwhelming to work with them. But I think I showed the overwhelming feeling at the end when I finished shooting for my part. It was a day before the film wrapped. It's incredible to be sharing space off screen and on screen with these people who I have kind of grown up watching. So, it's pretty awesome.