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“The industry should be a little more compassionate”

Shilpa Shukla talks about her career and B.A. Pass and the ups and downs she faced post the release of Chak De!

On B.A. Pass

I was not doing anything when B.A. Pass came along. I loved the story and it’s quite bold too. This film is a life-altering human drama and I am sure many women will relate to my character. I landed this venture after my professor Edwin Williams, who introduced me to acting, contacted me after a decade through Facebook and said Ajay Bahl was making his first feature film. After meeting Bahl, things started to fall in place.

On A Bold Role

For me, work is God, and the people around me understand this and give me the space I need. Sure, it’s difficult sometimes. When I started shooting, there were some awkward moments but once I got to know the people, things evened out. To get into the character of Sarika, I had to leave Shilpa behind. Also, the trust and confidence I had in Ajay, the director and producer of the film, helped a lot.

Responses

I have been getting many calls from friends and people from the industry, saying they loved the film. The audience too enjoyed it. For a film like B.A. Pass to cross Rs 4 crore is a very big achievement. I am happy Ajay’s hard work is paying off.

Turning Point

I don’t know whether B.A. Pass will be a turning point in my career. The industry noticed me in Chak De! India and I received many offers after that film. I need to wait a few months to see if things will change now.

Struggling Days

There was a phase after Chak De! India, when I was getting films but unfortunately they were either being shelved or delayed. It was taking a toll on me. I had signed many projects but the recession after the 26/11 attacks tripped them up. At least, that’s what they say. At some point, sure, I was frustrated… devastated. But I still had hope. There are times when you feel lost and heartbroken. Then there’s a saturation point. But I decided not to give up. I kept saying to myself that this too shall pass. I think the industry should be a little more compassionate and giving. Since acting is my passion, I can never regret becoming an actress.

Future Projects

Coffin Maker is ready directed by Veena Bakshi featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Benjamin Gilani, Amit Sial and Randeep Hooda. Then there is Love and Pranam Walekum.

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