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Making A Difference

Sometimes, it is the power of a strong supporting cast that makes a film look as good as it does on the big screen. Shikha Talsania, who has taken her role to the next level with her incredible acting in Veere Di Wedding, talks to Bhakti Mehta about her role and much more. 

On The Brief

Rhea (Kapoor) knew me from Wake Up Sid and someone from that team had suggested my name for Meera. That is how Mukesh Chhabra called me for a screen test. I got a two-line brief, that she is a young mother and it was her veere’s wedding. I was told that the arc of Meera’s life was that she had a child and there was some growing-up that she was going through in her life. I heard it and I instantly loved it because I related to each and every aspect of the character.

On The Role

I have a very organic way of working on my character in all my projects. I first read the script and form an idea about it and then I meet people from the team, the producer, the director, and talk about their vision for the character, for the film. Then I see the costumes, go on the sets, shoot on location, like we shot in Delhi and Phuket, and it is all very organic. It adds another filter to the character.

Interestingly, I am not Punjabi, I am not married, and I don’t have a kid. But I know people who do. I know people like that. I have Meeras and Kalindis and Sakshis in my life. You relate to it even if you are not going through it and that is how you act. I don’t know if there is anything in particular that I did for the role. I had to work on the Punjabi-ness and Delhi-ness of the character. I have a friend who is like that and she helped me with the dialect. That’s how I tried to get that part right. Everything else was just set right including the clothes that she would wear.

On The Challenges

There are not many challenges when you have a fantastic team. You look forward to the challenges. The biggest challenge I think was to shoot with the little boy who plays my son, Kabir. It is not easy to direct a child, a two-year-old, although I did bond with him quite a bit. When you shoot with kids, you have to shoot around their sleeping and eating  schedules, which becomes challenging. But I just love that little boy.

On Her Co-Stars

We had such a fun time on the set. All four of us just bonded. And it was strange because in the beginning, I didn’t know any of them closely. That’s why it was so beautiful that a connection was formed between us. There was some kind of magic in the air and it made shooting fun. We all got along immediately. All of them are such wonderful actors and human beings. And all of them are more experienced than I am but that never came in the way when we spoke to each other. They were very warm and welcomed me with open arms.

On The Director

I think Shashanka Ghosh is a kindred spirit. I used to call him my soul sister. There is a lot of serendipity involved in me being a part of his project because he has mentored all my mentors. I think he is absolutely fabulous.

On The Response

It has been overwhelming and I am so grateful for it. What is so beautiful is that many men and women messaged me saying that they felt better about themselves and their bodies after they watched the film. I think that is a great achievement for me. It is amazing that we have scripts like Veere Di Wedding to say all these things to the audience.

Future Projects

I am currently going back to the play that I have co-directed called Dekh Behen. Inshallah, there will be other more amazing projects for me to work on soon.

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