Q. You are back with a new song ‘Hawa Karda’, how was the experience?
A. I’m very excited after a long time now. My music is releasing so I’m really looking to a really big hit number. It is a very very peppy romantic love dance number where people can actually you know feel the high-speed romance to a very very dancing sort of a song and they can dance on it! So, at this time of the pandemic and lockdown going on, I think it’ll a nice breeze of air for people to listen too. Anyways, I think ek bahut lambe time se ek you know bada achha gana, romantic gaana nahi release hua hai so I’m happy that it’s releasing and I’m happy that you know this song is coming out at this time.
Q. How was it shooting amid the COVID-19 crisis?
A. Very difficult, we had to follow a lot of rules and regulations. Uh, at the same time we had to shoot nearby because all the other countries are shut. The song was you know was planned to be shot somewhere in a nice location but since COVID-19, a lot of things are restricted so we had to shoot it outside of Mumbai and we actually got a very few hours, maybe one shift I think to finish the whole song and it happened to be the hottest day in Bombay that day and it was an outdoor shoot so very difficult to shoot outdoor. Uh, I think you know, a lot of things were hit and miss because of you know this pandemic thing but we managed to shoot a good song, the team was in good spirit, we were all in good spirit, we actually had fun on the shoot. It was a really really smooth shoot and nobody fell sick after that so that was a great thing and the song came out really nice.
Q. Shama, you were a leading face on TV once. Why did you leave it completely?
A. Well, I left television because I wasn’t happy with the kind of products/projects that were being made at the time and I wanted to do films. I wanted to do something that wasn’t so taxing. Television at that time was very very taxing and then all the shows that were offered to me at that time were very repetitive to what I had done in the past and I didn’t want to repeat that so obviously I was trying to keep my, uh, I mean I as an actor look forward to doing something new, it’s giving me a challenge or not, it makes me feel excited to explore something new. If I’m stuck doing the same kind of projects then I don’t row as an actor or as a human being and that gets very disturbing for me.
So yeah, that is why I stopped doing television and nowadays I’m really happy doing web and film and music videos, this genre gives me time for myself and time to change into different characters from one project to the other because you know in television one project goes on forever and then you’re stuck in that one character only which can get a little boring at times if the character doesn’t go in the desired way or something like that. That’s why I left it.
Q. Are you exploring anything new in the OTT space?
A. Yes, I’ve one project starting very soon. I hope this lockdown ends fast and they allow us to shoot so we can start with my project. I’m really excited about that.
Q. How was it working with Gaurav Bajaj in ‘Hawa Karda’?
A. It was fantastic working with Gaurav, he’s a very peppy you know, a very fun loving guy and he was joking from the very beginning, fooling around and that brings a very nice energy on the set. I’m a little reserved the first day usually, especially when I’m working with a new team, with people that I don’t know from before and this was a new team. I had never worked with them so basically, I was getting to know everybody on that very day, so, I was a little quiet at first. You know, because of Gaurav’s peppy energy we all sort of you know, even Dhwani he’s very fun to work with and Alok, both are very very fun-loving guys.
So, it was really a lot of fun and a very smooth process, you know that says a lot of people don’t have any problems on the first day of the shoot that speaks a lot about the people, the kind of humans that were involved in that shoot. So, I’m very very happy that we all got to work together and I’m really looking forward to doing a lot of work with the same team in future.
Q. Tell us about the difference between working in movies, TV and web shows.
A. Well the only difference, I would say from TV to films or web is, the web shows have, you know their own freedom to express and also they have the freedom to shoot wherein when we shoot for television, it is a delivery that needs to happen every day and that can be very taxing sometimes when there is no bank and most of the times you know, a lot of times the channel scraps the episode.
So many things happen at a shoot and if the episode is not complete then the actors have to go overboard and overwork and finish that day’s episode anyhow and that’s something that I don’t like. I don’t like that we don’t, we the actors working in the project don’t have that freedom and you know that’s why a lot of television actors fell sick at that time, they didn’t have any me-time, they could not spend much time with their families at the time when I was shooting, it was really bad. I don’t know how it is right now.
That’s the only difference I see on Television. Wherein, television also gives you fame and it also has the potential and power to make you a household name, people sort of take you as a family member, that plus point is also there. Wherein, in films, films have their own magic. It’s the big screen where people go to see a larger than life persona, the icon created on the big screen. But, I think with the OTT platform, all that is changing, like the content in OTT is truly different than what you see on TV or films.
It is more realistic, the approach towards it, it is more realistic. The shooting, while we are shooting for any of these projects, I mean, you know films and webs is equal to each other because the kind of budgets that are spent, the kind of precautions that they take in delivering quality than quantity, it’s the same in web, depending on what kind of show are you doing, and what budgets they have and which team are you working with. Other than that, I think I’m really really enjoying the OTT space, it’s really cool, it’s meant for actors like me, it’s an actor’s medium and I’m so happy that it finally happened where there can be a medium which is fully based on your talent and not anything else.
Q. Hawa Karda is all about expressing love. Was there any time when you were shy to express your love for somebody or if not, is there someone special in your life?
A. I think when I was growing up as a teenager, I was a very shy person but I still remember, in spite of being so shy I wasn’t afraid of expressing my love for one person that I was in love with at that time because he didn’t tell me he loved me but I did. I mean I was the first one to express it. So, I think love has its immense power, love knows no fear even if you have other fears in your life like fear of talking to people but love does something phenomenal within you and that i learnt with time. Now I am even more vocal about everything because I do everything with love. All my experiences, my expression of love, are very very expressive, I am very very expressive or vocal about things.
Whether it’s love or no love, you know i like to sort of speak out aloud so people understand it better. I like to communicate it through so that the other person has a better idea of what I am thinking or how I want to go about a particular thing. But yeah of course all time I love myself all the time. The special person in my life Shama would say is me. I am the most special person for myself. I love myself in the true sense of love, in true meaning of love. Not boosting you know with pride but with utter humbleness and with utter humility. I do love myself and I am that special person for myself.
Other than me, yes I have a partner whom I love thoroughly. His name is James Milliron. I am engaged to him. And he is one of the best people I have ever come across. And I am just so happy that he is my partner, who understands me fully, he expresses his love to me every day, or I would say every half hour. It’s beautiful when you find someone exactly like you in terms of how you conduct yourself and how you think of love. You find a partner who thinks of love just like the way you do. It’s total bliss!