Actress Srishti Shrivastava has been one of the more noticed faces on the big & small screen of late. Her performance in the Hindi film Maja Ma is still being talked about. In a freewheeling conversation with MAM recently Srishti spoke to us about her experience of working with Madhuri Dixit, her career so far and lots more. Here’s an excerpt from the same-
How did you land the role in Maja Ma & how was the experience of working with veterans like Madhuri Dixit & Gajraj Rao?
I auditioned for the role of Tara Patel. Jogi sir’s team had cast me for Gulabo Sitabo and even for Maja Ma. I had a round of auditions and I was lucky to get the part. Post the selection, Anand sir and I were talking on zoom about the film and the character. I slyly asked him who is going to be playing the mother. He took a pause and said ‘there’s an actress, I don’t know if you know her. Her name is Madhuri Dixit’ and we both burst out laughing. I have danced to all her songs in school and college. I know all the expressions and the entire choreography of almost all her songs. So I was living my dream when I got to play her daughter in the film. She is an absolute treat to work with. She gives the space to perform and create the scene with her actors. And the same goes with Gajraj sir. The experience and humility they bring on set and into their work in unparallelled. All I did on set was observe. I saw all the homework that Gajraj sir did and the magic that Madhuri ma’am created in every shot. Let’s just say I lived my dream.
Despite being a Madhuri Dixit led film, you had a significant role in Maja Ma & played a catalyst of sorts. How did you prepare for the role & any learnings from it?
Anand Sir and I spoke a lot about the character. The crux was to understand why she is the way she is. And it was very important to know where she is coming from, when she’s trying to make a point. I also met people from the queer community and spoke to them and spent some time with them, to be able to undertand more. The most important thing I took from the film was the idea of Communication in the family. A lot of things in our world are just pushed under the carpet and a lot of relationships become very surface if the hard topics are brought up.
You have straddled various mediums, short films, feature films, web-series etc. How has the journey been so far for you as an actor?
It has been an exhilarating journey. From someone who knew no one to where I am today, it is a better place and despite all the pain and the sad days, I would not have it any other way.
It started with the stage. My training and practice as an actor comes from theatre and while I was doing plays, I started giving auditions at random places in Versova. One day Casting Bay asked me to go to The Viral Fever’s office and I got my first sketch called ‘Why should hot girls have all the fun’. Somehow that video was the start of my journey on camera. And I started climbing the ladder. Slowly and steadily.
What has been your most challenging role so far & why?
Guddo Rastogi in Gulabo Sitabo was a challenging role for me. Though I was familiar with the language, I was not familiar with the world of the film. And it took me about 2 days after shooting to find the character. Her presence was very strong in the film, but she only spoke when she needed to. And that made the character very interesting and challenging.
What do you look forward to while being given any film or web-series opportunity? What’s your decision making process like?
I want to be the heroine of a film. I used to shy away from saying that, but yes, I do. So if a script gives me that, YES. Also, I go by my gut. Always. If something feels right, I just take it up. and it is fun that way.
What’s your take on the LGTBTQ aspect & its portrayal/depiction in Indian cinema?
I think right now we are trying to find a balance. But the good part is that filmmakers are talking about the community. And because of that it is reaching a very wide audience. And that was the purpose to begin with. for the topic to be spoken of and to be heard all around the country.
Any particular character or role that you’ve been in awe of in recent times & something that you would have liked to have done?
I watched ‘everything everywhere all at once’ and my mind was blown. Michelle Yeoh was stunning and that would be a character I would love to play. The next one is Gangubai Kathiawadi. Alia has done a stunning job and I would love to play Gangu for sure.
How would you like to be remembered by the audience say 10 years down the line?
Tell us about your experience of working on a popular web-series like Girls hostel? What do you think has made it click with the audience?
The experience has given me a beautiful family which has the actors, the writer and the director. Even if we meet after a long time, we can catch up where we left off. It is organic and fun. The thing that worked was the relatability of the world of girls in a hostel and also the characters and their relationships. All the emotions and drama in these seasons connect to a specific audience very deeply. It’s the honesty of the show that makes a show.
Tell us about some of your forthcoming work & projects please…
Will share details soon.
We at MAM wish Srishti all the very best for her forthcoming projects.