#HowIMadeIt: Shweta Basu on her journey


She might still be known as the ‘Makdee’ girl but Shweta Basu Prasad has done enough work post rejoining the industry to shed the child actor tag. The 30-year old actress, who is our guest this week on #HowIMadeIt, has made a lot of progress in her career, especially in the last few months. Not too long ago, she was also seen in MX Player‘s ‘High’.
Talking to ETimes, Shweta takes a walk down memory lane to ponder over how it all began. “I don’t think that I was interested in acting; it just happened. In fact, after I did ‘Makdee’ and ‘Iqbal’, I was offered Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Traffic Signal’ and Rajkumar Santoshi‘s ‘Halla Bol’ but my parents wanted me to concentrate on my studies. When I returned to the industry, I did a lot of work behind the camera. The urge to act only happened after ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. ‘HSKD’ was a great platform and subsequently I also did the TV show ‘Chandra Nandini’. Then came the game changer- ‘Tashkent Files’,” she relays.
Shweta goes on to say that she has always focused on content. “When I select a role today, I do it if I am impressed by it as an audience. I have grown up watching Bimal Roy, Sai Paranjpe, Basu Chatterjee and Satyajit Ray‘s films,” she points out, adding that the recent boom of content on OTT platforms makes her hungry for good work. “The advent of OTT has made such deep inroads that I don’t think there’s anyone–actors or technicians–who’s unemployed today. I had as many as five projects last year. Actresses who are more beautiful and talented than me exist, but I’m getting good and regular work. 2020 was a terrible year and I’m not celebrating but I’m in a happy space,” Shweta exults.

While she’s a known face now, the actress still likes to audition for her roles before signing on the dotted line. “What’s wrong with an audition? The director and producer invest so much, they’re within their rights to select whoever they want. I, for one, like to earn my roles. Even after I complete 10 years in the industry, I wouldn’t mind the audition process,” she declares.

MX Player’s ‘High’ holds a special place in Shweta’s heart. Speaking about the show, she says, “People have been asking me when will they get to watch the second season of ‘High’. I hope it comes out soon and I would love to work on it again. MX Player’s team is, by far, the best team I have worked with. The show was very well made and very well shot. I loved my character and the shoot in Mumbai and Munnar was great. ‘High’ is personally one of the best projects I have worked on.”

While her professional life is going great guns, Shweta went through an upheaval in her personal life when she parted ways with husband Rohit Mittal in 2019, just 8 months after tying the knot. But the actress is unfazed. Without batting an eyelid, she says, “It happened, but then I see couples who have been together for 10 years or more going separate ways. The fact that Rohit and I separated after only 6-8 months made it feel simply like a break up. Divorce may sound like a big word, but in my case I can vouch it was definitely not nasty. Of course, I was sad; nobody parties when you split up with anybody, but I have an amazing family around me. Besides, I think one is his own friend or enemy in such situations; I went on to become my own friend and I am fine now.”

Shweta will soon be seen in the National Award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘India Lockdown’. “The story revolves around the first 3-4 months of the lockdown when the rules were very stringent. I start shooting for it next week. I didn’t do his ‘Traffic Signal’ and he was telling my mom, ‘Abhi toh Shweta kar sakti hai na meri film? (I hope now Shweta can do my film)’. I am really looking forward to this one,” Shweta signs off.

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