It is highly unlikely that you have not seen Sheeba Chadha’s performance. Some of you may remember her as a bitter, but well-loved aunt of Haisha, or a related but slightly classy mother in Badami Ho. Perhaps you know him as the long-suffering Mohini, whose dreams were cruelly shattered among the bandish bandits, Mumtaz whose efforts to escape his past have failed since the Taj Mahal 1989, or most recently, Usha in the puglight Loses her 20-son son. These are just a few of the many performances where Sheeba thrills us with her ability to find the truth and essence of a character.
As we embark on a new series that celebrates the female actors who are giving us some amazing performances in films and series on OTT platforms, and discusses how streaming content gave talented actors a new lease of life Otherwise a filmmaker struggling with the industry, comes to mind of the very talented Sheeba Chadha.
Sheeba slips into the flesh and blood of words on a page, which brings women to different socio-economic strata, age groups, occupations, and even geographical locations.
After making her debut in Bollywood and working in many films and television shows, remembering Dil Se and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Aishwarya Rai’s sister Anu who works with her boyfriend Bharata?), Sheeba starts her effort with digital? Stuffed as Sumit Vyas’s mother in the show Permanent Roommates. Having worked in several short format videos with TVF, Filter Copy and AIB, Sheeba is now a regular artist in web series and streaming movies on OTT platforms.
But was she wary of being part of digital content after spending years on theater, cinema and television? “Of course not,” she says. He said, “There was no barrier. The writing was so fresh, the characters were so genuine and subtle. There was a conscious effort to do things differently and teams were open to suggestions from an actor. Also, unlike daily soaps, there is no pressure to churn out so many episodes a week and compromise on the quality of the content, ”said Sheeba, talking about acting for Web Pleasant.
Never really enjoyed working on daily soaps, and with Bollywood’s notorious age business still offering a limited number of opportunities, OTT platforms have served as game-changers for actors like her . While films in Bollywood are producing better written characters and developing more films with a stronger ensemble cast, OTT platforms have ensured an increased number of opportunities that are not restricted by age or appearance.
Sheeba discusses openly how a comprehensive improvement in writing and a conscious effort has been made by content creators and some filmmakers to keep the pitch real. “We have a very different character from the typical hero-heroine-mother-villain outline. There is a change in storytelling, and when you are trying to create a relatable and complex character, you have to show a real face, or a talent, that can pull off the part. This means that there is so much work for actors that might not have been cast otherwise, and that’s great. “
Along with better writing, there is now a much-needed realization that while ‘Hero’ and ‘Heroine’ are probably still the most important in terms of hierarchy in the cast, interesting supporting characters are just as necessary. “This is when everyone is shining that the project can really shine, and people have understood now. It is not enough to just shine above the pyramid.
The walls between the cinema and the web series are also disappearing, with film directors and crew members also working on OTT material. Sheeba shares that the directors, actors and many crew members are now overlapping when it comes to OTT content and mainstream films. Sheeba comments, “It is becoming more osmotic, the working environment is the same throughout the media.
When she succeeds in drawing surprise performances one after the other, Sheeba surprisingly admits that she doesn’t spend hours preparing the character or paying attention to every little detail. “I don’t work on it consciously. I try to be fully present momentarily while performing and I find that voice patterns and body language develop organically from my heart and mind to play a character once. “
Asked how she never manages to ‘act’ a part and instead becomes a ‘character’ without just a moment’s awkwardness or judgment, Sheeba reveals when she doesn’t always believe it Is what his character is doing, so he has to keep his personal opinion and judgment aside. “When I’m essaying a character, I put my personal reservations aside, and I try to understand the character’s tenacity and play with it. If I give my verdict on it, I have already gone out of the way. “She gives me information about how she creates magic with every role,” she says.
After more than two decades in business, Sheeba hopes to be surprised by the roles she is offered. “I think the ambition is just to offer good work,” she says when I ask that OTT platforms have given her the freedom to dream big as an actor. “I pray that I get more and more interesting characters who pose a dilemma. The possibility is now because a lot of interesting scripts are being written.”
She is now in that wonderful place where she can say that her calendar is full and she has no role to say for some time as the dates clash. “But I want it to happen more often,” she says. The optimism in his voice is heart warming.
Sheeba Badhai in 2021 is looking for Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar, and at least 4 other films, which are in the pipeline. Like many of us, she too is hoping that the third season of Mirzapur and the second season of Bandish bandits will take place.
We can’t wait to hear the announcements, and see her as big and small on screen, because the time has come for friends, Sheeba Chadha.