Hungry for more
Filmfare|July 2021
LIKE STEVE JOBS, SHRIYA PILGAONKAR TOO BELIEVES IN STAYING HUNGRY, STAYING FOOLISH. ANALITA SETH CHATS WITH THE LEVEL-HEADED ACTRESS
ANALITA SETH

She’s the daughter of two talented artistes, Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar. One can say that Shriya Pilgaonkar was born to act. Like her father Sachin, who made a name for himself as a child artiste in both Hindi and Marathi cinema and then stretched that streak into adulthood, Shriya too started off when she was quite young. She appeared in the hit serial Tu Tu Main Main, playing a character named Bittu, when she was just five. She made her big-screen debut with the Marathi film Ekulti Ek (2013), which was directed by Sachin. She won the Maharashtra State Film Award in the Best Debut Actress category for that. She then landed a French film called Un plus une (2015), which was much celebrated on the festival circuit. Her Hindi film debut happened with Fan (2016), where she was paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan. It’s to her credit that she stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him in the film and didn’t give off any newbie vibes. OTT beckoned in the form of the hugely successful Mirzapur (2018), she was even part of Gurinder Chaddha’s period piece Beecham House (2019). Her last release was the multilingual Kaadan (2021), whose Hindi version Haathi Mere Saathi, has been put on hold because of the spike in the COVID-19 cases and a partial lockdown in Maharashtra. Excerpts from a free-flowing interview with the actress who likes to work across genres, platforms and languages…

FAN RECENTLY COMPLETED FIVE YEARS OF ITS RELEASE. WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF YOUR HINDI FILM DEBUT?

Fan will always have a special place in my heart. To share screen space with Shah Rukh Khan feels surreal even now. It tried to tell a different story in a different way. Kudos to Shah Rukh Khan for taking that risk and playing a double role in the film. Both the characters he played were poles apart from each other. It taught me that one should never be afraid to take risks. I’m proud of the film and proud of my work in the film.

DID SHAH RUKH KHAN GIVE YOU ANY ACTING TIPS?

I loved interacting with him as he’s an intelligent man. He’s insightful and we had many interesting conversations. I shared with him that I wasn’t just interested in being an actor but wanted to be a filmmaker someday as well. I told him I’ve already made a short film and a documentary. He was very supportive of that and recommended a book on screenplay writing called Save The Cat, which I bought later.

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