‘I am very confident about who I am’

‘I’ve come to a point where if people say something negative or if there’s a comment that is not in good taste, I reply by saying, “Yeah but I’m getting cast for my body”.’

Shikha Talsania is getting good reviews for her performance in the Web series, Potluck.

While she has been in the industry for over a decade, 2018’s Veere Di Wedding opened up more avenues for her.

Actor Tiku Talsania’s pretty daughter had his support when she opted for an acting career.

“I didn’t have to convince them (her parents) to (let me) pursue a career in acting. I didn’t have to explain to them or give an assurance about a night shift. I could borrow the car whenever I had to go for a shoot. They were always there to hold my hand when I didn’t get picked for a part, which happens often with actors,” Shikha tells Rediff.com Contributor PS Aaryan Khanna.

Your dad is among the funniest actors in the industry. Do you find comedy easy?

Well, every genre is difficult in itself.

Comedy is difficult, drama is difficult, so is action…

You have to put your heart and soul in them to execute them with finesse.

But I would say that points to my parents and my co-actors. And I have been exposed to an array of amazing actors.

I’m very lucky to have been a part of projects or an environment where I could do drama, comedy and other genres.

So I won’t say that comedy comes naturally to me, but I’m trying to be humble (laughs).

I enjoyed working on Potluck. There’s a sur and beat to every performance and this one has the best of comedy and drama.

In a film industry that keeps talking about nepotism, how has being Tiku Talsania’s daughter helped you in your career?

When I started acting, I didn’t ask for any help from my parents.

The help that I did get was the fact that they were my support system. I didn’t have to convince them to (let me) pursue a career in acting.

I didn’t have to explain to them or give an assurance about a night shift.

I could borrow the car whenever I had to go for a shoot.

They understood the hours that I had.

They were always there to hold my hand when I didn’t get picked for a part, which happens often with actors.

You’ve been in the film industry for over 12 years now. Has the audience perception changed over the years?

I think, as an audience, we want a variety of stories to watch.

As a society, we have changed and our stories have changed.

I’m very proud of the work I’ve done.

From the parts that I have played earlier like that of a girl with body image issues to something like Potluck, I’m very glad that I have been a part of these stories.

It shows the diversity in our craft and in our stories because those characters are so important as well.

You mentioned your previous work where you played characters with body image issues. How do you deal with harsh comments on social media with regard to this?

I am very confident about who I am.

Honestly, my self-worth has never ever been decided by what others said. I’m very thankful for that.

My work and the characters that I got gave me confidence because they weren’t just, ‘Oh she’s fat and that is all she’s going to show.’

Those characters were beyond that and had a lot of nuances in them.

Now I’ve come to a point where if people say something negative or if there’s a comment that is not in good taste, I reply by saying, ‘Yeah but I’m getting cast for my body (laughs)’.

So yeah, I like to have fun with what other people say.

Whether it is negative or not encouraging, it doesn’t really matter because I know my self-worth is not attached to it.

It’s attached to the wonderful people and the relationships that I have in my life.

Do you feel film-makers are casting you for a role based on a certain body type? Does that affect you personally?

Honestly, every actor gets stereotyped.

But having said that, I’m very glad that as I told you earlier, what draws me towards a character is how much they are an integral part of the story.

Having said that, does that affect me personally? Of course, it does.

There are some people who offer one-dimensional characters.

But those are very few compared to all the other wonderful calls I get and that’s because of how our consciousness is changing and our stories are changing.

How much did you relate to your character Prerna from Potluck?

A lot! She’s a young girl, who’s adulting because of her responsibilities.

Adulting sometimes gets hard, strange and new.

How you deal with it is interesting and funny sometimes. So I related to that a lot.

Prerna is very attached to her family, which I am as well.

What I did not relate to is the fact that she’s a brat which I’m not, although my parents might think otherwise.

But there are a lot of aspects of the show where I’m like, ‘Oh my dad is like this, my mom is like this, my brother is exactly like this’ or the relationship I have with my sister-in-law.

It’s a slice of life and I think that’s exactly what the audience will connect to when they watch it.

They will keep saying, ‘That’s exactly what my brother does, that’s exactly how he pulls my leg or that’s exactly how my kids behave.’

What next?

I’m shooting for a film called Jahan Chaar Yaar.

Will we see a sequel to Veere Di Wedding?

Well, you will have to ask Rhea Kapoor. She’s our Veere number one, who has all the answers, and she’s the boss.

We are ready to work.

Has life changed after Veere Di Wedding?

100 per cent. It has opened up many avenues.

Every project changes you in some way or the other.

So life has definitely changed after, Veere Di Wedding.

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