Straight after she played a blind girl of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent in Margarita with a Straw, there were a whole load of scripts that came Sayani Gupta's way but the actress says she’s glad that she rather decided to follow her nose.
Gupta, whose trajectory as a major rising star was sealed with her breakthrough performance of a Dalit woman in Article 15, has made careful choices since the beginning, because as an artiste, she wants to put her heart and soul into films that she believes in.
“I make choices very instinctively, but my instincts are driven from the politics I believe in. As an actor I believe what is my personal belief system and my world view and the way I perceive the world, I want my art to also represent that. It needs to be something that I will be proud of and I will watch. So, I’m very mindful of that but not all actors are. I say no to so many projects and I will keep doing it if it’s not of my taste,” the actress tells us.
Gupta says now that she’s been in the industry for a while, it's all about taking more risks and playing characters that are challenging. Currently, she has a great deal of responsibility on her shoulders-- to live up to the charm of her popular character of Rohini Raghavan in Amazon Prime’s Inside Edge, which is returning for season two.
“It’s actually first time that I’ll be reprising a role because I haven’t done a series before this. In fact, I was a little scared because when we started filming season two, the first season had already come out and people really loved my character of Rohini. We did one day of workshop with our director Aakash Bhatia. And, it was exactly how it felt earlier. I think because we were already so comfortable with each other, there was no ice breaking that happened. The status quo was already set,” says Gupta.
“Karan (Anshuman) and Akash trusted us, so much so that I already knew I was in great hands. And, the moment I got into Rohini’s clothes, I just felt like Rohini. She just came back to my spine,” she adds.
Gupta says she will be forever grateful for what she learned throughout the production process of Inside Edge. She believes Rohini is one of the best parts, if not the best part, she’s ever been given, because of its conflict of righteousness.
“Rohini is such an empowered character. It’s also very beautifully written and layered. I believe when you have good material in hand, you just go out there and do that truthfully. As an actor, you’re only wanting to delve deeper and play with those layers because it’s not fun to just play monotonous characters,” she says.
Gupta, however, says there was no scope of improvisation for Rohini's character as her dialogues were laced with so many data and technical terms.
"For Rohini, I couldn’t do any improv because I have monologue after monologue which is just cricket numbers and data. So, I couldn’t have said it in my words. I had to mug up pages after pages. I have a monologue which is six page long. So, I had to mug up everything and then make it my own," says Gupta.
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