Shivani Raghuvanshi stood out in Made In Heaven with her portrayal of a spirited young girl who is desperate to climb the social ladder and leave her less privileged background behind. Her role of Jaspreet Kaur aka Jazz, an aspiring wedding planner, was entertaining as well as thought-provoking.
Shivani has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress at the second edition of the News18 iReel Awards for her performance in Made in Heaven. We caught up with her for a freewheeling chat.
"It feels awesome to be nominated. I kind of knew when I read the script that people will like this character, because she is funny and quite different from the other characters. The way it was written on paper, and the kind of journey she had on screen, so many people could relate to this character, who comes from a small town, or somebody, you know, trying to make it big, but they are not financially that stable, that’s the thing everybody can relate to. I think that's what actually helped this particular character," said Shivani.
Shivani is no stranger to critical acclaim, she received lots of it for her debut movie Titli. But she says Made in Heaven got her more recognition in the mainstream, despite being a web series. "The digital platform is helping a lot of actors survive, I think. Scope of work in movies is limited, because of the amount of money involved. It’s more risky. The web is more open. A lot of actors are getting their due because of their work in digital," she said.
She added that the web is a boon for newcomers like her. "My film Titli got a lot of praise and I even won some award at an international film festival, but very few people outside the film industry knew about it. I got a wider audience with Made in Heaven, because everyone was watching it on their screens."
Acting was not always a part of Shivani’s future plans. She wanted to be a director but exposure to street theatre while studying in Delhi University's Khalsa College drew her towards acting.
“Nobody in my family has any inclination towards plays or art. So my life was all about academics, until I saw a nukkad natak in college. That's when I auditioned for the theatre group. But then, after two months, I realized that this is not my cup of tea, maybe I just want to act on screen. So I did a couple of street plays, just to try. And then one day, I met this girl who was a coordinator, who got me the audition for a Vodafone ad, and later for Titli," she said.
Besides Made in Heaven, Shivani has also starred in her first web film, Posham Pa, for ZEE5. She also has finished working on a Bollywood film which will release in November.
You can vote here: News18 iReel Awards 2019/Voting