MUSBA HASHMI catches up with SHRAVAN REDDY, who talks about his new web series and experiences so far
- What is your character in Thinkistan?
I play Hema, an English trainee copy writer. He is a suave and well-read. The web-series is set in the 90s and revolves around the divide caused by language barriers. Amit (Naveen Kasturia) is a junior Hindi trainee copy writer. While Hema gets things easily because of his English background, Amit has to wait for it. Both are creative but the language barrier restricts Amit. The series represents the face of real India and talks about talent and friendship.
- Are you as creative in real life?
Creativity has different meaning for different people. I am not good at writing like my character. I was good at sketching but now I have lost touch.
- What made you step in to the digital space?
First, it was the director — N Padmakumar (Paddy). When he called me for a meeting, I knew that he know this world in and out. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to make and how he wanted it to look like. He has a hold on things. Second, the storyline was attractive. Third, a greed to do an era-based show because I haven’t experienced this till now. I have been a part of regular TV series and this is different.
- What attracts you the most towards the web space. Is it the wide reach?
I believe TV has wider reach than any other medium — even more than films. It has become a household option. If you go in the rural areas, they may not be well-versed with theatres but they do have a TV in their homes. They will recognise a TV actor more than anyone else. Unhein agar election mein bhi khada kar do toh shayad woh be jeet jayein. (laughs)
The thing which drew me is that I have explored other mediums. In this space, the narrative is different and I was yet to explore it. I always want to explore new waters.
- Which medium did you find more challenging?
Every medium comes with it’s share of challenges. I love challenges. As long as the medium I am working in is gratifying and satisfying, I am good with it. We do face challenges while playing different characters, but it’s part and parcel of acting. If there will be no challenges, then we will stagnate.
- How much creative liberty do you have in the digital space?
It has nothing to do with mediums. It depends on the director. Everyone has their working style. Some don’t give space for modifications — they want the work to be done in their way. Others give room to play with the characters. If I talk about Paddy sir he always gives creative space to the actors provided you are withing the peripheral of your character. There is a scene in the trailer where Naveen Kasturia and I having masti. Hum dono ek dusre ko paer sey maar rahe hain. That was not scripted but because it looked so real, Paddy sir kept it in the trailer. The best part is he never says cut even if the shot got over. He waits that maybe hum kuch aur achcha kar saktey hain.
- How have things changed for you after doing Krishnadesi?
Things have changed. But if I would have continued working on TV after Krishnadasi, I would be able to answer this correctly. Some TV offers came my way, but I decided to wait and see how other things went.
- How did Splitsvilla 7 happen with you?
It was a random decision and I never imagine to be a part of that show. Working on reality shows is different. You have to sell your personality. I wasn’t able to do that it in the manner that was required or was the norm of the show. I did not fit there.