'Girls Hostel 2.0' actor Srishti Shrivastava recounts her journey in the film industry

You might all remember Srishti Shrivastava from Girliyapa, the TVF show that got her recognition as an actor. She followed it up with her act as Albina Dadarkar in Gully Boy and her small fight with Alia Bhatt’s character turned out to be one of the funniest scenes in the Zoya Akhtar-directorial. Srishti soon impressed the audience and the critics when she played Ayushmann Khurrana’s sister, Guddo, in Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo co-starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Now, the actress is all set to reprise her character, Jo, in Girls Hostel 2.0. Ahead of the show’s release (February 19) on SonyLIV, Srishti gets candid about playing feisty female characters and working with Amitabh Bachchan while pursuing her ultimate goal to be a ‘heroine’. Excerpts from the interview:

What’s new with Girls Hostel 2.0 and your character this time?

We have explored many more layers than the first season, which was more like an establishment of the characters and what a girls hostel is like. The second season is more about relationships. We are talking about politics, standing up for what’s wrong. Jo is more vulnerable this season, which is rather refreshing to watch.

How has your journey been so far in the industry?

The industry has definitely decided to change and take people who are good actors having a great body of work. I think there is focus on that, which is very good. I have wanted to act and my journey started with some dance classes and shows here and there. I joined drama school after graduation and that’s when I started working on my craft by doing theatre. I even started auditioning then. I know I have done some good projects, but my ultimate goal is to be a ‘heroine’. I think right now it's possible for anyone, it might be tough but it’s possible.

Be it Guddo in Gulabo Sitabo or Albina in Gully Boy or Girls Hostel, you have always been this feisty female...

The sad part is that everyone thinks that I am like that in real life. They are the characters I have played, but they are not close to my personality although I would like to be like them. Yes, I am open as a person, but I don’t fight. The reason why these characters are similar is because when I started, I was this funny girl and I started giving auditions for that. I then decided to go against that and I got Jo. I did Albina because of Zoya Akhtar and Gulabo Sitabo because it was Shoojit Sircar’s film with Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana. But, I feel there is some typecasting happening now and I am putting all my efforts to break this badass girl image.

How was it like sharing screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana in Gulabo Sitabo?

I was smitten with Bachchan sir. When you are sitting in front of him, you really don't know what to do. So all I did was observe him to see what he is doing as an actor. I keep thinking if I am his age and I have the passion that he has, I am in good space. He is obsessed with his work. One more thing is that he appreciates people who do good work. His appreciation letter made me feel that I am somewhere on the right part.

With Ayushmann, when I first met him, he told me he remembers me as Albina from Gully Boy. So it automatically made me feel comfortable. I like how he is never tired and has an unending drive to make great content.

What has changed for you ever since and what kind of work do you wish to do now?

As an actor, I have definitely grown from Albina to Jo and then Guddo. On the professional level, after Gulabo Sitabo, I got the recognition that I always craved for, be it from Bachchan sir or Anurag Kashyap, who sent me a message on Instagram. However, soon after it, the lockdown happened. So I didn't get the work I would have after Gulabo Sitabo if things were fine. But I am happy that people now know my work but it has to translate it to something. I just want to do commercial Hindi Bollywood films, that’s the genre I was born to do.

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