Not an easy actor to bracket in a particular genre, Sheeba Chadha has always picked challenging roles and shown her versatility. From theatre to movies and OTT, Sheeba has spread her wings wide, wowing the audience with her every time.
She is now gearing up for the release of her new film, Rabia and Olivia. Looking back at her journey, Sheeba says, “I don’t give too much thought. You just go with the flow. I have nothing to complain about because the grace of God - good, bad or ugly work – has been consistent. I hear many actors have no work. Fortunately, I am getting better roles, better scripts, and a good set-up. It feels great.”
Rabia and Olivia narrates the story of a child and her caretaker, and shows how their bond changes and strengthens over time. Talking about the movie, Sheeba adds, “We shot for it long back. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the film now. I do remember shooting an emotional climax scene. It was an interesting story at that time. The director (Shadab Khan) was engrossed in the project. It was nice to work with him. He was passionate about the script. He gave space to all of us – how one would like to perform. It was quite a special piece of work for him. I hope the film does well. I think this film took three-four years.”
Sheeba made her film debut with the 1998 superhit Dil Se and went on to feature in another blockbuster in the following year – Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Sharing her experience of working with the filmmaker so early on in her career, Sheeba says, “In Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, I was offered a much fleshed-out role. Sanjay sir is an actor’s director. If he regards you well as an actor then he is encouraging, and appreciative and creates a good environment for actors to work with him. It was crazy because it was a big film. Working with well-known actors was great. There were so many theatre actors as well in this film. It was hard because it was many days of continuous shooting but still fun.”
The film featured Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles. Revealing her memories from the set, Sheeba says, “I didn’t have any scenes with Ajay, except the Nimbooda song. I had a few scenes with Salman. I remember there was a guy on the set who kept staring weirdly and Sanjay got very upset about it. He was protective and asked the guy to leave. He is connected to his mother, so he respects every woman.”
Currently, the filmmaker is gearing up for his digital debut with Heeramandi. So, was she approached for it? “Yes, they had called me for it. I was to play a character’s younger sister, but there were some changes.”
Before signing off, Sheeba reveals the projects she has in her kitty. “I am working on Afghaani Snow directed by Anshai Lal. I can’t talk about that right now. Then I am shooting for Bandish Bandit season 2. I am also doing Permanent Roommates season 3. I just finished a Netflix German series called Hello. It’s an eight-part series directed by Sebastian Hilger. These are the immediate project,” she concludes.