Actress Shamita Shetty returns to the big screen after Anubhav Sinha’s Cash (2007) with The Tenant which deals with the societal issues of a single woman living in a rented apartment all by herself. The film is helmed by Sushrut Jain and is slated for a theatrical release on February 10. In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, Shamita talks about not getting the kind of work she is looking for, the reaction of her family after watching The Tenant and more. Excerpts:
What pushed you to say yes to The Tenant?
The story and the narrative were very real. It was something that every woman goes through. The plot mirrored the society we live in and highlighted the right issues that are needed to be spoken about, be it lack of privacy or patriarchy.
People have constant judgments about a single woman. It is so difficult to even find an apartment today. A lot of acknowledgement needs to come along with The Tenant. Funnily, we live in a hypocritical society, we know the issues but keep ignoring them. Besides the story that caught my attention, I loved my character.
The Tenant is your feature theatrical comeback. How does that feel?
I don’t know, people kept saying about my comeback every time I come up with a project in the past. The long hiatus wasn’t a conscious decision. Nobody offered me anything nice. I kind of made the bet for whatever came my way and because of this, there were these long gaps in between. I hold my instincts and trust my talent.
I strongly believe that I deserve something better. I would rather sit at home than do anything that comes my way. I can continue doing my shows and events, they are my bread and butter. But this gap was something I never want it to be but now I hope that so many OTT platforms have come up, so people might offer me something good after The Tenant.
Do you feel any pressure to headline a film like this on your own?
I am scared now (laughs). Honestly, I had 100% faith in my director and his vision. I know for sure that whoever will see this film, it’s not going to be a waste of time. I don’t have any pressure as such but I don’t know how it will do at the box office. I am proud to be a part of a film like this. I just hope that the film gets the respect it deserves.
How did your mother and sister Shilpa Shetty react to the film?
My mother was so happy. She has seen it twice already. In fact, she told me that this is one film which I can see more than Kantara. She is a solid critic. My sister absolutely loved it too. It was gratifying for me to see everyone’s reaction at the screening.
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