New Delhi: Bollywood actress Shefali Shah‘s stellar performance in director Richie Mehta’s powerful web series ‘Delhi Crime’ was unforgettable. In fact, she even won the Asian Academy Creative Awards for the series in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role! The show is based on the real-life incident of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on December 16, 2012.
In the series, she played the role of Vartika Chaturvedi; her character was based on former Delhi Police DCP Chaya Sharma. She had solved the case within 3 days.
Since the case itself was quite traumatic, there was a lot of prep that Shefali had to go through to understand her character. She had spoken about the behind-the-scenes work in an interview with an entertainment portal. During the conversation, Shefali revealed that she even had the opportunity to talk to the former Delhi Police DCP Chaya Sharma and ask her questions.
She told Vogue India, “To be very honest, I don’t think I have gotten out of the show mentally yet, and I don’t know how to do that. I am an instinctive actor, but there was a lot of prep that went behind creating this character. Our director had a fantastic blueprint ready for us. He had already done years of research and I had the honour and privilege of talking to Chhaya (Sharma) ma’am and asking her questions.”
The actress wanted to dive deep into her character and understand her inner complexity, especially bringing back the same emotions the character would’ve felt in the real-life situation. In the same interview, she went on to explain how the research that she did had become a part of her subconscious.
“A lot went into creating her. When you work on all of this, for hours and hours, and then you go in front of the camera, the research that you’ve done becomes a part of your subconscious, like you’ve actually lived it. And then is where the magic happens. It’s not practiced, or rehearsed, or calculated. The story is split over five days, so every single moment is accounted for and every single moment had to be taken into account. How many hours has she slept? When has she taken a break? When was the last time she had a break in the case? When was the last time she had coffee? Every single, small detail mattered, to create the character. I can’t even begin to tell you what all went behind creating her. This has been a learning curve for me. I’ve never worked like this. And I don’t think I see myself working in any other way but like this in the future,” she added.
The series was the first Indian web series to win an International Emmy award.
On the work front, apart from ‘Delhi Crime’, Shefali has featured in several films such as ‘Juice’, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Ankahi’ and will be next seen in ‘Doctor G’, ‘Delhi Crime 2’ and ‘Darlings’.