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Interview Hindi

Three Course Meal celebrates life's imperfections, says Shweta Basu Prasad

According to the actress, her segment, Baby Food, will lead the audience to question their reality and life itself.

Roushni Sarkar

Shweta Basu Prasad was in Kolkata a few weeks ago to shoot for two upcoming Hindi anthology projects. Cinestaan caught up with the National award-winning actress, who will be seen in segments helmed by Bengali filmmakers in these projects —  a film, Three Course Meal, which is being directed by Arjunn Dutta, Indrasis Acharya and Shieladitya Moulik, and a Netflix series, Ray, which brings to life four short stories by the legendary auteur Satyajit Ray.

At the cast announcement of Three Course Meal, the actress had mentioned that her role in Baby Food, the segment being directed by Moulik, was unlike any she had played before. While the food-centric dark fantasy thriller proved quite a challenge, she told Cinestaan that shooting with co-star Anirban Chakrabarti was one of her favourite experiences. “Not many actors get such characters. I would have regretted it if had said no to Shieladitya,” the actress said.

Prasad, who was bowled over by the dark and twisted nature of the short, had a tough time eating after shooting for the film. The actress, however, emphasized that the strength of the story is that it is extremely humane. "We are so used to romanticising everything that we forget to celebrate imperfection. I think the short film tends to normalize the dark sides and flawed aspects of characters and life itself," she said.

According to Prasad, Baby Food will lead the audience to question their reality and their life itself.

The actress was blown away by the Three Course Meal script when she first read it and decided to get involved at once. The actress dropped a hint about the subject matter of her short, stating, “Because it's Baby Food, there were lots of babies as well but we will not talk about that.”

Reliving her culinary experiences in the City of Joy, the actress said she had feasted on phuchkas and also visited the storied Indian Coffee House to relive the old-world charm of Kolkata.

Having been brought up watching Ray’s films since childhood, the actress is stoked about being a part of the Netflix project, which is being made for Ray’s birth centenary. Her short film has been directed by Srijit Mukherji.

“The first Satyajit Ray film I watched was Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, then I watched Sonar Kella, Devi and Nayak. I guess I watched the Apu Trilogy quite late. To be part of the series is an honour because Ray is considered one of the most important directors ever, and hence, the entire world is celebrating his centenary," she said.

The actress feels that due to the OTT platform boom, actors are getting tonnes of work. “I do not chase work but it comes on my way. I am thankful for the opportunities, especially because new OTT platforms are continuously experimenting with content and characters in new formats,” she said.

She had an entirely contrasting experience working in Baby Food and Ray. However, she regarded both directors to be quite chilled out. While she found Moulik, who would listen to her queries and answer them patiently, to be extremely approachable, she found Mukherji to be even more relaxed and calm on the sets.

Prasad has also finished shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar's India Lockdown, starring along with Prateik Babbar and Sai Tamhankar among others.