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Mirzapur actress Shweta Tripathi Sharma: ‘Playing Golu is emotionally draining but creatively satisfying’

Shweta Tripathi Sharma is known for her work in films like Masaan and Haraamkhor as well as web shows such as Made in Heaven and Kaalkoot

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 24.05.24, 04:55 PM
Mirzapur actor Shweta Tripathi Sharma flashes a smile.

Mirzapur actor Shweta Tripathi Sharma flashes a smile. Instagram/ Shweta Tripathi

As Prime Video’s fan favourite franchise Mirzapur gears up for the release of Season 3, The Telegraph Online caught up with its star actress Shweta Tripathi Sharma, who plays Golu Gupta in the series. Shweta talked about her experience of working on Mirzapur, her passion for spoken poetry, how she chooses her roles and the kind of projects she wants to be a part of.

How do people recognise you more as — Golu from Mirzapur or Shaalu from Masaan?

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Shweta Tripathi Sharma: (Laughs) I get an immense amount of love for Golu. When people call me Golu Didi, I find it very endearing and it makes me happy.

After wrapping Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein Season 2, you started prepping for the release of Mirzapur Season 3. What are your feelings?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: I am a huge fan of Sidharth Sengupta (the writer and director of Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein). I am blessed to have worked with him. Besides being a great writer-director, he is a great human being, so you get to learn and grow when you work with these people. I always want to work with the right kind of people. And it’s revision time for Mirzapur! (Laughs) All the actors of Mirzapur have devoted eight years of their lives to the show. We are obsessed with the show as we have played a character that isn’t something that has come and gone. It revisits. Along with the character, we have grown and learnt bit by bit too.

The character arc of Golu Gupta has had major leap from Mirzapur Season 1 to 2. What can we expect from her in Season 3?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: Playing Golu is emotionally draining but creatively satisfying. It’s a life which nobody should live with so much pain, loss and anger. Golu is very different from who I am in real life, but these are the characters I want to play because they push you to think. It’s not about right and wrong but to understand why and how the person behaves.

Being an actor has made me less judgemental. Golu in Mirzapur is the most difficult character I have ever played and in Season 3, it will go to a new level. Also, the bonding I have with my co-actors Ali Fazal and Divyenndu is special. Mirzapur has all the great actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Vijay Varma and Rasika Dugal, and whenever these actors come, they hit sixers. All these actors are extremely secure.

What is the one quality in Golu that touched you the most? Shweta Tripathi Sharma: I had auditioned for this role. I had fun because she tells exactly what she feels. She likes nail polish, but she likes it black. She likes to read but prefers to erotic poetry or stories. She’s the one who can’t be chained, so when her sister and the boy she likes are no more, it’s interesting to see her journey in Season 2. She’s the one who didn’t like violence but then what she does in Season 2...

Nowadays do you choose roles with the same sentiment as you did at the beginning of your career?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: It’s the same as before. I want to protect my gut feeling. Instinct is very important. I don’t go by what’s working and what’s trending. I want to follow my path. I know what I like and where I need to improve. Even if the screen time is less or I have fewer lines, what I care about is what the character is doing to the story. With time, I have realised when you play a character, you are shedding light on it. The character leaves a part of it within me, and I leave a part of me with the character. I am very careful of the energy exchange, so I want to have fun.

How do you approach characters now?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: The core is the same. I might grow and evolve but what I do is trace the emotional graph of the character. For me, it’s very important. As human beings, it’s not clear why we do it but how we do it. If the script is good, then you get all the material from it and that’s the foundation to build anything you want.

You have been part of films with sensitive topics. What has been your biggest takeaway?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: You must be non-judgemental as a human being. When it seeps into your personal life, I find it beautiful and spiritual. When you are acting, you are there with your truth. You can’t be anywhere else. Being an actor, the artistic need to nurture is the homework. Contrary to my school days, I like history now because it’s not about remembering important dates. I view it differently now and try to understand the emotion behind it. In Gone Kesh, I didn’t know about alopecia much. As human beings, we view our problems as the biggest. Now I have empathy and I understand others’ problems as well.

At this point in your career, what kind of films do you want to be a part of?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: I would love to do a heist film where there is a lot of thrill. One should have a lot of fun while watching it. Also, I want to be a part of a love story which makes people smile, giggle and forget their worries.

Your spoken poetry videos have been doing the rounds and some of them have even gone viral. Tell us how it helps to have other artistic hobbies.

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: As an artist, it’s important to keep exploring. I keep going to art exhibitions because when you see others’ exploration, your mind opens. I went to see Usha Uthup’s performance recently and I loved her energy. People should keep filling their buckets. I love going to live cultural performances. I have an office space in Bandra. I have surrounded it with art pieces because I believe in the saying ‘thoughts become things’. Good energy leads to another.

And spoken poetry, it’s all thanks to Masaan. I wasn’t aware that I love poetry. The love and the understanding came from Neeraj Ghaywan (Masaan director) and Varun Grover (Masaan’s screenplay writer). For instance, when I was doing Kaalkoot, I came to know that ‘acid attack victims’ are survivors and not victims. We learn a lot from our characters. No learning gets wasted. It pops up when it’s needed.

You have studied fashion. You have carved a niche with sustainable clothing and quirky choices. What’s the thought?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: It’s very important to have a voice and listen to it. Society, industry, fans and other people will tell you what’s good, but life is simple. We complicate it. I have a fashion background, so I want to have a fun time. When I am spending energy and money, why not spend on things that I love? I don’t try to look out of the box. Validation comes from within. I want to be comfortable because it makes me happy and it’s an extension of my personality. There’s so much noise. I want to stick to my individuality. I like who I am. I want to learn more and evolve. I appreciate who I want to be. I don’t want anyone to take it away from me.

The lines are apparently blurring between movie stars and OTT actors, but do you feel there’s still a thin line keeping OTT actors out?

Shweta Tripathi Sharma: Such brackets will be there because people are lazy. I believe in miracles. There shouldn’t be barriers and actors should work everywhere. I want to explore. Talent should be appreciated. Lines should be fluid.

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