“As a child, I even wanted to be a detective!”
Our guest this week on #HowIMadeIt, Shriya Pilgaonkar starts off, “Having different interests is at the core of who I am and. Even though my parents are both actors and artists, I was encouraged to discover myself and develop different interests and passions. When I was a child, I wanted to be a detective! I used to love studying, and was quite a nerd, but also was a professional swimmer and a dancer. I think the common thread that has dominated my life is that I have always been a performer. So whether I was performing as a Kathak dancer, or performing my skills in the swimming pool, or performing in a debate or elocution in school, communicating a story or an emotion is something that has been a common thread.
That said, it wasn’t a given that I will act. If that was my original plan, I’d have got into the industry much sooner! I think it was when I was training as a kathak dancer that I first felt the interest in the medium, since abhinay is such an important element of the dance.”
I think as actors, even if we are interested in other things, it’s only a good thing. Nothing goes waste. Whether it’s a sportsperson’s discipline or whether it’s my love for languages, being the person I am and having diverse interests, has only helped me train to be a better actor.”
“Work very hard, but be detached from the outcome, my parents have always advised me.”
So what have her parents advised her? “More than any advice per se, I have learnt so much from my parents by merely observing them. I have observed the grace with which they have handled themselves. They have always led by example and by action, and that is something that has always inspired me. They have always told me, that that the best way to be different, is to be yourself. Another advice that they have always given is to work really hard, but to detach yourself from the outcome. We are an unpredictable industry. Everyone needs a combination of talent, luck and opportunity. Sometimes, we get lost within. Instead of stressing about what is not happening, do what you are doing with happiness and grace, they have always told me. They have also said that no role is too small or big,” she shared.
“I’m running on the path of good stories.”
Does Shriya enjoy films more than OTT?”I am medium agnostic. I enjoy both cinema and web shows equally. I did Mirzapur when the web space was very nascent in India. In a web show, you get to develop your character over several episodes, with more layers and nuance. You can connect with the audience for a longer duration. But nothing can take away the charm of cinema, of sitting in a darkened hall and watching these images that build stories in your head. It is a great space today because both these options coexist. Actors don’t need to pick, the lines are blurred,” Shreya concluded.