Shahana Goswami recalls the time she had ‘self-doubt, self-worth issues' | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Shahana Goswami calls Rock On a milestone for her career, adds she had ‘self-doubt’ at the time

Nov 03, 2023 06:24 AM IST

Shahana Goswami talks about her journey in showbiz, the role Rock On played in her career graph, and much more in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

Actor Shahana Goswami has said that she was not ready to handle fame and spotlight when she featured in Farhan Akhtar's Rock On. Calling the film a milestone in her career, she added she had a lot of self-doubt and self-worth issues at that time, and may not have been able to handle fame if it had come her way. In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, the actor opens up on her journey in showbiz, her new film Mai, and much more. (Also read: Priyanka Chopra feels it's collective failure when female-led films don't do well)

Shahana Goswami in a still from Rock On.
Shahana Goswami in a still from Rock On.

Rock On - the milestone

Asked if she believes Rock On did for her, what a film of that level should have, Shahana said, “It did but, everything is timing. Rock On was a big hit, but soon after that, the recession hit and people's filmmaking choices became conservative. They wanted to play safe. That film was way ahead of its time. The films around that time did not catch up with that kind of writing and evolution of characters. They were still in the cookie-cutter format, and in those spaces, you go for conventional choices. I do not blame anybody for that. It is a business at the end of the day and I understand that.”

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Admitting that Rock On is one of the biggest milestones of her career, she added, “I think I needed to grow as well. I got into the business very suddenly and got fame too early. I did not know what to make of it. I needed my own journey of growing and learning. I got to work with very talented people who are admired for their work. Had I started doing films that gave me too much spotlight, maybe I would not have grown in the same way as I could. I was a very unsure person. I had a lot of self-doubt and self-worth issues. I do not think I'd have been able to handle any of that (fame)."

She further said, "Maybe, I wouldn't have had the chance to do independent films, had I got those big-budget films. I may not have had the time or ability to do a film like Tu Hai Mera Sunday. Today, I am ready for it. I can do a high-budget action film and I can also do a small independent film. I look at my graph as a success story. It is nice to know others feel I deserve more.”

Shahana made her dream debut (for an actor coming from theatre background) in a Naseeruddin Shah-directorial - Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota. She also worked in Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and Ru Ba Ru, before she bagged Rock On.

Shahana on getting typecast

Asked whether actors can avoid getting typecast in the industry, Shahana said, “Yes and no. The yes is that people lack imagination sometimes. But you can avoid it by saying no. That's something I've done. I know it's not easy and not everybody has the luxury or the circumstances to be able to do that. I think I've had to say no to a lot of things because I'm bored. I don't want to keep playing the same part.”

She added, “I'm just lucky to have a life where I've never had to think of that aspect. I'm lucky to have a family that would be able to support me and would tell me to choose films based on my creative desire rather than based on financial needs and requirements. And I've used that fully to my advantage to say no left, right, and centre."

Shahana on MAI

Insisting that she is ready to do any project that Milind Dhaimade works on, Shahana said, “I don't think there's anything that he's written and he's directing, and I won't be a part of it. Because of so many reasons. One that I mean, we have an association from before we did Tu Hai Mera Sunday, the first feature film that we wrote and directed.” She further said Milind seemed to be her ‘twin’ when they met later in Paris.

Talking about her character in Mai, Shahana added, “I have very rarely played that part on camera. On camera, I somehow always feel very subtle and my instinct becomes very withheld. So it was very hard for me to be myself on camera (for Mai).”

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    Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues.

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