It is not very often that one gets to see an actress who is able to make a mark on her own in the film industry without any backing. However Shweta Pandit is different and has worked up the ladder and after close to 5 years has made her presence felt in the industry.
Growing up in a small town in Sirsi, Shweta recollects that though she did not aspire to be a heroine she had an inclination towards acting. “In school I would always participate in cultural events like Bharatanatyam. Being in a small place I did not have much exposure to what I liked and in formal education there were some things I liked and some thing I did not. Soon I got into theatre and then movies.” She got her break quite by chance when she came to Bangalore after getting her portfolio shoot done. “I remember I had no clue as to whom to contact. Luckily someone gave me the contact of Yogaraj Bhat who was auditioning for a cameo role for his movie Paramatma, starring Puneeth Rajkumar. I went and got selected and that is how my journey started.” So was it concerning to opt for a cameo in her first movie? “Yes I was quite worried that I would get slotted but I kept auditioning and started getting lead roles soon after. However my disappointment lies in the fact that there are many roles which do not give enough scope for performance. So I used to be confused initially as I wanted to act and did not want to say no and yet there was not much to do.” She has also acted in the Telugu movie ‘Theatre Lo’. However looking back at her journey to date, Shweta says that she has come a long way from being a novice to being able to stand her ground. “If I look back from where I was to where I am today, I can say that being positive has helped me and I love what I am doing now. Everyone has their own journey. Perhaps with better connections, I could have become a bigger star by now but that is not what concerns me. I want to be a big star but I would like to achieve that by doing movies that are of good quality. I have tried to build my career in such a way that people recognize me for my ability to perform.”
She is currently looking forward to her next Sandalwood release Urvi, a women centric film in which she plays one of three female leads. She however admits that while she would like to work on performance oriented roles, there are very few producers who come forward to produce women centric cinema. “I worked as an assistant director on Urvi as well and some of the prominent producers rejected the script saying that the movie will not run as there is no hero. But our director Pradeep Varma insisted on waiting as this as it was his dream subject. In fact he has been studying what women undergo socially and he luckily our teaser got liked by people and it is now ready to be released.” Incidentally the three leads portray elements of Shakthi, Bhakthi and Ukti. “One is an intelligent girl who is Ukti, one is always positive, a dreamer who is Bhakti and one is Shakthi who belives in taking action, that I play. Once a woman is pushed to the brink and she comes back you cannot stop her. Urvi means Goddesses of circumstances and the woman who controls her circumstances becomes the Goddess herself.”
Shweta has also finished shooting for her debut in Tamil, a crime thriller called Enakkoru Kadhali that will release in March 2017. “This is again a social issue and has been presented differently. While it is not preachy, there are commercial elements in it.” So how does she choose her movies? “I think it is the way I am narrated and presented a script and how the screenplay is build. I do look at who the technicians are as at the end of the day cinema is all about translating what you say on screen. And if I think someone can do that I talk to them and say yes.” Again working in different languages is not a barrier but she admits that sometimes political developments can interfere into artistic sensibilities. “On the positive side, all three industries are great. Telugu and Tamil industries are great but the brightest part of Kannada movies is the fact that we are now doing different scripts and new way of presenting. And being a Kannadiga I am proud that good movies are being made here which are being remade in other languages.” The actress is also active on social media and says that it is a great tool to promote movies. “That apart, personally connecting to fans is very satisfying. Your honest critiques are the ones that follow you in social media and give you feedback.” As a participant of Big Boss Kannada Season 1 she says that the experience made her connect with herself as she found time to talk to herself and evaluate herself. Currently she is awaiting the release of her movies and admits that she is a travel freak outside work. “I love adventure and at times I just prefer to be at home in my own zone,” she signs off.
This interview appeared in Deccan herald’s Sunday Herald dates 12th Feb 2017 here.