Daisy Shah in Dubai: On vlogging, Sushant Singh Rajput, and Covid-19 life lessons
We caught up with the perky actress who is on a flying visit to the city.
Actress, model, dancer, choreographer and now, vlogger - the versatile Daisy Shah has worn many hats in her colourful career and expresses nothing but gratefulness for everything that has led to this moment in her life.
The Jai Ho star is currently in Dubai for a very short personal visit and City Times was fortunate enough to let a little bit of her positive attitude rub off on us - something sorely needed in these troubled times for the world amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Daisy, who flew in to Dubai for a personal event on Saturday, will be heading back to Mumbai tomorrow.
We caught up with Daisy over the phone to talk about her trip to the city, her upcoming projects, her take on the controversies surrounding Bollywood in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput's death, life lessons learned during Covid-19 times, and more.
Did you have any concerns about this trip since you were travelling during Covid-19 times?
I was concerned initially but with the understanding that we haven't got a vaccine as yet and we can't be sitting at home all the time, we have to work, we all have responsibilities, all we can do is take God's name and start our (journey).
You've kept yourself busy during the lockdown and have connected with your fans through a series of refreshing vlogs on your recently launched YouTube channel. What inspired this project and what reaction have you got from your fans?
Till now I have got an amazing reaction from everyone! I just felt (the inspiration was) that anyway we are sitting at home and obviously the daily routine has changed completely since nobody was working in the last few months. Also, the thought that when we actually go out and we speak to the media for events, that is not the real person that we are, to answer those questions we also have to be a little politically correct - we have to maintain a balance.
So, people know me but they don't know who the REAL Daisy is. YouTube is a medium through which I'm letting people connect with me on very realistic terms. If you see my vlogs, that is who I am in daily life, I don't do make-up, I don't do hair, I think I'm a unique girl in that sense - someone who doesn't like all these things. I like to portray the fact we (actresses) are not made up all the time, and when I'm at home I only wear my T-shirts and shorts!
Bollywood is going through a dark phase right now after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. There seems to be a sharp divide amongst people and as the investigation into his demise progresses, things only seem to be getting murkier. You were one of the few Bollywood stars to support a CBI enquiry for Sushant. What are your thoughts on all that's going on at present?
As a person who is an audience I would say to this entire charade that has been going on since the last few months, I just want to know the truth, that's it. For me this entire time (I wouldn't use the word hate because it is a very strong word) the media has really been putting me off a lot because they have their perceptions, they are really pawning off (their opinions) on people ke yeh yeh hai, yeh voh hai, (this is this, this is that). Let's just believe in the professionals, they have come into the position (of investigating) now, let them do their job, let them give the final answer.
Did you know Sushant on a personal level?
I had met him one or two times, we had common friends, and that's how I met him, at a common friend's party.
You have two projects in hand, See You In Court and Bulbul Marriage Hall. What is the status of both since Covid-19 restricted a lot of film shootings?
We had already completed shooting for See You In Court, and the post-production work is supposed to start. We shot the entire film in Chandigarh so we're just waiting for the makers to come down to Mumbai because they have to send the stuff for the dubbing and the background. I don't know whether they are travelling or not, so we are in a kind of place where we don't know what's happening right now.
What can you tell us about See You In Court?
I'm playing a child psychologist in See You In Court, which is about a 12-year-old kid who files a case against his parents who want to get a divorce and the kid is like, 'if you wanted to get divorced, why did you have me'. I think it will connect with a lot of people because this is one subject that no one has really touched upon. In India a huge percentage of parents stick with each other even if they are not getting along, just for the sake of the children.
We have no idea when we will begin shooting for Bulbul Marriage Hall due to the current situation. We are just trying to keep ourselves safe. Another factor is that we all have parents at home, hum log to nikal jayenge (we will clear it) but what will become of them?
The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns have taken a toll in a lot of ways on many people. What is the biggest life lesson you have taken away from this experience?
Make sure that you have enough funds. Make sure that you have worked enough so that in case in the future we have such a time we can survive it. Secondly, at the end of the day it's just family and loved ones that matter, nothing else. For five months we were in our houses, we have not even stepped out, and what kept us sane was the family.
I am so happy that I have realised I stepped out of my house, I'm travelling for the last two days and I keep forgetting my phone everywhere, and I'm like 'where is my phone' - I'm liking that disconnect from technology because that is something which had actually taken over my life. I can't speak for anybody else.
You have made your Gujarati cinema debut too, with Gujarat 11. Any plans to act in more Gujarati films?
I am open to good projects - it's as simple as that. For me language is not a barrier, I started from the South, I came into Bollywood and I did a Gujarati film as well. So for me (it's about) associating with good projects, associating with projects that can send out a message and again, some projects that please my heart.
The balance has to be there and I'm very open. I have been working since I was 14 years old, so I cannot be picky and I really can't be choosy when it comes to work. As far as the project is good, as far as the reach of the project is good, consider me in.
How would you describe your journey in Bollywood so far?
Upwards. I started as one of the crowd members, from there becoming a dancer, then an assistant choreographer, then starting modelling, becoming an actor down South and then becoming a Bollywood actor - I mean, do you really see me going down? No, I've only gained in my life!
What would the highlight of your career be - is there one particular moment you can look back on and think, this was the best?
Every step in my career has been very giving and it led me towards the next step in my life. So I'm so grateful that I've learned the entire process of filmmaking by working behind the camera (all the way to) working in front of the camera.
So when I have to go on to a movie set, I do understand the amount of hard work of the people who are behind the camera, because the world sees just what is happening in front of the camera, not the hard work that goes on behind it.