In Shoojit Sircar‘s Gulabo Sitabo, Srishti Shrivastava plays Guddo, the fiery sister who schemes to secure a better future for her family and is unapologetic about how she does it. She talks about landing the part and her overwhelming first meeting with Amitabh Bachchan:
Sneha Menon Desai: How did you land this role? Was that clip from Gully Boy where Alia Bhatt and you are thrashing each other enough to be a showreel or did you audition for this role?
Srishti Shrivastava: No no, so I got a call from Jogi Casting. Jogi sir’s casting team works with Shoojit sir all the time. So one of his assistants called me and she said, ‘There’s a movie being made called Gulabo Sitabo and Shoojit sir is directing it, please come for this character.’ I said okay but then I asked a selfish question: Is it a good character? Is it an important character? So she said this is the only girl in the film. I said ‘Okay, I’m coming anyway because it’s Shoojit sir’s film.’ I went for the audition and the scene that I did was the one with Vijay Raaz sir. That pyorrhea ho gaya hai unko scene.
SD: How does one hold their own in a scene opposite Amitabh Bachchan?
SS: That’s a defense mechanism – if you’re scared, you speak more. We started reading for the film the whole cast was there, Tina who’s playing Dulahin, and Nalneesh, everyone. Tushar, who’s one of the EPs, says we’re going to Bachchan sir’s house and Tina and I didn’t know how to react or what to do. I ran out, I had to call my Grandma. I said, ‘Dadi, I’m going to Amitabh Bachchan’s house!’ and she just screamed in excitement. The news spread through my house. I was driving because I had my car and Tina was with me. I said, ‘Is everyone acting cool or is what’s happening extremely abnormal?’ She was like, ‘I don’t understand anything.’ So we went to his office, and I was looking around and I see his awards, photos…very overwhelming. And I was just sitting there like, ‘This is what I have to do. This is what life is.’ After a while, one of the assistants came and said that he’s ready. We all walked in and I know everyone was so nervous – it’s like a movie set. I said hello and I just sat quietly, just watching him. Even in the film I was just watching him. Then he asked if we wanted to eat anything. So I asked what was there to eat, because…
SM: Defense mechanism…
SS: Exactly! So then I went and ate a samosa in their office. During the shoot, I remember he’d always be in that makeup while he was performing. So when the scene happened, I didn’t have much of a problem because I was prepared and I knew what I wanted to do, Shoojit sir was there so I was fine. When it cuts, what do I do then? I can’t directly look elsewhere… it was really hot and I remember a fan was brought for Amitabh sir, he turned it a little bit towards me also and said, ‘Ma’am I hope the wind is reaching you.’ And I just said, ‘Yes plenty of wind is coming.’ So yeah, it was amazing, I had a blast.