Suchitra Pillai on ‘Bebaakee’: “My role is not just one dimensional…”

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Starring Kushal Tandon, Karan Jotwani, Suchitra Pillai and ShivJyoti Rajput, new romantic family drama series Bebaakee released on ALTBalaji and ZEE5 on 30th August. Revolving around a love triangle between Sufiyaan (Tandon), Imtiaz (Jotwani) and Kainaat (Rajput), the show has been shot in the picturesque locations of Shimla.

BizAsiaLive.com caught up exclusively with Suchitra Pillai to chat more about the show.

What’s the show about?
Bebaakee is a romantic drama based around the lives of the Alqaazi and Abdullah families who live together in one big house. They’re so close-knit that the head of the two families, Farhad and Adil, are two best friends who run their own digital media company. Their sons too are best friends and the story talks about the chaos that follows when Sufiyaan and Imtiaz fall in love with the same girl, Kainaat.

What can you tell us about your character Dana Alqaazi?
Dana Alqaazi is the wife of Farhad Alqazi, the elder of the two partners in the business. She is a very strong-willed character, who knows what she wants and how to get it as well. Filled with shades of grey, my character is one who always wants everything to happen for her son Imtiaz as opposed to Sufiyaan. She is quite a go-getter, someone’s who very classy and doesn’t take any nonsense from anybody.

Are there any similarities in characteristic traits between Dana and Suchitra?
Besides the fact that we both are strongly-opinionated women, character wise, I am not at all conniving and manipulative like she is. But yes, the way she is with her son that’s the same way Suchitra is with her daughter Anika. So that way that is the similarity but otherwise I am the last person to be the one who’s scheming and plotting mind games. This is exactly why I get taken for a ride a lot in life.

Can you share any funny or interesting anecdotes from the shoot in Shimla?
The shoot in Shimla was absolutely fabulous. We were there just in time for the snow which made shooting for Bebaakee all the more beautiful, despite it being freezing. Certain scenes needed to be shot outdoors that made me shiver as I wasn’t wearing any jacket. The entire team had a wonderful time shooting in Shimla and we all used to sit and hang out together after wrapping up for the day.

You’ve been seen before in web shows like ‘Betaal’ on Netflix or ‘Romil & Jugal’ on ALTBalaji. Are you enjoying the digital space now?
Yes, I am thoroughly enjoying the digital space completely as you said. I have featured in two shows recently released, one of them being Masaba Masaba on Netflix and Betaal. And of course with ALTBalaji, I have done Romil & Jugal, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain and now Bebaakee. What’s been really interesting for me is the fact that they have been giving me all very different roles which is why it is extremely exciting for me as an actor to take on these roles. Even with ALTBalaji, each of these three projects are completely different from the other. This is exactly why I am very grateful to Ekta (Kapoor) for seeing me in all these characters and giving the actor in me the kind of freedom to do a lot with the work that I am doing in the digital space.

How was it working with the cast of Bebaakee?
It has been an absolute pleasure working with these two boys Kushal and Karan. With both of us being Virgos, Karan and I have a very similar thought process. With him playing my favourite son on the show, we got along like a house on fire. Kushal, on the other hand, is also really easy to get along with and he is good fun on the sets as well. We have got a really good cast together but the icing on the cake for me was the chance to work alongside people like Ananya Khare and Krutika Desai.

What attracted you most about the story of ‘Bebaakee’?
The makers were very sure about the whole narrative of the script right from the beginning to the end about what’s going to happen. My character Dana was very well defined and that’s very essential for me as I know that my character has a certain arc that comes across through the storytelling. My role is not just one dimensional as just playing the bad person can get boring sometimes if there are no layers to the character. Along with a strong script, the big advantage was that we were going to shoot in Shimla, due to which the whole look of the show has really come out well and beautiful. What attracted me the most about the story is this whole thing of two families living together in the same house. Such kinds of interaction between people is probably happening somewhere in the world where people like these own a huge business resulting in many egos clashing and problems taking place due to two people of the families falling in love with the same person.

Which shows are you binging online on OTT platforms?
Well throughout this lockdown, I have watched all the seven seasons of Blacklist, the entire six seasons of Vikings, How To Get Away With Murder, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain season 3, Betaal and quite a few films like Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

Will there be a second season of Bebaakee?
I think they have got many aces under their sleeve to bring it back. There is always a small chance. I hope they do.

What are you working on next?
Frankly speaking, I am in talks at the moment with a couple of people and OTT platforms to work on something towards the end of the year. I am also in talks for a film and will also be seen in the second season of Made in Heaven once the shooting resumes. Other than that, my second music album called History of Rock and Roll is ready for release and I am looking forward to finishing the videos for that and having a digital release.

 

‘Bebaakee’ is now streaming on ZEE5 and ALTBalaji.

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