Friday, July 19, 2024

Inayat Sood recalls ‘sliding into Hansal Mehta’s DMs’ says, ‘wanted to work with him after seeing Aligarh’

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Tejal Sinha

Acting for Inayat Sood has been something that’s always been a part of her life, and something that had happened quite naturally to her. Throughout her journey, she believes that when her father stumbled upon an advertisement for the ‘Wings Theatre Academy’ (founded by Zubin Mehta, a renowned theatre practitioner) in a newspaper that was her turning point. Later, without any hesitation, her dad enrolled her in the academy, which made her Zubin’s first student. And so, she simply fell in love and knew this is what she’d want to do.

Though as a kid she was shy, she’d always felt confident while being on stage. It was her love, passion, and enthusiasm for the craft that has further made her star in projects like Sutliyan, Feels Like Home, Kaali Peeli Tales, and De De Pyaar De. The actress recently made her debut on Netflix with the crime thriller Scoop. Scoop tells the story of an aspiring crime journalist Jagruti Pathak. The show helmed by Hansal Mehta is based on Jigna Vora’s book ‘Behind the Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison’. Inayat plays the character of Deepa Chandra, a young and determined journalist mentored by the renowned Jagruti Pathak.

With her unwavering determination, and despite her initial nervousness, Deepa’s relentless pursuit of success knows no bounds. Inayat brings incredible depth to the character. Her portrayal embodies the complexities of a highly motivated journalist navigating the intricacies of a cutthroat world. Her ability to infuse vulnerability and strength into her performance captivates the audience, making Deepa a realistic and interesting figure.

Making a debut with a Hansal Mehta-helmed project is no less than a dream come true, and so was it for Inayat as well. “Ever since I watched Hansal sir’s film Aligarh in the theatre, I have wanted to work with him,” shares Inayat. She further goes on to admit, “I shamelessly slid into his DMs multiple times on Instagram, asking if I could audition with him for any of his projects. This was way before my involvement in Scoop, so I highly doubt he ever saw those messages. However, it’s still surreal to think that I had the opportunity to work with him. It feels like a dream come true, or as close as it can get to that.”

A SCM Sophia post-graduate, Inayat had a good experience on how the media world works during the course. It was during this that she was introduced to the world of Journalism and Media, and she was very much interested in Journalism.

And so, when the role came her way, she enthuses, “My excitement doubled because journalism was something I wanted to pursue as a career alongside acting or if not for acting. So a lot of my prep started from there itself, and Hansal sir had conducted readings with the cast and crew, which of course made his vision very clear and made it transparent for me about the character. Ankur Partak is a writer and a journalist himself, plus he is the director’s assistant for Scoop. He had arranged for a meeting with a female crime reporter and I met her and we had a insightful meeting. So all these things really helped me a lot to prepare for my character role and of course, all the other artists on this show are par excellence. There was always a lot of help that I received from everyone.”

The De De Pyaar De actress believes that its been a privilege bringing her character, Deepa Chandra to life. “I am most attracted to her ambition and grit. (but only to a certain extent haha) Moreover, her character is such a strong commentary on the current state of affairs. She’s an anxious girl determined to make it big! I think that’s where we’re the same. Though, I think my heart is bigger than hers! (she laughs out loud)” gushes Inayat.

Building a diverse body of work is important for Inayat, and she’s someone who doesn’t impose strict rules against pursuing opportunities. Inayat, for whom, there’s a delicate balance between quantity and quality, shares, “I feel fortunate that roles are coming my way rather than the other way around. As a newcomer, I understand that I am not in a position to reject work outright. Building a substantial body of work is my priority, and I eagerly seek collaborations with diverse directors, exploring scripts and languages. Of course, financial stability is also important to me. However, I do have certain boundaries. If a script doesn’t resonate with my sensibilities or align with my ideologies, it creates a significant conflict of interest. In those instances, I have chosen to turn down projects, as maintaining the integrity and staying true to my principles remains paramount.”

Signing off the interview on a concluding note, this ardent actress shares, “We live in a time of abundant storytelling platforms, presenting both incredible opportunities and challenges. Unfortunately, some compelling narratives often go unheard or unseen.

Nevertheless, I’m inspired by how filmmakers and writers are finding unique ways to share these stories, and I eagerly seek to be part of such projects. I guess, my aim is to be involved in a variety of quality projects.”

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