Brinda Trivedi is seen in the male-centric web series 110, which released recently. She discusses about how women have a weak portrayal in Gujarati cinema.
Gujarati film actress Brinda Trivedi, best known for playing Pratik Gandhi's sister in Vitthal Teedi, has been facing the same issue as many other actresses - not getting powerful roles. She spoke to OTTplay about women not exactly being recognised in the industry other than a lover, third woman or a feminist.
While a web series like 110 does give power in male hands, the Gujarati film industry also had Hellaro which finally put the spotlight on the journey of women. However, the industry has gone back to its old ways - love stories and a woman sidelined because of a poor storyline.
OTTplay discussed the matter at hand and much more with Brinda, who was also a part of 110. Excerpts...
You started your career with Mitron, which was also a special appearance of sorts. It has just been three years since you are in the industry but have received immense love nonetheless. What do you have to say?
I started acting later in my life because it was a major shift in my career. I did my academics in computer science and worked for a year. I just wanted a break and joined a theatre workshop. Through my very first play, I got to know about theatre personalities and started working with them. During a year, I worked with six-seven productions because of which I could apply in NSD. After passing out in 2017, Mitron happened. I just realized that I want to act, much later in life.
In a time when people join the industry in their early 20s, you chose to break the norm and start your career later. Did it bring any challenges? Especially since people are very selective about who they want in the lead role in the Gujarati film industry.
The content we have been witnessing in the Gujarati cinema is like that. I have received lead roles even though many makers are selective and prefer a bubbly and young looking woman. The content is to be blamed actually. There hasn't been a story where you highlight the lead actress per say. There isn't a Mardaani or Kahaani in our industry. Since the requirement is less, even I have received fewer offers. I'm also selective about the project. Let's see and hope that makers bring some fresh content for us artists.
Now we have a male-centric web series in 110. Don't you believe that writers should focus on women-centric movies and web series? When I say this, I don't mean only young women. We have seen Hellaro as an example too. So do you believe there can be a story where the filmmakers can highlight women of all types?
Of course. I'm waiting for it. We have wanted women-centric content since a long time. Like you mentioned, Hellaro did release but it did not exactly bring in a change in the industry. We don't see any different kind of content coming. It's all about feminism or love traingle, once again. We had hopes from Hellaro and thought it could be a game-changer but that didn't happen. We don't even hear that a women-centric content is in the making. So yes, you are right that we need such a content in the industry and we actresses are waiting for it with bated breath.
You were a part of three back-to-back hit projects - Hellaro, Scam and Vitthal Teedi. What do you look for in a project while selecting them?
My contribution to the story should be strong. The length doesn't matter as much. In Vitthal Teedhi, I play a sister who is his strong supporter. Similarly, my character didn't have as much length in Hellaro but it stood out. I like working on such roles and select stories according to that only.
Tell me about 110. What made you agree to work on it?
It is a real story. I have never worked on a project like 110. This project is comedy while I have mostly worked on serious projects. I was looking forward to the project. By the time I joined the project, Abhishek came on board as a director. Anish was going to helm the film previously. It was a plus point working with Abhishek again after Vitthal Teedi. Improvisations are always fun with him around.
Pratik's first Bollywood film as a debut is meeting with a lot of backlash. Since you have worked with him previously, did you get in touch with him and talk to him about it?
He's very busy so we don't talk frequently. There was a time when we would talk about the smallest of matters frequently. Our film is also in the pipeline but we have no idea about its release date yet. When you know that a person is busy, then you give them space. We aren't in touch as much but of course, I meet him when in Mumbai. We hang out too. I would love it if things get sorted out for that film too. They waited a long time to release Bhavai. He had shown me the teaser when we were shooting for Harna (their upcoming film). Back then, it was tentatively titled Her. Then they changed it to Ravan Leela and now, Bhavai. We haven't spoken much but it has sorted out. I think it will be fun.
Your upcoming projects?
Nitin Gavde has directed Harna. He had helmed Nayka Devi previously. We shot for the film in 2019. It is about an adivasi couple. There is also a father and daughter story.
I am also part of Nayka Devi and have another Hindi web series. I could also do a Tamil film.
Was switching between Gujarati and Hindi films always your aim?
I knew from the beginning because I was working with the Gujarati group who were always related to the Hindi industry too. I like contributing to my own culture so I continue doing Gujarati films and web shows too. I never thought about it like switching but organically working in both the industries. I am looking for work in the Assamese industry too. People in my batch already told me that I am good with the language. I had also visited Assam recently. My seniors are also active there.