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Exclusive! Esha Gupta: I told Prakash Jha I don’t have a mother, father or boyfriend to pick up a call and cast me in Aashram 3

Esha Gupta is the latest entrant on Prakash Jha's show, Aashram 3.

  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 04.59 PM, Jun 01, 2022

Exclusive! Esha Gupta: I told Prakash Jha I don’t have a mother, father or boyfriend to pick up a call and cast me in Aashram 3
Esha Gupta (Instagram).

Esha Gupta is one of the most awaited characters in Prakash Jha’s upcoming web series, Aashram 3. She is going to be introduced to the show as Soniya, who has been hired to work closely with Baba Nirala. Esha spoke to OTTplay about her experience working with Bobby Deol for the first time and what it was like coming back to Prakash Jha’s sets. Excerpts…

From the looks of the trailer, Soniya is using Baba Nirala from Aashram for her benefit but what would you have to say?

Soniya is hired to do her work. She does her work. There is no revenge per say. She is just hired to do her work. She believes in 'seedhe ungli se ghee nahi nikalta hai toh ungli tedhi kar deni chahiye'.

You have followed the show, which we can understand given how you are nailing the character from the trailer. However, does Soniya really fit into the story, given that every other woman is helpless but this one simply comes and takes control?

Soniya is very focused. She's not a bechaari who gets stuck with Baba. She's an educated girl. When you travel and are educated, it usually means that you have seen what life really is all about.

Even in the previous two seasons, I wouldn't say women are bechaari but they don't have much exposure. That is what happens even in our society. Girls who have travelled and are educated, are smarter because they know what is happening in the world. Those who don't know, they aren't dumb but just don't know how the world works. They aren't bechaari but are more vulnerable to thugs. Soniya is educated and has seen the world.

What about playing Soniya attracted you towards the character?

More than Soniya, I was attracted to the show. I had already seen the show, much like a lot of Indians. When I got the call, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the show. I didn't know the detail or length of my character but just that it's a great, hit show. If you get an opportunity to be a part of such projects, everyone should say yes. So I agreed and did the show.

If you talk about similarities, I see that we're both strong women. I can relate to them rather than a timid and shy woman.

Aaditi has mentioned that Bobby Deol is very childlike. What was your experience working with him?

He's very reserved, well-spoken and generally quiet as a person. They all know each other because they have worked on two seasons back-to-back. It was all new for me but it felt like going back home, when I went to Prakash Jha sir's sets. It was amazing. Bobby is a true gentleman. You wouldn't see me socializing much because I'm constantly shooting at wake up at 4.30-5. Unfortunately, when I'm on sets, I cannot interact with anyone. Bobby understood and respected that. He's generally really nice. I can imagine him being at home and not even realizing that he's a big star.

What was the one moment on sets that stayed back with you?

It was just funny that I would irritate Prakash sir about why is Soniya a certain way. I reached the sets two-three days before and pestered him. He started calling me 'Aafat Ki Pudiya'. Everyday he would see me and scream 'Aafat Ki Pudiya' on the mic. That became me and I would walk in laughing. It was the cute thing, considering I'm working with him again. It was a nice gesture.

Was it also because you sent him 20 messages to Prakash Jha to get your role back?

No, he was fine till then. I was not in the country and neither was he. The casting director was in India so there were three different time zones. It's a show I really wanted. I told sir that I don't have a father, mother or boyfriend to pick up the call to cast me. I have to fight for myself and sir was really generous. He told me that he saw me as Soniya but it was a date issue. I told him I'll adjust the dates and this is what I want. I didn't want to know the budget but just go to shoot. It's exactly what I did. I wanted this show because 1 and 2 were huge and he's Prakash Jha! He comes among the top directors of our country.

Is this your first time doing that?

No, I always ask. Why should you feel shy to ask for work? It's not even a favour. I'm giving my whole self to the show. I would do that with everyone else but with Prakash sir, it's a very clean thing. He's not expecting anything else. Others would ask me for favours but I would refuse them on the face. Prakash sir would see you in the role of a character or not. He's very clear about that. It's an art. His name is attached to the show. I have texted people continuously before and got projects like that. I'm glad that I can ask and get work.

Do you wish to reveal who was finalized before you for the show?

There was no one. Just because of the dates, they were considering someone else and then I just had to adjust the dates because I didn't want to let go of this show. I didn't replace anybody because no one was locked for the role.

Your upcoming projects?

Once done with this, I'll be in UK the next month. I'll be shooting my next psychological thriller there.