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Exclusive! Shamita Shetty: The Tenant only reiterated what I already know about the society

Shamita Shetty's The Tenant had released in theatres recently.

Exclusive! Shamita Shetty: The Tenant only reiterated what I already know about the society
The Tenant - Shamita Shetty.

Last Updated: 11.18 PM, Mar 11, 2023


Actress Shamita Shetty, last remembered for her stint on Bigg Boss 15 is back in theatres. She was seen in the movie, The Tenant. The actress came back to movies after a long time. She talks to OTTplay about her film, the message it conveys and what she thinks about it, among many other things.

Excerpts from the interview…

What would you say the message The Tenant is trying to convey?

It tries to highlight a lot of issues that we as women face in the society. Whether it's patriarchy, the hypocrisy, constant judgement, lack of privacy - things that need to be spoken about. That's what the film is in a sense highlighting. Even today, it's so difficult for a single woman to live in a city where she's constantly judged. She's single, unmarried so there's a problem. It just highlights the right issues.

What did you take back from the film? Did it change how you perceive the society or live in it?

No, it just reiterated what I already know about the society we live in. I just like the fact that the film spoke about the right things. It is the story about a girl who comes from a different background that nobody knew about. It's almost a cultural shock to the society that constantly wants to judge. How in a very small way she makes a change in the way they think before she leaves, that is a very sweet story. It didn't change my perception of the society.

Would you do the same things like you character if you weren't Shamita Shetty but her?

For me, maybe if I would rent out a place, I might have gone through the same things. I'm lucky in a way that I don't need to rent a place but I know a lot of people who had issues - both men and women - in renting out a place in the city.

The subject of MMS is not new. Many movies were made on it and in a way LSD broke the barrier by talking about it. What make you choose The Tenant anyway?

The subject doesn't focus only on that one element. This is revealed towards the end. The MMS is just one part of the story. It's not the main premise of the film and not something that you start off with and the entire film is about the MMS. So, I don't think that thing alone deserves so much attention.

It was just about the one wrong move she made - whether it is an SMS, MMS or something she says in public. It is the one wrong move because of which she is facing so much trouble in public. It's about that.

Would you say that it was her fault, that she wasn't careful enough? Since you mentioned about her making the wrong move...

I would not do the things she did because I'm very skeptical about trusting anyone - boyfriend or no boyfriend. With technology, you have to be extremely careful. Our technology gets hacked into and there's so much that happens. The reason I say wrong move is because unfortunately it goes against her. In that sense, I say it's a wrong move. She obviously does it because she has faith in her boyfriend but she didn't know that it would go against her and get leaked out, intentionally or unintentionally. The guy is not held at fault, it's her who's scutenized.

Given that this is a content-driven film in a star-filled world, what made you guys choose a theatrical release over an OTT release?

Technically, this is not a theatrical release film. This is an OTT film but unfortunately, OTTs only wanted to acquire the film after it got a release. That was the reason they just wanted to release it. It's a very small indie film which is why it didn't have a big theatrical release. They just needed to put it out in the theatres to get their way into OTTs. None of us wanted it to go out in the theatres.

Would you say participating in Bigg Boss opened up this opportunity for you? Because you were missing in films since quite some time...

For starters, I shot for this film four years back, before Bigg Boss. It got delayed because of COVID-19.

I don't know why you all keep referring to this as a comeback because I never went anywhere. I've done two web series - one for Zee5 and the other for Voot. This is just that you see me on the big screen after a very long time. You see me in a film that has released but I never went anywhere. An actor is always an actor.

You put yourself out there once again since Bigg Boss happened. Every detail of your life was followed closely. Was it ever intimidating, especially because you were so vulnerable once again and were constantly judged for every move you made?

I have always been a very private person but yes, after Bigg Boss, because my life was an open book for six months, people wanted to know what's happening. It is a very natural thing, going into Bigg Boss. After being in the industry for so many years, it's just something you get used to yaar.

Where do we see Shamita next?

I haven't signed anything new. I'm getting some interesting work from OTT. Let's see which one I take on.

Are you looking at only OTT or other mediums too?

I don't restrict myself to a medium. As an artist, I like acting, whichever medium I'm offered, if I'm convinced with the work, I'll do it.

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