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Prateik Babbar: I have evolved and bloomed as an actor through Four More Shots Please!

Prateik Babbar, Rajeev Siddhartha and director Joyeeta open up about the new season of Four More Shots Please!

Prateik Babbar: I have evolved and bloomed as an actor through Four More Shots Please!

Last Updated: 06.01 PM, Oct 21, 2022


Four More Shots Please! has rung in its third season, which will see Sayani Gupta’s Dee, Bani J’s Mangs, Kirti Kulhari’s Anj, and Maanvi Gagroo’s Sids navigate the ups and downs of their messy, yet fun lives. The four women’s still ongoing journey of self-discovery also helped them cross paths with Prateik Babbar’s Jeh and Rajeev Siddhartha’s Mihir.

Prateik and Rajeev have been an important part of the show since its maiden season, and are joined by Joyeeta, who takes on the reins of director for the current season of the show. In a candid chat with OTTplay, the trio discussed the evolution of Jeh and Mihir this season, how Joyeeta came to be a part of the show and more.

Being an important part of the show throughout its run, both Prateik and Rajeev’s characters have also been on their own journey as well, growing and evolving along with the four central protagonists. Prateik reveals that in addition to his character, he too was able to see a personal growth in himself as an actor through the course of his work on the show.

“If I begin with Jeh is now very seasoned at navigating his relationship, even though he doesn't know what he's doing. He’s been on and off with Damini for such a long time. He's kind of used to all the drama; he's used to her mistakes, if I may, and her wrong decisions. Jay has definitely evolved. And Jay is different in season three. I don't want to say too much. But there's a very evident evolution, and there's a very evident maturity that we will see in Jeh this season. So definitely Jeh has matured as a lover and as a friend. And, and myself, as well. Personally, I think, as an actor, I have evolved through the show, and I feel like I bloomed because of Jeh”, said Prateik.

Rajeev also seems to echo his co-star’s sentiments as well, both when it comes to his character as well as himself as an actor. Rajeev says “So basically, I think we started shooting around 2017, or 2018; at least the casting had started then. Both as an actor, and as a character over these five, six years, there's been much evolution and more growth and more maturity, both for me in my character and for me as a person as well”.

Opening up about Mihir’s evolution and his dynamic with Siddhi, Rajeev said “AI feel that Mihir initially started out by being head over heels in his attraction towards Cindy, and after she doesn't reciprocate his love in the way he thinks she should. I think there is a certain sense of maturity, but I don't think he's got bitter or more cynical or jaded as a person because that's not how unconditional love works. But he's become more mature. And I think he wants to be there as somebody in Siddhi’s life watching out for her, and just trying to be there if she ever needs him. I can't disclose much about season three. But you know, there is a certain sense of maturity. And Mihir as a character can give it back to Cindy, if he feels that she is probably being careless or fickle about certain things. So that's what's happened”.

Mihir’s character has stayed with Rajeev for a few years now, and the actor seems to feel a deep connect with the character. “ What happens is, even when you're not shooting for a series the character you've already prepped for in the first season, is somewhere deep inside you, he's already living. So in your day to day lives, as the years pass by, or in your imagination, your experiences add more to that character without you even knowing it. So in that sense it becomes deeper as a character on its own by just virtue of living a life. In that sense, hopefully, in season three, there are more dramatic plot points, and there are more complex stories. So hopefully, you'll get to see all that”, said Rajeev.

Both Prateik and Rajeev say that they borrow aspects from their own lives to flesh out their characters. Prateik credits director Joyeeta for allowing them the space and environment to improvise and play with the material they were given, saying “many times I felt that if I react the way Pratik reacts in this certain situation for Jeh, it could work. Joyeeta and I might not have spoken about spoken about it specifically in terms of ‘this is how I want to do it’, but unknowingly it just happens. I mean, we are obviously our own person before the character and we kind of come with our own book of rules in terms of our own personality. I had many times where I felt like this is how Pratik would react. Joyeeta was so gracious to let us to let us have that space to improvise in and play”.

Rajeev also shared how he had a similar experience playing Mihir as well. “All our characters live within us, right?”, he began. “You have to see the traits of that character within yourself. So if the character is empathetic, warm, friendly, loving, you have to discover that within yourself. It's funny, because before I got the part, I was thinking about love and unconditional love and attachment, and how we use the word love in a very fickle manner in this day and age. We just throw the word around. And I think that many people confuse attachment to love? Because when somebody leaves or you leave, why does that have to be tension and animosity, if there was true love in the first place? I was thinking about these topics, when the show came, and I got to play a character like Mihir, who is like a champion of love. For him, love doesn't disappear when somebody rejects him. So in that sense it's fun to discover that within you because then you become aware of a certain quality within you and you grow as a human being”.

Four More Shots Please! Saw different filmmakers helm each season, and Joyeeta took on the reins for season three. The show marked one of the first web shows for the filmmaker, who has had years of experience in helming ad films. Helming a show, and a popular one at that, in between seasons is no easy a task, and Joyeeta opened up about how she bought her own spin to the already established characters and story.

“Now that I've spent so much time with these characters, I don't feel like I'm new anymore at all. It's been almost two years of work and it's been very satisfying. When I first came on board, I was a bit daunted. Everybody knew each other and everyone had already worked with each other. But one of the interesting things that happened was that the pandemic ensured that everything happened remotely. As much as we didn't like it and fought it, safety was the most important thing. So, a lot of my prep was remote.

“So whether it was the writers room, whether it was the first time I met my crew, it all happened through the small screens. So there was actually a lot of conversation, a lot of prep time. Eventually, when we did meet the actors, I sort of had lived with the characters for a fair amount of time. And when I met with them, I felt like everyone had evolved through the time that we all spent in isolation. Each person had changed somewhere and each person had a certain vulnerability to them, which I felt like was important to channel”.

Despite her initial reservations, Joyeeta looks back on her time on the show with fondness and talked about how she was able to marry her vision with the already established soul of the show. “As a show, it's light. It's fun, it's got so many characters and tracks and beautiful stories. What happens with a season on season rendition of a show like this is freedom. You the freedom to explore. Of course there’s the pressure of whether or not it would work, or whether people would like it. But I think all of that burden was off me by the time I was on season three, as it was already a well loved and well received show. So I just had to concentrate on the material and the stories and journeys of each of these characters and harness that sensitivity and vulnerability that each human being had experienced”, she said.

On what viewers can expect from the new season, Joyeeta says “This season, you will find that we've gone beyond romance and we've gone into very different kinds of relationships. We'll explore father-daughter relationships, a mother-daughter relationship, we’ll explore a fallout of a friendship, quote unquote, not revealing too much. But we will go through a very wholesome journey of the girls. I'm lucky to have come on board a season that allowed me to really juice this to the max”

Season three of Four More Shots Please! is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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