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Exclusive! Neena Gupta on Shiv Shastri Balboa: Earlier I used to be hesitant to ask for a retake

The veteran actress reveals that she is critical of herself 

Exclusive! Neena Gupta on Shiv Shastri Balboa: Earlier I used to be hesitant to ask for a retake
Neena Gupta

Last Updated: 07.09 PM, Feb 11, 2023


National Award-winning actress Neena Gupta, who has received love and appreciation from the audience and critics alike, says she is her own biggest critic.

Asked about the challenges she faces even now, after working for several decades, Neena told OTTplay, "An actress, I am quite critical of my own work. Actors like me and my hero Anupam (Kher, from Shiv Shastri Balboa) have our own parameters to feel satisfied with our performance. We look at nuances in a performance, in macro details which a regular audience member may not even notice. So, I think I am my biggest critic and therefore my challenge in every new character or project is how I can beat my own last performance."

Speaking about Shiv Shastri Balboa, Neena says, "In this film, Elsa's character was well written. On the surface level, there were no challenges, but I wanted to perform her a little differently and hopefully that has come across onscreen," added the alumna of the National School of Drama.

The Badhaai Ho actress shared an anecdote when asked if there is a film or character that she feels unsatisfied with her performance. "As a senior actor, there are a few things that you can do that you probably cannot afford to as a newcomer. But I am inherently a shy and soft-at-heart kind of person (smiles). Everyone says that I am super strong. But recently, in one of my films, I had an intense scene. When you work in a comparatively low-budget film, you do not have the luxury of multiple retakes. When we did the scene, I was drained in the end. So, I was not satisfied with it. But the director told me it was perfect and that there was no need for a retake. Later, when I saw the scene in its entirety, I felt even more dissatisfied. In my head, I constantly blamed myself for not insisting on a retake. Yes, I am that passionate about my work!" said the actress.

However, the actress said that she is much better now than in her earlier days, when she used to feel extremely hesitant to ask for a retake. "Earlier, I used to feel hesitant and guilty to ask the director for a retake. But now I am firmer with it, and when I ask for a retake, I get it. But yes, at times, I still feel hesitant," she added.  

Shiv Shastri Balboa, also starring Anupam Kher, Sharib Hashmi, Nargis Fakhri, is currently in the theatres.

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