Her husband, Vipul Shah, may currently be one of the hottest directors in Bollywood, but Shefali Shah would prefer to make it on her own. “I will never ask Vipul to make a film for me,” she says. “For then it would be like using the resources of his production house to indulge oneself. Whenever he feels that I fit a role, he does cast me, as in Waqt…The Race Against Time. By the way, I’m looking forward to the release of my film The Last Lear, which I feel is one of my best performances till date.”
Shefali’s breakthrough performance was in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, and she has also appeared in Mohabbatein, Gandhi My Father and more recently Black & White. It’s an impressive list of intelligent roles covering issues ranging from the birth of a nation, to child abuse to intercommunal strife. She won the Best Actress Award at the Tokyo Film Festival for her role in Gandhi My Father.
The Last Lear, made in English, will be released on September 12th and is being described as Amitabh’s best film ever — his magnum opus. In the film, he plays an actor for the first time ever in his career. Meanwhile, Shefali is making a movie with debutant director Barnali Shukla. Is she happy to making a movie with a first-time director? “Of course, I am very happy about it. It is a very interesting story about a day in the life of a man and a woman and involves the whole gamut of emotions,” she says.
Social activist Shefali recently spoke out in favour of gay rights in India where the practice is still technically illegal. “I don’t see why there should be laws against individuals based on their sexual preferences,” she argued, “It’s a free world. People are entitled to make their own choices, as long as their choices don’t hurt anyone.”