Actress Shriya Pilgaonkar has proved her mettle as an actor. She has managed to win hearts with her performance and continues to do so with her choice of projects. Shriya, who has previously done a phenomenal job in web series like Mirzapur and more, is all set to play Kashaf Kaze in the Amazon Prime series titled Guilty Minds. In Guilty Minds, Shriya Pilgaonkar plays the role of Adv Kashaf Kaze, a lawyer who is ferocious and fights against the wrongs, opposite actor Varun Mitra, essaying the character of Adv Deepak Rana.
As Guilty Minds is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, ahead of the release, we sat down for a chat with Shriya. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Bubble, Pilgaonkar spoke about how hard she worked to achieve such a feat, her lack of opportunities, prepping for the role of Kashaf Kaze, and her Guilty Minds experience, and more.
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The trailer of Guilty Minds gives the audience a glimpse of your stellar performance. How was the experience?
In these two years, we have never switched off from our characters. We’ve shot in bits and pieces, pre-pandemic, before and after the first lockdown, then break again. Then shoot again, then lockdown again. I think, because, the show firstly is so well-written. The cases are so interesting. Creatively, it has been very fulfilling, the whole process. The credit goes to the entire team, our directors, our writers and our cast, we’ve got very lucky with such a brilliant cast. Even every episode we got to work with different people. It’s not every day that as actors, you get to do characters with that emotional range and that gravitas, where you can be strong and vulnerable and at the same time you’re getting to work with people where you’re learning so much. So, Varun and I have been completely spoilt by this experience. Because, you do understand how rare it is to also be able to carry something on your shoulders, to have that opportunity. I mean, there’s an immense feeling of gratitude in that sense. And I personally love courtroom dramas and I love them, not just because the cases are interesting, but at the same time, the personal lives of these people are what makes it all the more fascinating.
You play Kashaf Kaze in the web series. What made you choose this project?
Kashaf Kaze for me, I was instantly drawn to this name. I wanted to get to know her. I felt like I want to be her. And, it’s been so beautiful creating her inner world and to be able to create this dynamic with Deepak Rana, which Varun plays. To see how it is to fight with friends, in court and then off the court. You have your own personal dynamic. So, just to understand what are these boundaries, where will this equation go. And considering that both these characters are different, Varun has a way of looking at life, I have a very black and white way of looking at life. So it’s very nice to see, how all of these people, in this very intense profession are finding themselves.
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You play the role of a lawyer, Adv Kashaf Kaze. How did you prepare for the character?
We learned a lot of lines (laughs). We got to sort of experience or perform the kind of emotional range that is rare to come by. In terms of not just as how we are as lawyers, being a lawyer is one aspect of it, trusting that you’re a lawyer is important for us as actors, because we’re not right. Being able to make sure we’re able to do that, without making it look like we’re trying too hard. But, because we knew that we had people around us who’ve seen this world so intimately and who we could trust. We eventually just went with the flow and focused on wanting to explore Kashaf and Deepak as people first. Understanding the inner world, was most important for me.
To play a lawyer, one needs to have proper knowledge of the profession. Did you visit a court? And if yes, how was your experience?
I have to mention, going to a trial court once or twice, I can’t call that experience. You’re just going there to get the sense of it. Also, for lawyers or anybody, everyone is experiencing a different kind of reality. So, I have also spoken to a lot of my lawyer friends, all of their experiences, all of their approaches, has been a culmination of their studies, their job experiences, their experiences as people, their upbringing, their own personalities. I think in our show, we’re trying to show a different kinds of experiences. We’re not trying to show one thing and claiming that to be real.
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What do you have to say about the content of the show?
This is exactly what I’m talking about. When I say the different cases we have on the show, range from copyright to dating apps. These are young lawyers, which is why the set up is, I mean, people, irrespective of the set up, whether you’re a lawyer or not, any young person starting off in a profession, finding in their way, is going to relate to this. And, because the show is going to get you to think, it’s raising certain philosophical questions to take a side. And this is where the viewing experience is going to be interesting. And through all of this, the writers have woven in some really exciting chemistry angles. But there is also how it affects your personal life, it’s also very interesting to watch. So, I think, we’ve got a good package here and we just hope that you know people watch all of the episodes and then tell us what do they think.
Any special message you have for your fans?
I just want people to watch it. I think people have been very positive. And we’re very happy that people have liked the trailer. And I just want people to support us (Varun Mitra and her) also, because we’re also actors. Varun and I, people have sort of observed our journey. We’ve step by step, we’ve not like come into this and directly jumped on the magazine covers. We have step by step worked our way. And this is perhaps, not the first time, but this is a big show for us. And we’ve really, everybody has worked really hard. And we would love for people to watch all the episodes, not just one or two or three. But all the episodes, and write to us, and tell us, what they liked and didn’t like about us.