Interview with Sheetal sheth
Posted by Vivek on May 15, 2009 | 2 Comment
I’m doing a movie called “Why Am I Doing This”, a fun, funny, romantic movie, then there is “First Fear”, a movie that I recently completed. It is a thriller, which actually we shot in India and has amongst others, Jackie Shroff.
What was the experience like sharing screen time with Bollywood actors like Jackie Shroff? Does that mean you are more open to doing Bollywood projects?
Well I’ve always loved Jackie Shroff, watching his movies growing up as a kid. I mean how can you not (laughs). It was great fun working with him, so full of life, very funny and very talented. He played a lot of different characters in the film. Bollywood, masala films are fun and a few offers have come my way, and if the right film does come my way, then I wouldn’t say no.
Being South Asian in Hollywood. Has a lot changed from your perspective, when you started out to where you are now? Have there been changes in perceptions, etc?
I never think of things that way. I guess I was naïve in school, studying, cause when you are studying you don’t think of things, you’re just working. It wasn’t until I started auditioning when everybody had all these questions about who I was, what my background was, what my name was and I was like…..naively I was thinking it would not be about that and it became a common question and something that you had to learn to deal with and if you look at back then to now, has there been growth….absolutely, is the audience more open to seeing different kinds of people on the television and the movies, yes, have we broken through the ceiling, no, as I think there’s a long way to go. And the key is not to have a discussion like this, you know, we are in a good place and I think the American audiences are smarter than we give them credit for and would readily accept me, as long as we are good, and I think they would have no problem with it and would probably welcome the change. So I think people just have to trust that we’ll do all right, you know.
Is there a potential producer, a director or some other creative aspect in you, along with being an actor, down the road?
I think it comes naturally to me, in that I have a head for telling a story and being in different parts of the story telling process. Producing is definitely something that I have thought about and potentially i am developing a couple of things right now… so yeah, anything is possible.
Now having been actor in Los Angeles for close to a decade now, any regrets, anything you would like to do different?
In terms of my work, I think I have gotten better with everything that I’ve done. When I look at my earlier work in like ABCD, I cringe, cause given the richness of the material I could have done so much more, and I hope I continue to feel that ten years from now, much as it is hard to admit, cause if I am not getting that urge to get better then I don’t know why I am continuing to do this. And I think I’m growing and I have learned so much form all the great people I have interacted with and I want to continue growing and learning. So yes, I’ve learned a lot from all the success and the failures, cause I don’t look at it as a failure but as an opportunity to learn from it.
So since you mentioned a keenness to do Bollywood films, are you working on your dance moves?
(Laughs) You know I love dancing. I grew up dancing so to be able to do it in that kind of a spectacular fashion would be really fun for me.
THE WORLD UNSEEN: Premiered at Toronto INternational Film Festival
Best Actress, Sheetal Sheth – International Gran Canarian Festival- SPAIN, 2009
Best Director, World Cinema – Phoenix Film Festival 2008
Audience Award, Best Feature – Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2008
Audience Award, Best Picture – Paris Lesbian & Feminist 2008
Best Debut Feature – Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival 2008
Women’s Favorite Feature (Audience Award) and Best Director Feature (Jury Award) – The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2008
10 SAFTA’s (South AFrican Oscars)
I CANT THINK STRAIGHT
Best Feature – International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Of Canary Islands, 2009
Best Feature – Afterellen Visibility Awards
Photographs courtesy of E Leon Myers
Interviewed By Vivek