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'Delhi Crime's Emmy puts us on the global map'

By RONJITA KULKARNI
November 27, 2020 13:24 IST
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'It is a big historical moment for Indian content.'

IMAGE: Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime.

"I was screaming with joy! I think my entire team across continents heard it!" Shefali Shah exclaims to Ronjita Kulkarni/Rediff.com.

And the actress had good reason for her reaction.

It is not every day, after all, that an Indian show wins a top prize at the prestigious Emmy awards.

Delhi Crime, directed by Richie Mehta, tells the gritty story of the investigation of the Nirbhaya case that shook the country in 2012.

Shefali Shah plays Vartika Chaturvedi, based on Deputy Commissioner of Police Chhaya Sharma, who cracked the case.

Delhi Crime won the Best Drama series at the Emmys, and Shefali still cannot get over it.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, Oh My God', and that feeling has still continued," she says with a laugh.

Then she adds, "I don't know any other show that really deserves it."

 

IMAGE: Shefali Shah with husband Vipul Shah. Photograph: Kind courtesy Shefali Shah/Instagram

How did her family -- film-maker husband Vipul Shah and sons Aryaman and Maurya -- react when Delhi Crime won?

"I was screaming for a really long time... they did try to congratulate, but I don't think I heard it! But then I went to hug them. They are very proud. It's a historical moment for all of us," she says.

Did she ever expect Delhi Crime to reach such highs when she was shooting for it?

"Honestly, when I am filming for anything, I do it because I love it so much. And then whatever happens is fate," she says.

"Creating it is the highest point. Where it goes, what happens to it, what accolades it will get comes much later. But I did know for sure, in my mind and heart, that it was a winner."

Was it her toughest role?

"It wasn't easy at all. When you are doing a real life story, it requires a lot of sensitivity, a lot of responsibility," she says.

"The character was based on DCP Chhaya Sharma but at the same time, Vartika had to be her own person. The nature of the show was so real, so vulnerable, so gritty and so raw that it wasn't easy to do."

"It spanned over five days so there was a lot of work that goes into maintaining the peaks and lows of the content."

In fact, the show packed in a lot of tough scenes for Shefali.

"When the doctor discusses the prognosis, it was like somebody had hit me in my gut!" the actress had said in an earlier interview.

IMAGE: On the sets of Delhi Crime. Photograph: Kind courtesy Shefali Shah/Instagram

How important was the fact that the Emmy award went to a show about an important event like the Nirbhaya case?

"These are two separate things -- one is the Emmys and one is the actual event that happened. Both are extremely important, but let's not link entertainment or a creative accolade with what actually happened. It does not undermine the pain and trauma that it caused. It's unfair to connect them," Shefali says.

"This is a celebration of a creative strong content and yes, it was based on a real life case. What happened with the show was that it started a lot of serious conversations. The new generation became aware of something," she adds.

IMAGE: Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime.

How will the Emmy impact her career?

"The fact that Delhi Crime dropped on Netflix and 191 countries in one go, that reach is humungous. And the Emmys are a reinforcement of what we all believed in -- the credibility, the kind of power, sensitivity and quality that the show has got reinforced.

"I don't know how it will affect my career, but everyone has watched it. Those who haven't would want to."

How important is this international win for Indian content?

"This puts us on the global map. It's an awareness and acknowledgment to Indian content and it will only grow from here," she says.

"Even if I wasn't a part of Delhi Crime, I would be feeling the same way because it is a big historical moment for Indian content."

Meanwhile, the actress is ready to serve us more interesting content.

"I am doing a show with my husband Vipul Shah; he is producing it. It's called Humans. It is a medical thriller, based on human drug trials and testings. I can't wait to start work on that," she says.

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RONJITA KULKARNI / Rediff.com
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