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'Covid bred contempt in people'

By PATCY N
May 31, 2022 13:32 IST
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'Social media became a place to lash out in the pandemic.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Waluscha De Sousa/Instagram

Just how negative can social media get?

In the Web series Escaype Live, Waluscha DeSousa shows us how people can get consumed by social media.

In real life too, the actress has seen just how nasty this space can get.

"It affected me in the beginning. But then it became so repetitive, I realised it's just an empty vessel making noise," Waluscha tells Patcy N/Rediff.com.

You play a woman who calls the shots in a man's world in Escaype Live. Do you think that's easy in the real world?

No, although women in these positions do make it look easy, and hats off to them.

Things are changing slowly, thanks to women, who have paved the path and made it easier for other women to voice their opinions.

How difficult was it to play the role?

For me, this was the best part -- playing this 21st century modern day woman, calling the shots... It was so fantastic to be in that space, to be in charge.

It's so removed from who I am in real life.

The character knows what she wants and how to get it.

IMAGE: Siddharth, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Jaaved Jaaferi and Waluscha De Sousa on the Escapye Live poster.

There is an ensemble cast -- Siddharth, Shweta Tripathi, Jaaved Jaaferi and Swastika Mukherjee on this show. How was it working with them?

There are a lot of parallel tracks going on, and they eventually unfold in this huge office called Escaype Live.

We may not all have scenes together, but we definitely had to understand what is going on, let's say in Shweta's life, because all that unfolds in this hub, where Siddharth, Jaaved Jaaferi and I are working.

Siddharth is a great actor and very helpful on set. He's always lending a helping hand or giving advice.

He will break into a song at any given point because he loves singing, and is really good at it.

He is so well read and knowledgeable with current affairs.

I have watched Jaaved Jaaferi growing up, so it was great to share the space with somebody like that.

Any difficulties while shooting?

Like I said, there are these parallel stories happening, and they culminated in the office.

So we had to imagine these stories unfolding on this huge screen... so there were times when Siddharth, Jaaved and I would just be staring at a blank screen and pretending that the story is unfolding...

I think that was the toughest part, to stare at a blank screen and emote.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Waluscha De Sousa/Instagram

Escaype Live explores the dark side of social media. How do you think that has affected our day-to-day lives?

It not only affected us, but has already taken over our lives!

In the last three years, when this pandemic hit and the lockdown happened, that's when we developed this intimate and deep-rooted relationship with social media.

People, who were not on social media, eventually got onto it.

People, who are not tech savvy, somehow had to understand how to work with technology,

We used it to stay connected to the world because we were all cooped up in our houses. That became our escape and our connect to the world.

Sitting in my living room, I know what's going on in people's lives today.

And this happened to people across age groups.

Kids got on social media because schools went online.

Dada-Dadis and uncle-aunties started using Zoom because that was the only way they could see their grandchildren.

So it became a necessity, and it's here to stay forever.

Most of the interviews that I have done for Escaype Live have been Zoom interviews, and that's something we would have never heard of three years ago.

Social media has become a staple in our lives; it has brought the world together.

It has its pros and cons.

I think it's become very invasive.

One of the negatives is that we have started evaluating ourselves, based on how many likes we get or how many views we get on a post.

Escapye Live tackles this.

 

Photograph: Kind courtesy Waluscha De Sousa/Instagram

You have hosted a lot of shows, but never participated in a reality show as a contestant. Are you open to it, like Bigg Boss?

Definitely not.

I think people who take part in reality shows are very brave, and hats off to them.

I am not so brave.

I am very private.

I don't use social media as as much as most people do.

For me, social media is a platform to showcase the work that I am doing.

You will never see my close friends or my best friend or my family on my social media page.

IMAGE: Waluscha in Crackdown. Photograph: Kind courtesy Waluscha De Sousa/Instagram

Have you been ever been trolled?

That was something that affected me, maybe three years ago. I've learned to deal with it now.

When the pandemic hit, each of us was going through a tough time.

Covid affected everyone. I think it bred contempt in people, and social media became a place to lash out.

If you had something to say, whether it was positive or negative, that became a space where you could say anything, mostly under false identities, because nobody could point a finger at you.

It became a very negative space. It did affect me because I was like, why are these people saying what they are saying? They don't know me.

They have no idea, but they seem to have an opinion.

It affected me in the beginning. But then it became so repetitive, I realised it's just an empty vessel making noise.

I don't care about it anymore.

You were shooting for Crackdown 2 in Kashmir. How was that experience?

Crackdown was received very well.

My character Garima Kalra was appreciated by critics and audiences. So it was fantastic to come back with season two.

You want to up the game, you want to give the audience something more in the new season.

We had beautiful locations. Kashmir was breathtaking.

IMAGE: Waluscha shoots for Crackdown 2 in Kashmir. Photograph: Kind courtesy Waluscha De Sousa/Instagram

What are your forthcoming projects?

I have a thriller called Penthouse by Abbas-Mustan,/strong>.

They are so effortless that you don't even realise you are in a workspace.

No pressure on the actor; they are so natural with the way they want things.

It was a learning experience.

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PATCY N / Rediff.com