Tisca Chopra debuts on web

Tisca Chopra debuts on web

Award-winning actress who shot to fame with Taare Zameen Par says the web is story-oriented, but actors can’t change their style according to the medium.

After rising to fame with her role in 'Taare Zameen Par', Tisca Chopra went on to win hearts and awards with performances in movies like the globally-acclaimed 'Qissa' and plays (Dinner With Friends). She also wrote and produced award-winning short film 'Chutney' and is the author of a best seller book titled 'Acting Smart'.

Tisca recently made her digital debut with the web series 'Hostages', where she is playing the role of Dr Mira Anand, who, in her own words, is sharp, sassy and stubborn with a golden heart. Metrolife caught up with her to learn more.

You have made a mark with unusual and powerful roles in various mediums. What do you look for in a role before saying yes?

More than a role I look for a story because no actor can be bigger than the script. First comes the story, then the character, and then I need to find the humanity in the character and see if the person contributes to the telling of the story in a significant way. 

What is the main challenge about acting in a web series?
Web series are no different from any other medium in terms of acting; I think one has to be platform agnostic because you can’t change your acting unless it’s for ads. The only difference is that not too much prettiness is required in web series, it’s not about the hero or the heroine, it is about the character. The flaws, the chinks, the sweat — these work well in a web series because they have a nuanced audience that wants to see stuff which is real and gritty.

A thriller (written by you and your husband) as your Bollywood directorial debut. Why?
Until sometime back I used to think that I like romcoms and slice-of-life films but then I started thinking about what I liked watching and each one of them was a thriller — whether it was Breaking Bad or Fargo or True Detective. I just love that format. Even my short film Chutney was a thriller. But I like moody thrillers that leave you thinking. It might be over-ambitious but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Any advice to amateur actors?
Don’t be in love with seeing yourself on screen, be in love with the craft. Most of your life will be spent on sets, shooting in difficult environments, learning big lines and so it is important to love the process.

How do you unwind after a hard day at work?
On days when work hasn’t gone so well, and I feel like I could have done better, there is nothing I can do to unwind;  I have this uneasy feeling inside. There are times when a shot goes well and you feel emotionally right about it, on that day I don’t need anything to unwind. My work is my meditation and my work is my unwinding.

How do you hone your acting skills these days?
That's an important question. People assume you will bring a certain level of competence to the part, especially if there is a certain amount of chatter around your performance skills. It’s always challenging to better yourself and there are a few areas where I feel I’m severely lacking as an actor. I’ve been thinking to myself that I’m going to work on these areas by going back to some of my teachers; maybe even look up some tapes and DVDs to learn from masters. I’m continually trying to watch, change and improve.

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