A fresh face in filmsI am a different person after ‘Fulbari’, says actor Shakshi Shingh Bhandari.
The recently released movie ‘Fulbari’ boasts an impressive cast featuring some of the biggest names in the acting world including Priyanka Karki, Dayahang Rai, Aruna Karki, Bipin Karki and Shilpa Maskey. The same movie will also see the debut of Shakshi Shingh Bhandari who has already made a name for herself in the theatre scene.
Bhandari began her career when she was just 15. She has been doing theatre plays for years and calls her leading role in the play ‘Rani’ as the turning point of her career. Here, she talks to the Post’s Aashika Gautam about her experience working in ‘Fulbari’.
‘Fulbari’ is your first film, and it has a large starting cast. How did you find working with them?
‘Fulbari’ has been a great experience for me. Working with all these experienced actors taught me a lot. Most of them also have a background in theatre so I could relate to them on that front too. All of them helped and guided me through things I was confused or unsure about during the movie.
After my audition, the whole team had workshops at Mandala Theatre which was good for bonding. I didn't share many scenes with the other actors, but whenever I did have a scene with someone else, I was grateful for the chance to see them in action. Here is what I picked up: Bipin dai was fully focused on his character whereas Dayahang dai was interested not just in his own character but also in everyone else's character. He helped all of us with our characters.
What is ‘Fulbari’ about?
The movie is about a typical Nepali family but it also touches on social issues. Every character has their own story and real life struggles so they are very relatable. I think all the actors have done justice to their roles that they have played. It is a family film you can watch with your whole family.
What is your role in the movie?
I play Resu. the love interest of the main character Jayanarayan—played by Bipin Karki—’s youngest son, Bikas—played by Manish Dhakal. Bikas’ plot revolves around his wish to move to Australia. I do not share the screen with the other actors much.
How did you land the role of Resu?
Honestly, I never thought that I would get to do movies this early in my career. I was giving auditions for short movie projects and had been selected for four of them but unfortunately, none of them got made. ‘Fulbari’ was my fifth movie audition but it is the first one that actually got produced and released.
I still remember how long the line of auditionees was at Mandala Theatre. Dayahang dai was present there. I did not do as well as I would’ve liked and had no hope of getting selected. But a month later, I got a call where they told me I got selected for the next round and had to submit a video. I passed that too and got the role.
Initially, I was supposed to do the role of Amrita but I did not fit that character. So, Priyanka Karki took over that role and I got the role of Resu.
How was the environment on the set of the movie?
Because this is my first movie, I was very happy and excited to start filming for it. Seeing so many theatre actors I had admired for years working on the set was a dream come true. There were also some new faces who were learning alongside me. Even though this was my first movie, I did not feel alone or helpless on the set.
I saw so many theatre actors come together. There were alot of new faces in the movie. It was my first movie project but I never felt alone. I was very comfortable at the set.
There were times when it was very hard for me to adapt to some situations but the director, Ram Babu Gurung, helped me through those.
What are your expectations from this movie?
I have mixed feelings about ‘Fulbari’. I am very excited about the movie and to see myself on screen for the first time. But I’m also a little nervous. I will always be grateful for this opportunity and filming this movie was a wonderful learning opportunity.
It only hit me in the middle of the shooting that I am, in fact, going to be in a movie. A lot of individuals have worked very hard on this film so I hope the viewers can feel that while watching ‘Fulbari’.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I am a changed person after doing ‘Fulbari’. I learned so many life lessons while working on it. For now, I plan to grab all the opportunities that come my way. I may have a small role in the movie but I am hoping my acting will be received well. I will definitely do more movies in the future.