In a candid chat, Neha Sharma talks about her show, Illegal 2 and returning to Telugu movies
Neha Sharma reprsises her role as Niharika Singh in the series Illegal 2
Neha Sharma was last spotted playing a caretaker to the bedridden Ila Arun in Aafat-E-Ishq (2021). The actor will be seen reprising her role as Niharika Singh in the sequel to Voot’s crime drama, Illegal. The first season ended with Niharika winning a legal case against her mentor Janardhan Jaitley played by Piyush Mishra setting the stage for a perfect and thrilling second season. Just like the previous season, this time too, the courtroom drama looks like it will offer power-packed storytelling and traces the rivalry between the mentor and the mentee as they handle a few complex cases. Before the release of season two, we catch up with Neha, who plays the idealistic lawyer, Niharika, who has strong set of principles and is committed the guilty punished by the book. She talks about the show and what to expect from it. Excerpts:
The trailer looks intense and sets a premise for a fast-paced court drama. What can we expect from this season?
This time too we have interesting crime cases. Niharika is also figuring out her career as she opens her own firm, trying very hard to get away from the shadow of her mentor, Janardhan. We are also given glimpses of what will unfold between Janardhan and your character.
What was it like getting back on the sets with Piyush Mishra?
He is a veteran actor and it has always been a lovely experience sharing the screen with him. Also, there is so much to learn from an actor of his stature — each time you enact a scene, you take away something from it. In a way, it makes your performance even better. Since we already worked together for the first season, the comfort level we share only increased this time, which you can see in the show.
The show also has a huge star cast. What is your equation with them like?
(Laughs) Yes, for the previous season, I already worked with Akshay Oberoi, Satyadeep Misra, Parul Gulati, and Anchit Kaur. We all worked together for so long that now there is a sense of friendship and comfort. And, for this season, Tanuj Virwani is the new entrant and it was fun working with him too.
How much do you relate with your character, Niharika? Are there any similarities?
Definitely. And not just me, every modern woman will connect with her. She is a working woman striking a balance between her personal and professional lives. She wants to make a mark in the world, but in the right way. Doing the right thing and standing up for the right causes are what she believes in. These are just a few of the ways I relate to her and as I mentioned earlier, I am sure most women today can find bits and pieces of themselves in her.
Do you feel pressured about the success of the show?
I don’t think so. The pressure is always on the writers and makers of the show or movie. As an actor, I can only play my part and do full justice to my role. But, yes, there is always a part of you that does not want to disappoint the audience.
When did you shoot for the show? Was it during the lockdown?
Not during the lockdown, but the Coronavirus pandemic has been here for two years now that I lost track of the time. This time, we shot the show quickly and the post-production too did not take a lot of time.
What do you do when you are not working?
Relax and unwind. I like to stay home and spend some time with my family and close friends.
You made your debut with Chirutha in Tollywood and later did a few Telugu movies too. Any plans of making a comeback into the Telugu film industry?
Actually yes, there is one project that I will start shooting from January 2022. The Telugu audience has given me so much love and appreciation from the very beginning and doing a Telugu movie feels like coming back home. So, I am quite pumped for that one.
What’s next for you?
Jogira Sara Ra Ra will also be out soon, now that the theatres are open and fully functioning.
Illegal 2 is streaming on Voot Select.