Special interview: Actor Shahana Goswami looks every bit a real cop in The Last Hour
Shahana Goswami has never chased roles for the sake of them. A woman of few words, the actor loves to go with the flow, be it her personal life or her professional choices. After impressing us with her stellar act as Fatima in Bombay Begums, the dusky beauty is back playing a cop in the supernatural crime thriller The Last Hour that’s been streaming on Amazon Prime Video since May 14. We had an exciting chat with Goswami about the same and more. Excerpts.
You must be very happy with the kind of responses that you are getting for your role in Bombay Begums?
I really enjoyed playing the character and working with Alankrita Srivastava and Bornila Chatterjee, and the other actors. It was an intense journey since Fatima is very different from who I am and to be able to portray her convincingly was satisfying. I am very happy with the responses I am getting since Fatima is not a very likeable or understandable character.
And now you are seen playing a very unglamorous role of a cop in The Last Hour. How was the experience?
I always wanted to play a cop and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. What drew me to the series was the script and storyline that weaves together beautifully the whole aspect of thriller and crime through a police investigation of murders. It deals with the whole shamanic tradition and a shaman’s ability to talk to the soul of the deceased person and seeing and experiencing their last hour. I thoroughly enjoyed filming for it.
How relatable is your character in The Last Hour?
We are not playing supercops who go there and take charge and fix everything. We try to play real cops who are vulnerable, raw, have feelings and find new ways of discovering new clues with help from other people. A lot of people are finding this very relatable.
On a personal front, do you believe in the supernatural world?
I have always been intrigued by the neo-cult and the esoteric, so, for me, it was very interesting to experience a little bit of the same through the show. I think more and more people are drawn to these things today. For example, when you talk about alternative therapy, shamanic healing or even reiki, people are tapping into traditional beliefs and practices which many call supernatural.
In this series, we have shown things that are actual traditions and beliefs practised within our country. I definitely believe there is one ultimate soul that gets fragmented into other beings, so, there’s really no beginning and end as such. Once we leave our body, I feel the soul and its identity exist till some point in time in some realm. I have heard so many such stories from people and I am the kind of person who believes in things till given a reason not to believe in them.
Your upcoming projects?
I am filming for another series for Amazon Prime Video called Hush Hush and there are a couple of short films ready for release including one by Milind Dhaimade and Radhika Apte’s The Sleepwalkers.
How is Radhika as a director?
She is a delight to work with and we have a deal that when she directs I will act and vice versa. Her writing is so brilliant and she is so clear about what she wants and is a hands-on director for whom you would want to give your hundred per cent.
You had been an avid sportswoman. What’s your fitness regimen like?
Since I was into sports and dancing, my life was active enough and I didn’t have to bother about exercising. But when I shifted to Mumbai for college and started pursuing acting parallelly, going to the gym was an ordeal since I hate exercising for the sake of exercising. It took me a while and many years of ups and downs of not knowing what was sustainable for me.
Since 2016, I started doing yoga more regularly and I follow the YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriene, besides doing functional training with my body weight. But to be honest, I couldn’t exercise since October last year due to a long outdoor filming schedule and strangely, I lost a lot of weight during this period. So, you have to discover what works for you and be in tune with your body.
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.