Exclusive: Bani J and Sayani Gupta get candid about online dating, relationships and season 3 of Four More Shots Please

Bani J and Sayani Gupta on things they look for in their partner, if pandemic has changed their idea of a relationship and what can the fans expect from season 3 of Four More Shots Please!
Bani J and Sayani Gupta
Bani J and Sayani Gupta

Bani J and Sayani Gupta have been a part of the industry for the last several years. While Bani started her career with season 4 of Roadies (2006) and went on to become a fitness model, actor and television presenter, Sayani Gupta starred in several critical and commercial films like Jolly LLB 2, Margarita with a Straw, Article 15 and more recently Pagglait in supporting roles. But, one series that gave them immense popularity as actors was Four More Shots Please! (FMSP). Revolving around the friendship shared between four women and their adventurous love life and career, the series has already received immense popularity, becoming one of the most-watched shows on Amazon Prime and winning a nomination at International Emmy Awards.

The last episode of season 2 ended on a high dramatic note as Bani walked out of the wedding with her three friends, leaving everybody hanging and asking for more. So recently when Bani J and Sayani stepped out to shoot for an episode of Bumble’s second season of Dating These Days, we took this opportunity to ask them about things they look for in their partner, if pandemic has changed their idea of a relationship in any manner and what can the fans expect from the upcoming season of FMSP. Excerpts from the chat: 

Q. How has the pandemic changed the way you perceive a relationship or the idea of a relationship?
I think the pandemic has changed or rather evolved us in some way or the other. For me, it calmed me down. I used to thrive in chaos a lot, now I am much more centered and I know what I want. It has given me clarity in terms of relationships and not just romantic relationships but also those with my friends or my mum. I now value the time that I can spend with them much more. People think I am very social but I’m not, I have a select few friends. And whatever time I have, I mostly tend to spend it with my family and friends. 

Q. Have you tried dating online? How has your experience been so far?
Fortunately and unfortunately, I have not tried it. But I wouldn’t mind trying it if Bumble comes out with something just for the industry people as that would have an even stricter screening process, and can be really cool and fun!

Q. Has your celebrity status ever impacted your love life?
I don't think I can start dating someone who I have just met or who knows my work. I don't know how that’ll work out because there comes a specific value addition if I may call it. It’s different when someone knows you publicly first as opposed to learning more about you privately. I really can't think of any pros (of being a celebrity when it comes to dating), honestly.

Bani: I think a major con would be that you can't really have any privacy when you’re out somewhere. Even if I just wanna chill and have a coffee with someone, I can't do that because there will always be people who would come to me just to say a ‘hi’, which is nice of them as they want to express themselves, but it takes away from the purpose of me wanting to have a private moment outdoors. The pro is that you can always get a reservation wherever you want and people make an exception for delivering food to you. I always take them up on that offer but apart from that, I don't think I can think of any.

Q. What are some of the qualities that you look for in your partner? 
Sayani: It's a long list! Sensitive, politically aware, has good general knowledge, is well-read, has a sense of humour, good with children and older people, has a good taste in music and is honest. I think it's difficult to find somebody like that.

Bani: The same qualities that I look for in myself - being a good listener and being able to express myself even when I am upset or angry about something. I don’t want to suffocate the other person because I don't like it when people suffocate me. I like my space and I like to give other people their space. So be secure in yourself, and where your relationship is at as that has a lot to do with trusting yourself and your partner. This will only come through communication, because once you communicate you have clarity and that helps everybody.


Q. How has Four More Shots Please! shaped your career? What is in store for fans in the coming season?
I think it's given me a lot of visibility; I mean I always did a lot of work, a lot of independent films plus commercial films but I think four more shots has a universal appeal and hence a crazy fan following. I think everywhere I go the first thing they say is FMSP, sometimes Jolly LLB 2 because that's also a performance that a lot of people love, it's a film a lot of people have watched and then Article 15 but I think FMSP has to be at the top. What's in store? Honestly, I am very excited, and I don't wanna jinx it. The stuff that I have shot for is quite cool and I am actually quite excited to see it myself. There's a lot of drama, and depth this time!

Bani: We’re on our third season and I’m so glad that it's a successfully running show! We’ve been Emmy nominated for our first season, and that’s pretty phenomenal.  People relate to my character a lot, it's done wonders for the LGBTQIA community as having a character like Umang on the screen that they can relate to is really important (to them). There are so many surprises with season 3, you’ll see all of your favourite characters and maybe some new ones - Now you can guess who's back and who’s not. I am barely able to keep up with what's happening this season but I’m excited for you guys!

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