Actor Vidya Malvade on playing an NRI mom in the web series Flesh
Still more famous as Vidya Sharma, the captain of women’s national hockey team in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chak De India (2007), Vidya Malvade has no regrets in life. The actor, who was last seen in Duane Adler’s Hollywood meets Bollywood flick Heartbeats, was also recently seen in popular web series Inside Edge 2 (Amazon Prime) and Kaali 2 (Zee5) and plays a vital role in the web series Flesh, directed by Danish Aslam that releases today on Eros Now. We spoke with Malvade about her role in the series and how yoga has changed her life for good. Excerpts:
Please tell us about your role in Flesh?
The subject matter of the series is something very close to my heart. We read every other day about ghastly news of human trafficking and the series has tried to show that darker side as realistically as possible. What attracted me to the character of Reba Gupta were the many struggles that she went through. I play an NRI wife and mother, who comes to India with her family to attend a wedding when her 16-year-old daughter gets kidnapped for trafficking. She goes through a lot of pain and it’s all about what you won’t do to save your child.
How did you prepare for the role?
I read the script many times to understand how I can develop the character further. Reba lives in the US and is modern in her views and is heartbroken and shattered for what happens to her. Since the script itself is very dramatic, I didn’t want to add more drama and instead concentrated on being as natural as possible. She has a lot of shades and her relationship with her husband falls apart while somebody from her past walks into her life. On the other hand, her daughter too is missing. I tried to bring out that pain and pathos in the role.
Are OTTs providing a great platform for actors like you?
Of course. Three-four years back I started saying no to awkward films since I didn’t want to be a part of meaningless movies. Rather I took a break and concentrated on teaching yoga and I have my own YouTube channel. When the OTT platforms sprang up, I was offered a couple of series and I am thoroughly enjoying working in this interesting space.
Do you regret not having made a mark despite the huge success of Chak De India?
I have no regrets in life and I always like to see a glass half full. Six months from when Chak De India released, a global recession started and all the projects that we Chak De girls signed got scrapped or shelved. My next film released two years later. But there’s no point cribbing and yoga has taught me to look back at things happily.
Apart from Flesh, what are your other upcoming projects?
There’s another web film Mismatched that will be released on Netflix in November.