Just like any other outsider, it took a long time for Namrata Sheth to get her first project as an actor. The Amazon Prime Video series ‘Guilty Minds’ has brought her a lot of appreciation from the audience. The success of the series has put her on the map and she hopes to continue doing roles that enable her to push her boundaries as an actor.
In this interview, Namrata talks about the success of ‘Guilty Minds’, the transition from being a model to an actor, getting a better understanding about the legal system through the show, upcoming projects and more.
‘Guilty Minds’ has been one of your first major acting projects. As Shubhangi, the character you play in the show, you got a lot of scope to show your mettle as an actor and the appreciation that has come your way serves as a testimony to the fact that you did well. How do you look out at the success of the show?
As a newcomer, I feel extremely happy to see the show doing so well. It’s been a few weeks since it started streaming and I continue to get messages from people about my performance. All of this is quite overwhelming. For the longest time, I was auditioning for so many projects but nothing was working out. I tested for ‘Guilty Minds’ and it worked out. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a project that has been received so well. It is worth the years of things not falling into place. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career than ‘Guilty Minds’.
You were finalized to play Shubhangi twelve days before the shoot was scheduled to start. As an actor, what has been your struggle like?
I am from Mumbai. I was born and brought up here. In that sense, I have been quite fortunate. I didn’t have to move cities and had the support of my parents who live here. My family has been very supportive all these years. I started modelling when I was sixteen. I have been in the industry for almost ten years. It’s been tough on some days and joyful on some days. Now that ‘Guilty Minds’ has released and been appreciated, I hope to keep getting good work.
In Hindi films, courts and lawyers have mostly been depicted in a stereotypical manner. While lawyers are shown to be quite animated, we see a court as a place where a lot of drama happens. Among other things, ‘Guilty Minds’ received appreciation for its authentic portrayal of courtroom proceedings.
Even my impression of courts and lawyers was largely based on how they were represented in Hindi films. I had never been to a court in my life. When I visited high courts and met lawyers as a part of my research, I realized how different things were. The credit for the realism you see in our show goes to Shefali Bhushan, the director. She comes from a family of lawyers and her understanding of the legal world is very strong.
In the show, we see Shubhangi as a free-spirited young woman who has come back to India after procuring a law degree from Harvard Law School. She comes from a family of lawyers and is keen to prove her mettle as a lawyer. What was that one aspect of her personality that helped you relate to her?
There were some similarities between Shubhangi and me. Shubhangi was starting out her career as a lawyer and I was taking my first steps as an actor. I could relate to the feeling of being out of place but wanting to prove yourself. Like Shubhangi, I was hungry to prove myself as a professional.
Every episode of the show dealt with a unique case. You took center stage in the episode revolving around a dating app. As an actor or a viewer, which was that one case that intrigued you the most?
The dating app case was a lot of fun to work on. As a viewer, I really enjoyed watching the driverless car case. The case was quite futuristic in a lot of ways. It is an issue that has not been tackled before and it was interesting to explore the various aspects of it.
What are the plans for the second season of the show?
I haven’t heard from the team about the second season yet. Just like the audience, I sincerely hope there is a second season of the show.
What are you doing next?
I have shot for a web series. It will be announced soon.