Shefali Shah: It was originally written as a film


Before she reports to a shoot, you’re most likely to find Shefali Shah reading the script several times over and “chewing her director’s brains”. It wasn’t any different for Human, the web series that sees her play neurosurgeon Gauri Nath. The actor says, “Gauri was written in a certain way. After re-reading the script, I told the directors [Vipul Shah and Mozez Singh] that I want to play her in a different manner, and they accepted my suggestion.” 

The Disney+ Hotstar thriller sees her character Gauri heading a prestigious hospital that becomes involved in unethical human trials of a banned drug. 

Instinctively drawn towards spirited characters, Shah says it was the different layers of Gauri that called out to her. “I can’t [box] her as good or bad, or black or white. She is complicated; she is a Pandora’s box, you don’t know what’s going on inside. Any character that pushes you out of your comfort zone is challenging. There were so many parts that went into making her — from her grief and pain, to the power-play and politics around her.”

The series sees her reuniting with filmmaker-husband Vipul Shah after 17 years. Human, she says, is the filmmaker’s long-cherished project that has come to fruition now. “Human was originally written as a film by Vipul many years ago. But a subject like this cannot be explored in two hours. So, it was the perfect decision to make it into a show.” 

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