Love is all around popular star Helly Shah

FEARLESS: Helly Shah
FEARLESS: Helly Shah



SHE may only be just 24-years-old, but Helly Shah has been delivering deadly performances for a decade and has added to her killer list of characters in newly launched TV serial Ishq Mein Marjawan 2.

The young Indian actress has already received rave reviews in the Colors romantic drama thriller for her lead role of a woman, who puts herself in danger for the sake of love and doing the right thing. The multi-layered story is one of the few serials that has gone into production during lockdown and has a talented cast shooting under challenging conditions.

When Eastern Eye caught up with Helly Shah for an interview, she had just finished a long day of shooting under Covid-19 restrictions and was due to wake up in six hours to start again the next day. The small screen star spoke about lockdown, acting, Ishq Mein Marjawan 2 and being inspired by kindness.

How have you been coping with lockdown?
It was sort of smooth, I would say, because I was here alone in Mumbai for two months with my housekeepers. I was lucky enough to have them and someone physically present here with me in my house. I watched a lot of shows and there were days I did nothing. There were some days in between where I felt a little low, anxious and just wanted to go out. But I was somehow able to gather myself and not let things affect me mentally.

Did the fact you remained connected to fans online help you?
I would see messages and stuff like that before, but never got much time to post about it and interact with fans. I did that and it made them so happy. I too felt really good interacting with them. Then I went to Ahmedabad and that was a great relief. I was so happy to be with my family. After years, I was able to spend some time with them. So it was really nice. Lockdown wasn’t tough and I managed it nicely, and patiently.

What did you like about Ishq Mein Marjawan 2?
It was actually offered to me when I was in Ahmedabad during the kite flying festival. So, I had gone there to spend time with my  family, and it was then that they called me. We spoke on the phone and then I went back. They gave me a brief about the story and everything. I was aware about the first season, and knew it would be an interesting thriller and a different type of show. So I thought okay, this is a nice opportunity and took it.

How does your character Ridhima compare to others you have played, it seems very different?
I wouldn’t say the character is very different because I feel like at one point of time when you are doing a television series there are certain things that are going to be there, like her being sacrificing, probably very loving and nice. So, I wouldn’t say it is very different, but I think the journey and the kind of show it is will be very different. My character Ridhima has a beautiful journey and graph. She has a lot of layers and that is making it very different. There are going to be so many different and unexpected things. So the layers, graph and journey make it very interesting.

Helly Shah in Ishq Mein Marjawan 2

You must be happy with the positive response your performance has received so far?
I am happy with the kind of response I have got. When I read the lovely messages and things like that, I feel so happy about it. The positive response has been encouraging. Initially, audiences are seeing a very naïve and vulnerable Ridhima. She has just stepped into this man’s house and is trying to figure out what is happening. So it is tense and often feels like that while shooting, but you can expect a lot more. The amazing response just makes me work harder.

You are still very young but have an impressive body of work and a big following. Do the increased expectations with each project put pressure on you?
Honestly speaking, sometimes I do feel the pressure and other times I don’t. Asjad, I think that it is kind of a mixed feeling.

What is the first thing that you will do when lockdown is fully lifted? 
I think I will start going to the gym again. I think it is high time that I start working out again. I haven’t been working out and feel so bad about it. It’s just in my head. Even if I am being particular about my diet, I feel that working out is a very good habit, and I want to return to that. I’ve heard they will lift these restrictions soon, including on going to the gym. I’m not sure I will go straight away because the situation is still so scary.

I would love to see you do a historical, but what is your dream role?
Actually a historical has not been on my list, but as they say, never say never. You never know what will come your way and what will excite you at that point of time. There are so many roles I want to play, not just one. One that immediately comes to my mind is playing a police officer. I would love to play a cop. Or something in that zone because it would be really challenging. People wouldn’t imagine me as a tough person, so I would like to explore a genre like that. It would be so interesting and nice to play.

You are well-admired, but who in acting do you like?
So, there is an actress called Sajal Aly. I really like her and look up to the work that she does. I think that she is a very good actor.

You are a very good actress, so what do you think is the secret of putting in a good performance?
I think most of the time, and I initially also did the same mistake, we tend to forget to listen to what the other person is saying. You focus more on your own dialogue and next line. But that isn’t the most important thing, you need to listen, observe and react. You need to have a strong instinct about everything going on in a scene, not just your line. These things are very important.

If you could star alongside any leading man who would it be?
I really want to meet Tom Hanks and would love to share screen space with him. I think that he is a great actor and his impressive body of work just speaks for itself.

What would be your big passions away from work?
Right now I hardly get time to do anything. But when I do get a little time, say for 15-20 minutes, I use this designing app in my phone, which is very relaxing and therapeutic for me. For example, they give you a space and you have to do the interior design in it. I get quite engrossed in that process for 10-20 minutes, and it calms me down. I feel that all the stress, whatever is there, just disappears. So that is something I do.

What inspires you today?
Hardworking people and kindness really inspire me a lot in general and in my day-to-day life. I get inspired when I meet kind-hearted people and someone who is just so humble. I do wonder how they manage to be so humble and kind all the time. You want to learn from them, so such people inspire me to be a better person in life.

Finally, would you give a message to your fans?
I always say that they have always supported me no matter what and that is something that makes me so happy. I am so grateful for all the love, support and appreciation they show towards me. I think thank you is a very small word, but thank you, and I love you all.