• Thursday, July 25, 2024


Prachi Desai: Success in the sounds of Silence

The acclaimed actress talks about her new ZEE5 Global movie, experience of working with award-winning star Manoj Bajpayee

Prachi Desai

By: Mohnish Singh

PRACHI DESAI is one of the few talents who have transitioned smoothly from from big TV success to film stardom.

After getting significant attention in Ekta Kapoor’s popular daily soap Kasamh Se (2006-2008), she made an impactful Bollywood debut in the hit 2008 film Rock On. She hasn’t looked back since, starring in Bollywood entertainers like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), Bol Bachchan (2012), and Azhar (2016). 

 In 2021, she broadened her horizons by taking a lead role in her first direct-to-digital film release, Silence…Can You Hear It?, on ZEE5 Global. The popularity of the thriller allowed her to reprise the same role of Inspector Sanjana Bhatia in the show’s sequel, Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout, which recently premiered on the streaming platform. 

 Eastern Eye caught up with the acclaimed actress to talk about her new ZEE5 Global movie, experience of working with award-winning star Manoj Bajpayee and why the audience sees her so less on the screen. Desai also revealed why she is content with her career trajectory. 

 How excited are you to be a part of Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout?

 I am thrilled and really excited, personally and professionally, because these are some of my favourite people I am working with.  

I got to team up with them again and work on another amazing film. And for the actor in me, there is nothing better than receiving love from the audience where you get to make another film, with the same roles and in the same franchise. So yeah, I am very excited. 

Prachi Desai PD 3
Prachi Desai

 How does this sequel build upon the original film and what new elements can we expect in the movie? 

 Oh my God. So, this time around, the case is far more complicated because there are multiple murders that happen in the film. The silence is kind of getting louder. 

 Of course, it is a sequel, so the audience would want to be engaged more because they have seen a certain story in the first instalment. This time around, we have a lot more interesting additions to the cast also.  

We have many murders to solve and lots of people to help us solve them. But yes, I can say that as a sequel, we are genuinely offering a lot more. 

 What can we expect from your character?  

Sanjana has matured a little bit for sure. There was a certain working equation with ACP Avinash Verma (Manoj Bajpayee) in the first instalment, because it was the first time we were working together. So, there was a slight awkwardness or newness in that film. Here, we are so comfortable and are a great team now. 

 This time around, you see that personal equation and rapport come through. She is also tougher with herself now. Her equation with ACP Avinash, as I said, has changed. You will notice that in the film. 

 How was it working with Manoj Bajpayee again?

It was an absolute dream. Manoj sir is like a living legend, somebody that every actor possibly dreams of working with one day. And I got to do that twice within such a short span of time, so I couldn’t be happier. There is so much to learn from him. 

 The biggest thing you take back as his co-star is how hard he works, the way he prepares before the film or before every scene. Despite all of this experience, he does not take rehearsing lightly.  

After Silence…Can You Hear It and Forensic, this is your third film on ZEE5 Global. How do you look at your growing association with the platform?  

I guess with ZEE5 Global, it just feels like coming back home. It is incredible. I am just so happy that through the platform, our audience can connect with us anytime and watch more of our films and projects. That is pretty great and I love the fact that we can offer this to you, the audience.  

The streaming space is inundated with films in the crime genre. What do you think sets Silence 2 apart? 

 Yes, you are right. We do have so many thrillers on OTT. There are murder mysteries and then there are whodunnits.  

But, I think the beauty of it is that each one can be presented in such a different style that the audience still finds everything different from the other.  

What do you mean by that?  

You have seen Forensic. Even though that was like a murder mystery sort of genre, I got to do something completely different in that film. And that was very different from Silence. 

 There is another beautiful series on ZEE5 Global called Sunflower. Who could have thought that there could be that much humour in a murder mystery? So even if the genre is similar, everything is so different. That is because filmmakers are presenting so many different styles and telling stories in a very varied manner. That’s how you keep the audience engaged. 

Prachi Desai inset in Silence 2 1
A still from Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout

 Why haven’t we seen you on screen as much recently?  

I am totally taking it into consideration. Yes, I will attempt as many different roles as I can in future. You can see me more often now. I think Covid took away a lot of our time. But post Covid, I have tried to take this complaint into account and do as much interesting work as possible. 

 Tell us about that. 

 There are already these three films on ZEE5 Global, followed by Dhootha, my first ever Telugu series with Naga Chaitanya. It was inspired by the life of great poets Sahir Ludhianvi and Amrita Pritam. 

 So, it has just been me trying to do as much different work as possible. Yes, I am choosy, but now I will do my best and give you much more.  

Your debut TV show Kasamh Se was a huge hit and you followed it up with great performances in films such as Rock On, Once Upon Time In Mumbaai, and Azhar. But even after repeatedly proving your talent, do you think it has been difficult for you to get good parts? 

 You know, there is something that I learned from Manoj sir (Bajpayee), an actor with vast experience. He once said that it does not matter how great you are or how many films you have done or not done, constant effort is extremely important. 

 We have seen that man working so hard and he has proved himself so many times. But even now, he does not take any opportunity lightly and does something memorable for us each time.  

But how has that impacted you? 

 I have finally realised that no matter how many roles and characters you have played in your life, you must keep going and doing great work all the time. It’s a part of an actor’s life.  

So, I guess, till the end of time, I’m going to have to just keep doing great work. That’s how the nature of the job is. 

 What do you think has been the turning point of your career?  

I think Rock On was definitely a big turning point in my career.  

Since post Covid, Silence has been a big factor in kind of changing my career because that was my first ever OTT film, which brought me into the world of the streaming space.  

So, Silence has been a turning point in the recent years, for sure.  

If you could go back in time and change anything about your acting career, what would it be?  

Well, that is a tough one. I started my career at a very young age, but still, I would say I really would not change anything because I feel when you try and do things or control things, you mess it up.  

You let the universe do its job. I think I also gained maturity in my own time and in good time.  

I don’t know what it would have been if I was more mature with my debut or how life would have been different then. But I like the way it has been.  

Lastly, what can we expect next from you? 

 Like I told you, I am working on that complaint I get constantly from audiences wanting to see me more often on the screen. 

 So, I am working on a few things, but I am going to maintain my silence on that for the time being. I will come back very soon with announcements. 

 Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout is available now on ZEE5 Global. 

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