ShivJyoti Rajput was raw as an actor when we saw her in the ALTBalaji series Bebakee. However, she has already come up a long way in picking up a character like Anita, in the recently launched series on Disney+ Hotstar, Special OPS 1.5. Opposite a stalwart like Kay Kay Menon, the character of Anita, as well as Shiv, had their sweet moments.
In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz.com, ShivJyoti Rajput talks about her huge experience of being part of Special OPS 1.5 and on her career ahead.
Special OPS is always considered to harbour dream roles for male actors. Considering all of it, yours was a very meaty female character. Take us through it.
Yes, Special OPS 1.5 is widely based on the challenges faced by the RAW agents during their service time. If you have seen Tiger Zinda Hai, you might have seen how men or women are used to honeytrap officers on duty. This is one broad aspect that Neeraj Sir has picked for the concept of Special OPS 1.5. Many RAW agents do get honey-trapped and this is what the series depicts. The concept of this honey trapping has been executed very accurately by Neeraj Sir, and this is why appreciation and love are pouring in for the series.
Anita’s twist in her love story with Himmat was not really unexpected. What do you feel about it?
This was probably Neeraj Sir’s idea to make the plot more convincing. Honestly speaking, When I bagged the role in Special OPS 1.5, I had not seen the first edition. So I had to sit down and see the first part to understand Himmat’s character. Himmat has always been a strong-minded person. And to match him, the female also had to be equally strong-minded. Opposites probably attract, but we also like to have a partner who is equally strong and self-sufficient as we are. That was the only idea that was in my mind when I started working on the role. Neeraj Sir gave me a lot of freedom to act. Everyone is convinced that even when Anita played a negative character, she ultimately turned out to be positive. This was a tough challenge placed in front of me, to convince the viewers to accept the positiveness in the otherwise negative Anita. I did play the part, but the way Neeraj Sir projected it came out very well.
How did you take this transition in Anita?
Honestly speaking, I do have that baby innocent face, that is why I might have got this show. Yes, acting and talent do matter. But a character match has to be there. We all have innocence in us. As we grow, we face various situations and we change ourselves. However, that innocence is always there in the heart or mind. In the cast of Anita, she has the burden of her family. But when she met Himmat, the idea was only to get the information out from him. But when she was with him, she also understood that she was made for him. She was loyal to her partner.
The transition of Anita that came out within seconds was brilliant.
I would want to give credit to our Director Neeraj Sir and Kay Kay Menon Sir. Both of them are very realistic in their approach. They gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do in that moment. Kay Kay Sir is a very easy going actor. Whatever reactions came out from me in that scene was more because of how Kay Kay Sir acted.
So was it a learning curve for you working with Kay Kay Menon?
I was taking lectures on the set from him. I was utilizing the opportunity with both Neeraj Sir and Kay Kay Sir as my learning phase. They are phenomenal in their areas. I have just started my career, and wanted to learn from them.
How do you see this graph in your first two projects?
Ekta Kapoor Ma’am was the one who made me what I am today. I know how reluctant I was when I got Bebaakee. I was doing commercials, and people used to call me the main girl. There was a transition from being a heroine one fine day. I freaked out and there were times when I walked out from the set of Bebaakee. Ekta Ma’am made sure that I do the project. She did not replace me; she took my problems in stride. The project came out beautifully.
Neeraj Sir later stood for me and wanted me to play Anita. Again it is a success story. Two successful hit shows in my kitty, and this only puts a lot of responsibility on me to choose the right roles from now on. Having said this, I will give first credit to Ekta Ma’am. All in the team of Bebaakee were very patient in dealing with me.
How do you want to progress now?
With two successes, the expectation chart is going to be higher now. I will choose projects that will demonstrate my skills. It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. A lot of good directors and producers want to work with me. The struggle now will be to say no to people where I am not convinced with the roles given. I need to grow as an actor and need to take up roles that enhance my performance. I am reading a lot of scripts, and I will pick the best.
What is coming after Special OPS 1.5?
You will see soon. Everything is dicey in the kind of scenario we are living in. There are a lot of countries that are again declaring a lockdown. So I don’t want to reveal anything right now. I will come out with it when I am ready to serve people in my next role.
Do you have any dream role in mind?
There’s this character of Jessica Jones from Marvel. It is such an amazing character. I will want to portray something on those lines. This is my dream role if you can say.
What are the kind of platforms that attract you now?
Every medium and platform is great. I want to do more of the Netflix and Amazon projects as they have a wide reach.