Prachi Desai has been around in the entertainment world for so long that it’s sometimes easy to forget she’s only 33. The actor returned to movies with Silence last year and followed it up with a new thriller in the recent release Forensic. For anyone who’s followed or watched her career, the kind of roles she’s doing now is very different from her established on-screen image. In an interaction with Hindustan Times, Prachi discussed the reaction to her ‘different’ role and the challenges her image has faced over the years. Also read: Gauahar Khan Says She Lost Slumdog Millionaire Role Because She ‘Looked Too Good’
Spoilers for Forensic ahead!
Released on Zee5 on June 24, Forensic also plays with Vikrant Massey, Radhika Apteaand Rohit Roy. The Vishal Furia directing is a thriller set in Mussoorie with a cop and a forensic expert on the hunt for a serial killer. Prachi, whose performance as a psychoanalyst with a dark secret has been praised by critics and fans, says he is grateful for the opportunity. “These are the kinds of roles I’ve always wanted to play and I think it’s OTT that deserves the credit. This is the place where people take big risks and give you opportunities that you never really thought about,” she says.
Prachi has never played negative characters before in her career, which is why it was a challenge that she enjoyed. Speaking about how entering the mind space of a cold-blooded killer affected her mental health, she says, “You have to go into these gray areas, which are very uncomfortable. I think as an actor it just came. It was easy. The funny thing is that I would immediately turn on and off. When you see the shot after it was taken and the camera was still rolling, I laughed. And I don’t mean that wrong. I don’t want anyone to think I enjoyed it. I don’t know how to say it correctly, but you don’t want to dwell on it too long, for your mental health you really shouldn’t.”
Prachi says that before the advent of streaming platforms, she had barriers to being offered challenging roles mainly because of her image and on-screen appearance. Since her debut with the TV show Kasamh Se (2006) or her film debut in Rock On!! (2008), she has largely played the humble girl next door. She explains: “To some extent, it was kind of a barrier that I faced. In the past, when there was a role of this nature or nature, they always thought I had a really soft face to it. I’m handsome , so what do you do with that. Nobody really knew how to turn this around in their favor. At the end of the day, cross-casting is really commendable. Those are the things that make you sit up and stand out. It’s very easy to keep casting people in the same roles over and over, because you really enjoy watching them do that.”
In fact, until recently she said she was told she’s “too beautiful” for certain types of roles, a comment she’s not sure is meant as a compliment. “I heard this a while ago before Forensic came out. There was an interesting part and someone from the stage said, ‘Don’t you think she’s too beautiful for it?’ I thanked the director for at least telling me that. I’m just glad they don’t doubt my skills here, they don’t think I’m short of anything there. But they think I’m too beautiful. I really don’t know what the right response is for that, but I’m certainly not going to take that in a negative way,” Prachi says with a laugh. Also read: Prachi Desai recalls being ‘disrespected’ by prominent directors
However, Prachi is happy to hear all this as the feedback helps her improve and make changes. She adds: “At every stage of your life there will be barriers that you will have to push harder and get over. Unfortunately, often you can’t control them. But at least now I know this is what they think. If If I hadn’t, I’d keep wondering why I’m not playing these kinds of roles and roles. It’s good to know these barriers and find your way around them.”
And according to Prachi, the best of these roles is not the affirmation of others, but self-satisfaction. “It’s not about proving anything to anyone, it’s simply about the fact that there is a box. It’s really for your own satisfaction that there’s so much more you can really do,” she says, signing off.