Actor Amyra Dastur plays the role of Ada Mir in the Prime Video series Tandav. Created by Ali Abbas Zafar, the political drama stars Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kapadia in pivotal roles. In an exclusive conversation with , Amyra spoke about collaborating with Ali Abbas Zafar and working on Tandav.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
Tell us a bit about your character.
Ada is a character with many grey shades. Something really bad has happened in her past which has made her paranoid and secluded as a person. You’ll see how her past connects with everything that happens in the series. You’ll see how Ada’s past is extremely important for Tandav’s future.
What about Tandav made you say yes to the series?
The way it’s been written is something else. It’s a fictional show but every character is so real and relatable. As a viewer, you will surely relate to at least one of the characters. I love the realism Tandav offers.
When I was approached for the role, I told them that I want to read the script first. By the time I completed the last episode, I was game for the series. Back then, I didn’t even know who all were a part of the series. When I came on board, I was given a brief of the cast, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be big!’
Were you nervous about being part of a series that has such a stellar ensemble cast?
I was so nervous to go for the readings. I used to be like, ‘Oh no, there are so many famous people here!’ I remember, at the first session of the readings, I was like this quiet little child in the corner. Ali said, “Amyra, introduce yourself.” And I said, “Hi everyone, I’m Amyra. I know who all of you all are.” (chuckles)
Tell us about your experience of working on Tandav.
A dream come true. To be in a show which has legends like Dimple Kapadia, with a filmmaker like Ali Abbas Zafar and a project backed by Amazon Prime Video, what else could have I asked for? I’ve dreamed of these things and to see them actually coming true is a different feeling. I am so grateful.
How will you describe Ali Abbas Zafar as a director?
He’s amazing. He’s an actor’s dream director. He makes shooting fun. He knows what he wants. And the fact that he’s in touch with every character is so commendable. He knows what shot to take, what reaction to capture, which for me is utter bliss.
Out of the cast of Tandav, who do you think should really consider getting into politics and why?
I think Zeeshan. He’s amazing in the way he speaks, the way he acts. He makes his character in Tandav so believable. I feel like he will make a good politician.
Is it important for an actor to have a strong opinion? Do you think it has become difficult to state your views?
I do have an opinion. I keep myself informed, which I think is the most important thing when it comes to politics. I don’t talk about it much because I feel people are ready to attack you. At the end of the day, I feel in our country, it’s better to keep your political opinion to yourself but important to know what’s actually going on.
You’ve always done the happy, full of life sort-of roles. Was there any pressure to change that image?
That’s what Tandav will do. Becoming Ada was challenging because I haven’t played a character like her before. I remember at the beginning of the show, I asked Ali if he was sure about me doing this part because my comfort zone lies in happy-bubbly parts. His reply was, “I want to break actors out of their comfort zone and see what they can actually do.” So, I think I’ve done the best of what I can do. Hopefully, the audience will feel the same.
Tandav stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Sunil Grover, Kritika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Gauhar Khan, Sandhya Mridul, Anup Soni and Shonali Nagrani among others. The series starts streaming on January 15.