Samridhi Dewan on ‘Good Bad Girl’ and the Indian web-series phenomenon

The actor talks about her upcoming SonyLIV web series, which tells the story of a girl’s deceptive life, and how she easily treads the line between truths and lies

The actor talks about her upcoming SonyLIV web series, which tells the story of a girl’s deceptive life, and how she easily treads the line between truths and lies

Samridhi Dewan is all set to take her career to new heights with the upcoming show Good Bad Girl. After playing the role of Pammi Goel in the Indian version of The Office, and Kusum in the Hindi web series Stories by Rabindranath Tagore, Samridhi now plays Maya Ahuja in SonyLIV’s new web-series.

The show narrates the story of Maya Ahuja, a girl who has three different stories to tell in one lifetime, and how she lies her way through life to get whatever she wants. The show follows three timelines; Maya as a child, Maya when she was 18 and in law school, and Maya as a lawyer at 30.

The show follows three timelines; Maya as a child, Maya when she was 18 and in law school, and Maya as a lawyer at 30

The show follows three timelines; Maya as a child, Maya when she was 18 and in law school, and Maya as a lawyer at 30
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The nine-episode show is created by Vikas Bahl and directed by Abhishek Sengupta. It also stars Vaibhav Raj Gupta, Gul Panag, Aradhya Aanjna, Sheeba Chadha, Namrata Seth, Rajendra Sethi, Soham Majumdar, and Zain Khan Durrani in pivotal roles.

Talking to The Hindu about playing Maya, Samridhi says, going forward, she wants her roles to be very versatile and diverse. “I want to dip my feet into every possible genre, and try everything as I did with this show.”

Elated about the release in the offing, she says she had a great experience working with the whole cast and crew of the show. Further talking about playing Maya, being a part of the OTT era, and her upcoming projects, Samridhi says, ”This is all new for me, and the journey has been positive so far.”

Excerpts from a conversation:

Can you tell us a bit about the show and the character you’re playing?

The show is about Maya, and how she understands as a young girl that life is not just black-and-white, and lying sometimes to get what you want can be beneficial. This sticks with her, and as she grows up to become a lawyer, she starts to believe that lying is an integral part of her profession. Eventually, she starts getting into trouble with her lies, and the show is about how she tries to deal with the consequences of her actions.

Since Maya is a lawyer, did you do anything to prepare for the role?

The show is about Maya as a lawyer, and it has a legal side to it, but it is not like Criminal Minds or Suits, where every episode is about the law. The show is more about Maya as a person, her job in a legal firm, and the politics surrounding it. Having said that, we did attend an online court, as physical courts were not happening when we started shooting. When I attended these online court sessions, I realised how very different the concept of law is, as opposed to what is portrayed in popular culture. I learnt a lot and it certainly helped me bring a new dimension to the role.

Samridhi Dewan as Maya Ahuja.

Samridhi Dewan as Maya Ahuja.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Maya’s character is a bit eccentric, and it looks like it has negative shades to it. How did you approach this kind of role?

It was made very clear to me from the beginning that the character would be a bit of an anti-hero, mainly because of her actions. It was still very important for me to make her relatable, to make people understand why she chooses to do certain things a certain way. I’m not condoning her actions, but Maya’s perspective helps you understand the ‘why’ part of it.

Playing Maya, I never thought of her as a villain because I knew why she did all that. I took time to understand her perspective of life, and after going through Maya’s three timelines, and after having multiple discussions with the director, I started understanding the body language she would use in different situations. These kinds of things helped me reach a point where I no longer judged the person.

You made your debut through a web series, so how does it feel to be a part of the streaming era? What do you have to say about the format?

I haven’t yet had an experience with mainstream Bollywood, so I cannot compare the two. But I feel the obvious difference between them would be the length. Character-wise, you get to stay with it a lot more in the OTT format. I feel like you get a substantial amount of time to convey what the person is about, and I feel comfortable knowing that there is room for exploration.

Samridhi Dewan

Samridhi Dewan
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Many shows are getting released every day across various streaming platforms. Do you also feel a little overwhelmed to be a part of this?

I do feel overwhelmed, but because of other reasons. Everybody’s put so much hard work into it, and whether you want to claim it or not, you do have some expectations of it. You hope that people will like it and watch it. But with the amount of content coming out, I sometimes worry if it will just get lost with so much out there. I feel, as an actor, I cannot do anything about that. So, I’m just going to wait, watch, and enjoy the ride!

The boycott culture in Bollywood seems to be going strong. Although it has not penetrated the streamers yet, the issue still lingers. What is your opinion on it?

There’s a lot of effort and money and time that goes into things, but suddenly people decide to not indulge in your efforts because for whatever reason. I guess that also keeps us on our toes. We can’t just be any type of person and say anything we want to. We have to be very conscious of what’s going on. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, because I haven’t personally experienced it. But, it does feel a little scary, knowing it is going on in the field you’re associated with.

Samridhi Dewan

Samridhi Dewan
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

I haven’t signed anything new yet. Some things have come but, after you do a part like this, you will have your mind on something as good or something different. Having said that, I don’t think I have the luxury yet to be picky. I’m treading a very thin line and I hope that something amazing comes up.

How would you describe the show in one line?

The show will be very different. I’m hoping that you will be entertained and you will be moved; I can also guarantee that this is something that you would not have seen before.

Good Bad Girl will stream on SonyLIV from October 14

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