Renuka Shahane
Renuka ShahanePR Handout

Actress Renuka Shahane says that the Indian audiences have watched medical dramas on Television before, but a medical comedy is something that they will witness with Starting Troubles for the first time.

A year after the release of What The Folks Season 2-3, Renuka Shahane is ready with her next web series. Titled Starting Troubles, this web series belongs to a very rare genre called medical comedy and she is all excited to see the viewers' response for the series, which is scheduled for its release soon.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, India, Renuka Shahane spoke about the story of Starting Troubles, the specialty of its genre, and her experience working with Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi and others and her upcoming movies.

Excerpts from her interview:

1. Could you please tell us about the web series – Starting Troubles?

Starting Troubles is a medical drama that I am a part of after ages. I remember the last time I worked on a medical drama was in 1988, 'Lifeline'. I have always loved foreign medical dramas. I used to think that we should also have such concepts produced in India. So, the main character of the series is Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi who is a practicing ENT doctor himself and came up with the story that revolves around his life.

Renuka Shahane with Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi in Starting Troubles
Renuka Shahane with Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi in Starting TroublesPR Handout

Well, the fun part is he is a comedian too, I don't think there can be an any better combination than this. We have had medical drama on television before, but a medical comedy is something that Indians are going to witness with Starting Troubles for the first time.

Playing the role of Dr Kavita Gowda was an amazing experience for me. When I read her character, I saw a lot of similarities with her. I was attracted to the personality she had. She is extremely professional and expects the same professionalism from others, and as an actor, I do that very often. Those who have seen me on set will know how disciplined I am and I expect the same on sets.

I just loved the story and the concept of this web series. I feel this story doesn't only cater to the MBBS students or medical practitioner but it connects to all students. The concept is something that needs to be inculcated in our education system. As we know how our current education system kills curiosity and how it never encourages students to ask questions, which eventually leads to a lack of interest in innovation among students. And this is what made me part of the series, Starting troubles is all about melding education and innovation with a tint of comedy to keep the audience glued to the screen.

2. What kind of preparation did you go through to speak the doctor's language? How was it working with Starting Troubles - India's first-ever medical web series?

As I said, after almost 32 years I am doing a medical drama, which also has comedy in it, so I really had to buckle myself up to get into the shoes of Dr. Kavita Gowda. The last time I did a medical drama, it was very serious and in contrast to that, Starting Troubles is a medical comedy. Dr. Jagdish is an outstanding actor and an amazing comedian, one has to be on toes because he improvises scenes on the spot.

Abhinav Kamal, the director of Starting Troubles, made the whole preparation process a cakewalk. I just loved working with him because it was like being on a picnic. He did make me learn a lot of medical jargon so that I look that learned and impactful. But I would say it was great fun being on screen and on set with such an amazing cast and crew.

Renuka Shahane with Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi in Starting Troubles
Renuka Shahane with Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi in Starting TroublesPR Handout

3. How different is it to act for big screen and web series?

Acting is acting, irrespective of the medium. There is absolutely no difference in acting may it be in theatres, films, television or web series. A good actor should just mould himself/herself in all mediums and show the magic of his/her acting. Coming to web series, web series gives an opportunity to an actor to be as natural as possible. You don't have to be over the top like you do on television or films.

And these web series come in seasons, so one can actually see the response of the audience and then improvise on future seasons, so it provides a kind of liberty to writers, makers and actors. Being on OTT platforms helps an actor to connect with the younger generation as they are the majority user of such digital platforms. A new generation of people get to know you and some even become your fans. I feel that actors should keep reinventing themselves otherwise they'll become history.

4. Today's generation are coming up with new concepts like these. How do you feel about it?

I feel today's generation is very creative and open to what they think and do. You can always see them thinking out of the box. And I feel the OTT platform gives wings to their imagination and creativity. At first, even I had a hard time understanding their thought process, but I have two teenage sons and while talking to them I have to come to their level and understand them. The new generation always comes up with newer concepts and being a part of such stories is nothing but an opportunity to rediscover the actor within you. I feel there is a lot to learn from them and I am always open to such new ideas and concepts.

5. What shows or web series have you been binge-watching this lockdown season? Are you working on any projects right now?

I have recently finished directing a feature film for Netflix called Tribhang. I had written the script six years back and finally, I completed this dream project with some amazing cast like Kajol, Mithila Palkar, Tanvi Azmi and Kunal Roy Kapoor. It was indeed a long journey for me, but I hope it reaches heights of success and all our collective hard work pays off.