Shreya Dhanwanthary on playing pregnant woman in short film Birth: ‘Focus is on noise that surrounds pregnancy’

Shreya Dhanwanthary is fast climbing the ladder of success, one hit project at a time. The actor shot to fame as a brave cop named Zoya in Manoj Bajpayee-starrer The Family Man season one and then played a determined journalist in Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992. Shreya is now gearing up for the release of her short film, Birth, in which she plays the role of a pregnant woman for the first time. Also read: Shreya Dhanwanthary reveals Bhumi Pednekar auditioned her and Vaani Kapoor for Dhoom 3

In an interaction with Hindustan Times, Shreya opened up about the film Birth, which revolves around a pregnant woman who enrolls in a maternity centre for guidance during pregnancy and childbirth. But what happens next is highly unexpected.

What is Birth about?

It is associated with horrors that are associated with women who are trying to do the best for their child. She listens to people who tell her what she should do and shouldn’t do. They keep giving her advice and this leads to a not so friendly situation.

Tell us more.

More than playing a pregnant woman, the focus is more on the noise that surrounds pregnancy. It is more on the guilt and fear women go through. How people are forcing their opinions on what to do, what not to do all the time. The story was very interesting. It explores something that we haven’t seen often on screen. So we thought it would be interesting to explore if the group turned out to be a lot more sinister.

Do you think even today, women in India and even the US cannot take decisions regarding childbirth? Other people are taking decisions on their behalf.

I think its quite sad. The situation should have improved by now. I can’t believe we are living in 21st century and this is still something we are grappling with, that somebody will tell us what to do with our body. People who have no idea about our experiences, what we go through, tell us what we should do.

Also there is no credit given to women for enduring childbirth.

Absolutely, there is no credit given to women anywhere. We make it sound like they are superhumans and is such a miracle, but we don’t help them. We don’t make laws or have society function in a way that is helpful for them.

You were a revelation in Family Man and then Scam 1992. Have the two shows resulted in getting you more and better offers?

Yes, after that I had Mumbai Diaries and a film with R Balki, which is coming up soon. Then I also have a film with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Hopefully, it will be bigger and better for me now. I am curious to see what happens next.

Are you getting the attention you deserve?

Not that much, a little bit, I don’t realise it when it happens. It’s just nice that people know I exist.

Birth will be streaming on Disney+ Hotstar from August 27. It also stars Lillete Dubey in a pivotal role. Directed by Shyam Sundar, the film has been written by Neha RT.

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