Eisha Chopra on ‘Salt City’: I still have this love-hate relationship with Mumbai

Actress and screenwriter, who will next be seen in family drama ‘Salt City,’ talks about her relationship with Mumbai, her upcoming project with Vidya Balan, and more

Actress and screenwriter, who will next be seen in family drama ‘Salt City,’ talks about her relationship with Mumbai, her upcoming project with Vidya Balan, and more

‘Mumbai adds spice to everything,’ says character in trailer for SonyLIV’s upcoming web series city ​​of salt. It’s a sentiment familiar to Bollywood about its capital; that it is a bustling factory that makes or breaks dreams. For Eisha Chopra, who plays one of the main roles in the family drama, the dialogue is as real as it gets, as it talks about the equation the Delhiite shared with Mumbai.

In a quick chat with us, the actor-writer, best known for web titles like POW Bandi Yuddh Ke, what people, and By lovetalks about the benefits of the streaming platform boom and what city ​​of salt is all about.

Like the characters on the show, you had an interesting relationship with Mumbai. Is it still the city of dreams?

I moved here seven years ago, and I still have this love-hate relationship with Mumbai. It adds salt to your wounds and bitterness to everything you experience. It’s not an easy place to live, be it the cost of living, the limited interaction with nature, or the density of the population. But there is something that stands out from all of this, and that is the spirit of the people who live here. They are all linked by something invisible and unshakeable.

You talked about the problems you encountered as a newcomer. Has the number of opportunities for wannabes increased after the skyrocketing popularity of streaming platforms?

Absolutely. I can see the change around me as more people are working now. Being a screenwriter myself, even the way writers are treated has changed. Today, we are well paid and our work has value. I hope that will continue and that the problems of the film industry will continue not to interfere with the labor-supply ratio.

Most of your releases have been broadcast on TV and streaming. Do you still believe in the importance of the big screen for young artists?

As an artist, it doesn’t matter if I’m shooting for a web series or a film. Of course, there’s big-screen prestige and a certain reach that goes with it. However, nowadays only the large scale Baahubali-ish movies get a theatrical release. It’s also important if I want to tell this story.

I wouldn’t turn down a role on the big screen, but I also believe I have a lot to offer in that alternate space that has worked well for me because I want to be in those kinds of stories.

Tons of web content are published consecutively in Bollywood. Do these projects continue to have an active audience after the reopening of theaters?

Yes, because unlike cinemas, no one is fighting for space on the web. The battle is to win the audience’s headspace. OTTs appeal to all age groups, whether it was my mother who was not tech-savvy or my 10-year-old nephew. With endless content coming in different languages ​​and for different demographics, I don’t see this boom waning.

A picture of 'Salt City'

A picture of ‘Salt City’

Many theater veterans have said that the experience of a theater actor is different from that of a movie star because the former exerts more energy. Coming from the middle of the stage, do you miss playing in front of a live audience?

The idea of ​​performing on stage changed after the pandemic. Yes, a theatrical performance is a different experience and requires a different skill set. The stage is the medium of an actor whereas a film is that of a director.

But I don’t agree with the idea that theater is the best, most authentic form of art. I love the stage, but when I discovered the camera, I fell in love with it too. The camera allowed me to explore the less is more philosophy as an actor.

Your next big project is “Lovers”, starring Vidya Balan, for which you co-wrote the screenplay. Your acting career also began with a film by Vidya Balan – “Nobody Killed Jessica”. Life has somehow come full circle…

I only met Vidya Balan briefly during No one killed Jessicabut i’m so happy that she does Lovers. She’s one of the most beautiful actresses I know. Lovers is an exciting project, something I felt like I was born to write; it’s in post-production and we’re eagerly awaiting its release.

Salt City, directed by Rishabh Anupam Sahay, will air on Sony LIV on June 16

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