Exclusive! Shibani Bedi: A Bollywood Dream Come True with 'Thank You for Coming'
Exclusive! Shibani Bedi: A Bollywood Dream Come True with 'Thank You for Coming'
Photo Credit: Shivani Bedi's Instagram
- Shibani Bedi's cherished bond with the movie cast
- 'Thank You For Coming' team's thrilling adventure at TIFF
- A powerful message from Shibani to women and the audience
In the glitzy world of Bollywood dreams, Shibani Bedi is a shining example of following your heart and never giving up. Her recent movie, 'Thank You for Coming,' has taken her to the stars. The Content Creator is winning accolades for her performance as Tina Das, an independent single mother in the film that also stars Bhumi Pednekar, Shehnaaz Gill, Dolly Singh, and Kusha Kapila.
For over 3-4 years, Shibani has been trying to make her mark in Bollywood, facing doubts and uncertainties about whether to continue this journey. But Mumbai, the city of dreams, has a magic of its own. It appreciates hard work and talent. The movie 'Thank You for Coming' was the turning point where Shibani's hard work, sweat, tears, and doubts all magically paid off. You can feel her joy and excitement as she talks about this moment. This interview takes us through Shibani's Bollywood adventure, inspiring dreamers and believers.
The Beginning of the Bollywood Dream
Shibani Bedi, with dreams sparkling in her eyes and determination in her heart, set foot on her Bollywood adventure. "I have been working in Hindi films and Bollywood movies for a while, spanning over 3-4 years," Shibani reminisces. "But this project... it's enormous—the script, the cast, the excitement—it's nothing short of a dream come true."
This venture into the world of Bollywood was a defining moment for Shibani. The sheer scale and magnitude of the project left her in awe, giving rise to a mix of emotions. "There were moments when I thought, 'Oh my God, what have I gotten into?' But gradually, it started sinking in," she shares with immense joy. "The publicity this movie garnered, the way I was a part of that, and our journey to TIFF... everything was happening so fast that it was hard to grasp. But now, with the movie out, I can't help but exclaim, 'Wow! This is huge!'"
The journey in Bollywood has been a blend of hard work and persistence for Shibani. It hasn't been a smooth road; there were instances when doubts crept in, making her question whether to continue. Yet, the magic of Mumbai kept her moving forward, reinforcing the belief that hard work and talent never go unnoticed.
"I feel like as an actor, experiences like these, projects like these, and the events that unfolded before and after the film release—the whole process of presenting this movie to the audience—it's a dream come true," Shibani emphasizes. "It's a moment of complete fulfillment, a realization of a dream that, honestly, I thought wouldn't come true for me just two years ago."
Recalling the audition process for this film, Shibani shares, "The audition process was a rigorous journey, lasting for two and a half months, with multiple rounds of auditions. At that time, I had almost given up on romanticizing the idea of making it as an actor. Constant rejections during auditions had taken a toll on my confidence. And then, suddenly, it happened—the breakthrough!"
With the rush of promotions settling down after the movie's release, Shibani reflects on the realization of her journey. "Now, with the pace slowing down after the hard work we put into promoting the film and seeing the movie out there, the reactions it's garnering, and the attention it's receiving, I am in awe. I can't help but exclaim, 'This is real! This happened to me! It's nothing short of a miracle.'"
TIFF: A Surreal Journey into the Spotlight
Being a part of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was like stepping into a dream for Shibani Bedi. "TIFF was nothing short of surreal," she shares, her excitement bubbling over. "From the day we found out that Karan and Rhea had submitted the movie for consideration, to the moment we got the news of being selected, going through the visa process, boarding the flight, and landing in Canada—it was all incredibly surreal."
The experience at TIFF was beyond words for Shibani. The glamour of the red carpet, the anticipation after the second screening of the movie, and the lively atmosphere at the afterparty—it was a whirlwind of excitement. Shibani recalls, "I remember walking around at the afterparty, thinking that the response is fantastic in Canada, but calming myself down, reminding that the real response is in India upon the movie's release. Yet, the response in Canada was so phenomenal that we couldn't believe what we received."
The enthusiasm and acceptance the project received during TIFF left everyone involved emotional. Shibani recounts the impactful reception, saying, "During panel discussions on stage, we were overwhelmed, breaking down because of the immense acceptance and love the project garnered. You always think that you've created something fun and enjoyable, an entertainer. But the level of roaring response we received was just crazy."
The experience at TIFF reassured Shibani and her team about the potential of their creation. "It's a story of a woman, written by a woman, made by a woman," Shibani emphasizes. "This sometimes can be tricky territory; you're unsure of how the audience will react, especially when you don't glorify a man in the story. Will they show up for it? Will they not? Women-oriented films usually tread a thin line between being a box office disaster or a hit. TIFF assured us that we have a good product. It was our testing ground, and what a testing ground it was!"
The positive response and the realization of their movie's potential encouraged the team to go all out with the marketing.
Cherished Friendships in the Hectic Ride
Beyond the glamour and chaos, what Shibani values most are the friendships made during the promotional whirlwind. "We became like a close-knit family," she warmly recalls. "Going through the hectic promotions, supporting each other, and genuinely enjoying each other's company created a bond like no other."
The promotional journey was a rollercoaster of emotions and hard work, but the camaraderie among the team made it feel like a delightful party. "It was so easy to navigate the long hours of hard work, jumping from one set to another, even enduring 18-hour workdays, just because we all were so happy being around each other," Shibani recounts. "It was one of the most exhausting 'parties' for all of us, yet something we all thankfully embraced."
The bond that grew was beyond just professional ties; it was personal and profound. "We were constantly fixing each other's crowns, looking out for one another, and there was not even a modicum of insecurity or discomfort," Shibani affectionately recalls. "We all felt safe, seen, and valued around each other."
Shibani expresses her hope that despite the changes in circumstances, the emotional connection forged during promotions remains. "I know it won't be the same, as we all don't have the luxury to meet each other every day," she says, wistfully. "But I hope we can stay in touch, hang around often, and meet. The emotional connection we all forged during promotions is something I can't stop raving about."
The seamless connection and genuine care amongst the team fascinated Shibani. "It's incredible how we all met with compassion, love, kindness, and inclusivity," she reflects. "There was no air of hierarchy; everybody was one—a beautiful, harmonious bond that will forever hold a special place in my heart."
Shibani has a heartfelt message that speaks to dreamers and believers. "Never apologize for dreaming big and working hard," she passionately affirms. "The movie symbolizes that dreams do come true, and hard work pays off. It's a reminder to all dreamers to keep believing."
Shibani Bedi's Message for the Audience
In her own heartfelt words, Shibani implores, "I feel the most important message I could convey to anyone considering watching 'Thank You for Coming' is this: Never apologize for having needs, for occupying space, and for demanding and believing that you deserve happiness—because you absolutely do."
The movie unravels the layers of female pleasure, metaphorically portraying that women deserve to embrace and enjoy all aspects of life. Shibani emphasizes, "Sadly, society often denies them that grace, denying them the space to vocalize their desires. "
Shibani shares a profound perspective: "I firmly believe that once we stop viewing ourselves through the lens of guilt and shame, a whole new world unfolds before us. We carry the heavy burden of living up to someone else's expectations, juggling many versions of ourselves, and, in the process, we often lose sight of who we truly are. We hardly even get the chance to explore our authentic selves."
She adds, "Let's ensure that while we prioritize those deserving of our attention in our lives, we extend that same, if not heightened, level of commitment towards ourselves. Let's do so without carrying the burden of shame or guilt, without constantly apologizing for wanting more from our lives," Shibani asserts. The message is clear—to embrace your dreams, your desires, and most importantly, your authentic self, for therein lies the key to fulfillment and happiness.