Shefali Shah is over the moon about being nominated for an International Emmy Award for her performance in Netflix’s Delhi Crime. “It feels great!” she exclaims, as we congratulate her on the honour, “It’s amazing! And, I think it’s huge to even be nominated. I think it’s huge just to even be nominated with such amazing talent and to be picked across the globe!”
Shah is among the three Indian performers who have been nominated for an International Emmy (Jim Sarbh and Vir Das have been nominated for Rocket Boys and Vir Das: Landing respectively).
The actress reveals that the moment she found out about the nomination, she was alone in the house and didn’t know how to react. “I was just sitting in my house kaftan and I didn’t really know what I should do. Then I called up Vipul (Shah, her husband), my children and my best friend.”
Delhi Crime is a crime drama that has already made history by becoming the first Indian web series to win an International Emmy Award. The show’s first season was based on the horrific 2012 Delhi gang rape case and the second season tackled an investigation into a series of murders of elderly people in the city. The common thread between the two seasons was the exploration of societal issues like wealth inequality, caste politics and gender dynamics through the eyes of the lead character DCP Vartika Chaturvedi (Shah’s character).
Despite the show being harrowing and it being hard to come out of her character, Shah admits that it was an easy ‘yes’ for when the time came to reprising her role in the upcoming third season of the show. “I love Delhi Crime and I love Vartika. The show is not just about a crime, it’s making a big statement on the society. So, there was no way I would have said no,” she asserts.
Shah has been on a roll lately, delivering one stand-out performance after another. The actress credits her instincts for always guiding her to the perfect role.
It’s how she found DCP Vartika Chaturvedi, based on the real life DCP Chhaya Sharma who was in charge of investigating the 2012 case. The role has garnered some incredible responses over the years, she says, including validation from Sharma but the best response remains of her son Maurya. “He said, ‘You know, mom, Vartika has become like Iron Man.’ So I said, ‘What do you mean? Like she’s got superpowers?’ So he said, ‘No, she’s like Iron Man!’ I said, I’ don’t understand?’ So he said, ‘Every superhero has been reprised by various actors, except Iron Man. That has only been done by Robert Downey Jr. And that is what Vartika is. She’ll only be you, no one else’.”
The International Emmy nomination for her role is, therefore, just the cherry on top of this wonderful sundae.
Now that she has had some time for the news to finally sink in, she is planning on celebrating her achievement with her friends and family. “At first, I had no idea what to do. ‘Should I even celebrate?’ I kept asking myself. But now, every time my husband walks into the room, I remind him ‘Oh, look at me! I’m an Emmy-nominated actress’ and I only want to be addressed like that! (Laughs).”
Delhi Crime season 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix.