Being a refugee in our own country, the cinema was the only escape

Kashmiri actress Shaylee Krishen: Being a refugee in our own country, the cinema was the only escape (Photo credit: Instagram)

Born and raised in a Kashmiri pandit family, she spent most of her childhood moving from one refugee camp to another until they managed to find a space they could call home. For young actress Shaylee Krishen, there was no sense of permanence about where she lived, and the television and radio featuring movies and songs were her only constant source of entertainment, escape, and happiness.

Today, Shaylee belongs to that world of entertainment. He recently appeared on the OTT series “The Last Hour”, and has a couple of Malayalam movies – “Bermuda” and “Malayalam” – lined up.

She becomes nostalgic when she remembers her first appearance on the 70mm screen, as an audience when she was 13 years old. “I went to Bengaluru to meet my brother and he took me to a movie theater, and we saw a movie in Malayalam! I am from Kashmir, I am watching a movie, in which the language is totally unknown. But I remember how engrossed I was by that movie experience. He was a director of Santosh Sivan, ”Shaylee tells IANS.

Luckily, he has now worked with Sivan on the upcoming thriller “Jack N Jill” as well as another movie, “Moha.”

“I know it sounds surreal, but what is real and what is unreal? In fact, the reality is very different for me because being born into a Kashmiri Pandit family, we all know how for the past 30 years, our community has been living as a refugee in our own land. There was no sense of permanence, when we were children, my brothers and I always lived in fear. But wherever we moved, my only constant was listening to the radio and watching movies on television every Sunday. I would visualize the song and dance in front of the mirror and try to act them out after watching movies. The rest of the reality that all Kashmir pundits faced, everyone knows, was quite bleak. Acting and telling stories were the escape I always wanted to hold onto, ”says Shaylee.

She was always interested in acting-oriented characters, like her favorite Sridevi in ​​”Sadma” and Manisha Koirala in “Khamoshi.”

While your portrayal of Pari Singh on “The Last Hour” was intense, was it possible thanks to OTT platforms?

“I think when it comes to budding actors, it’s now possible to get good acting-oriented roles thanks to the good cast and vision of the director. We know how some legendary film directors used to work with non-actors and extract brilliant performances from them. A director must have that strong vision and be good at his craft to get the best actor out of them. This is how directors used to be star-makers, ”says Shaylee.

Shaylee Krishen sums up: “Santosh sir and (‘The Last Hour’ creator) Amit (Kumar) sir are people who discover a new side of an actor that no one has seen before, and a director’s vision emerges for their actor. I think it has nothing to do with whether the medium is web series, movies or television shows, but rather it has to do with a director’s vision ”.

Shaylee’s latest work, “The Last Hour,” airs on Amazon Prime Video.

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