[Exclusive] Actress Shreya Patel reveals her character in film ‘Vivid’ led to multiple panic attacks

Indo-Canadian actress and director Shreya Patel talks in-depth about her experience in various films.

Shreya Patel is an Indo-Canadian actress and director, who is famously known for her work in Netflix’s Grand Army and FX’s Mrs.  America. She has been actively involved in raising awareness regarding mental health and has been continuously working towards empowering women and bringing their issues to light. 

Having extensively worked in cinema and theatre over the past few years, one of Shreya’s best performances, in terms of cinema, has been in Francis Luta’s Vivid. The short film went on to win prestigious awards in categories of ‘Best Short Film’ and ‘Independent Horror Film’, and was heavily praised by the critics and the audiences.


Being a graduate from Second City Conservatory, Shreya has quite an experience in theatre. She has been a part of plays like There’s One “I” In Teaim, which was sold out completely every single time, and received a standing ovation. Apart from acting, she has made her directorial debut with a documentary titled Girl Up, which is a story of domestic violence and human trafficking.

While in an exclusive conversation with USA Newshour, Shreya spoke in-depth about her acting, films, and much more. 

The majority of films the actress has worked on have been women-centric. On being asked what about films with such storylines attract her as an actress, Shreya mentioned, “For me, women-centric films have been really important because I wanted to empower other women.” She further revealed that she has been working towards women’s empowerment for a very long time. The actress further went on to tell about her organization ReVnt (pronounced reinvent) – Discover You, where she mentors young girls and helps them follow their path into the arts. She also added, “When I choose a women-centric film, I want a story to be out.”

Talking about her film Girl Up, Shreya spoke about how much the documentary meant to her. “Girl Up has been the first documentary that I directed. It is a very special part of me because it was made when human trafficking was not recognized in my province at all. So I took the camera. I shot, edited. I wanted to tell the story out to the masses.”

The actress and advocate also revealed that her documentary wasn’t shown anywhere for two years, after which she self-released it because she understood the importance of the story. “After two years of making the documentary, I self-released it because I thought it was so important.” The documentary was noticed by a government authority, after which the director and actress decided to extend it into an hour-long piece. After this, it was only an uphill journey for the film. It was partnered with Toronto International Film Festival and showcased at the Civic Action Summit. The documentary has also been mentioned in a Forbes article called Cracking The $150 Billion Business Of Human Trafficking.

When questioned about her experience of filming her film The Intersection, Shreya spoke extensively about the director, Robert Misovic. Furthermore, speaking of another one of her films, Vivid, the actress shared how the film is about a girl who is suffering from schizophrenia, and in her attempted to play the character as authentically as possible, she, at times, suffered from panic attacks and anxiety attacks on set.

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“There was this scene where I was running and they called cut. But I kept running. My director was like ‘Shreya can you see you’re on set?’” She also revealed that such incidences happened multiple times. The actress also mentioned that the film was another learning experience for her, as she had to understand how to get out of the character too. 

Talking about Mrs. America and her experience, the actress gushed over working with Sarah Paulson. She spoke about how the entire team was an all-female one. “[Sarah Paulson] came from LA and she was extremely tired when she came to the set. She had a bunch of scenes, but the way she pulled it off!” The actress added, “You could see [the tiredness] on her face, but when they called action, she just goes at it.” Shreya felt like working with her was a masterclass. Her talent and confidence made the actress in complete awe after Paulson.

Shreya has definitely been a role model for all the women out there, and we have nothing but well wishes for her and all her future projects.

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