It is the people's love that has made "Mirzapur" the "biggest series of the country", believes actor Shweta Tripathi Sharma, who says expectations have only raised the stakes of the upcoming third season.
She plays Gajgamini 'Golu' Gupta, an idealist bookworm who transforms into a woman seeking revenge in the second season of the Prime Video show.
Shweta, known for acclaimed films such as "Masaan" and "Haraamkhor", shot to nationwide fame with "Mirzapur".
The 37-year-old actor said she was anxious before she began shooting for the show's season three, which went on floors earlier this month.
"More than pressure, it's a responsibility... I'd like to say I don't take pressure, but before 'Mirzapur 3' shoot started, I was going crazy.
"More than pressure, it was because of the love people have for the show which has made it the biggest series of the country. So you're aware of the expectations they have," Shweta told PTI.
Produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under Excel Entertainment, the first season of "Mirzapur" was released in 2018 followed by season two in 2020.
The hype around the show is on a level that everyone around her has an opinion about its twists and turns, said the actor.
"Before the shoot, even my manager had inputs about Golu, that she won't do this, or she'd behave like that, or the show should be... Everyone has a strong opinion, they love it so much! That's the fun and the challenging part for season three," she added.
The crime drama features a stellar ensemble cast also featuring Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Divyenndu, Rasika Dugal, Amit Sial, Anjum Sharma, Sheeba Chaddha, Manu Rishi Chadha and Rajesh Tailang.
Shweta said before the show's latest season started production, every cast member was "scared" about reprising their roles.
"Ali, Rasika, all of us were so scared. To get into the same character... Season one happened five years ago, so to go back to the essence of Golu, I have to make sure I do that. Sure the character has evolved, has shades but the core of it is still there," she added.
The challenge about returning for season three was to "unlearn", said the actor.
"I was a different person five years ago. Now I know more, but in Golu's life (on the show) just six months have passed since she was introduced. That's quite challenging because you've to unlearn. You might have become wiser, but your character is just a 22-year-old, who couldn't finish college."