Interview By: AAKANSHA SHAKHEWAR
In an candid conversation with Maanvi Gagroo- The actress who has been in some very famous projects like ‘Pitchers’, ‘Tripplings’, ‘Four More Shots’ and many more that have been out. She tell us about how ‘Pitchers’ changed her life and much more about ‘Ujda Chaman’ and her character ‘Apsara’.
How did ‘Ujda Chaman’ happen to you?
I have known Abhishek Pathak for a while now but we just never worked together so he had called me and asked me for the film. He also asked me if I’m willing to put on weight for the film so I told him no because I was doing two other projects at that time so I told him I cannot put on weight. He got back to me in some days and asked me if I’m comfortable wearing a body suit and then I said yes to do it.
How was the shooting experience for you with the body suit?
It was extremely fun, in fact in the initial stage I was not sure how much fun am I going to have because I just went into it thinking like it’s a new experience for me and I never had to wear a body suit or carry something which had to be with the character throughout the movie. I went to do this movie thinking I will have a new experience but I ended up having such a good time and everyone became good friends.
How was it working with the director?
I had great fun while shooting and I think it is because the director is the captain of the ship so the kind of temperament the director has automatically settles down the rest of the set. Abhishek is so calm, curious, and I have never seen him shouting at anybody even when things are going against him. He will tell you very nicely about what he exactly wants from you and that is considered as a great quality of the director. Directors know what they want but Abhishek can articulate it really well. He will tell you exactly what he wants and what he has in his head.
With that being said about the director, how much freedom did you get to carry out the character your own way?
Before we started shooting we did have a conversation about how the character has to be and what I would do and what he wants me to. I asked Abhishek if I should work on the body language like does she have a different walk because a walk is a factor of your weight distribution. He said no you don’t need to work on that and physicality wise whatever is required we are achieving it through the fat suit. So if you add anything to that it would look like you are mocking that. He told me the idea about my character is that she is a regular girl also in terms of personality. She does not think she has any issues about her weight but she is aware of her body type but she does not think there is anything wrong with it. She knows her metabolism is low because she has a thyroid problem but in every way she is a very confident girl. So I was playing it like a regular character and once we went on set I would give my suggestions so Abhishek would either accept or reject it.
How different is your character from who you are in real life?
Not really because as I said she is a very normal character and I think she is very close to me as I’m a very confident person like her but then of course when things get to me and I have a low day I be sad and stressed but then again you pick yourself up and get going. In terms of the story when she meets the guy she rejects him and that is something I may not do. I personally don’t believe in this entire tinder thing and that is one thing that is different from Apasara. These are small things but as a character I think I’m pretty similar to her.
You have been in a lot of web series which did great and were loved by people, what would you consider as the turning point for you?
I consider ‘Pitchers’ to be a turning point of my career because before that I kept receiving characters which are really similar of a bubbly Punjabi girl. After a point I even stopped going for the audition because of the characters I was getting. I don’t have a problem playing a Punjabi bubbly girl but people wanted me to play it in the same way so I got very bored with it and that is when ‘Pitchers’ came and it suddenly became huge. Everybody loved my character and that’s when the industry took notice that she can do something other than the cute bubbly girl. That is when I started getting calls for different characters. After this ‘Trippling’ happened, with that I got a lot of popularity. With ‘Pitchers’ I got the certificate from the industry and with ‘Tripling’ I got numbers in terms of fan following and social media numbers.
What is that you are looking out for now in terms of your role?
Honestly right now my biggest fear is that I will again get type cast in this category and people will only call me when they want a slightly plus size girl and they won’t even consider me for anything else. Although I feel that cinema has changed too much and now I think the industry is moving towards showing normal regular people as characters. I wish to do movies that are light but have a message. I just don’t want to do meaningless things. I only want to do projects which I would like to watch myself as an audience which depends on what project I choose. When an offer comes to me I see if it’s something I would watch and than I say yes to do it.