Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY
Mithila Palkar, who is widely known on digital platforms, has come a long way. We will soon see her on the big screen making her Bollywood debut in a slice of life film, ‘Karwaan’ along with Irrfan Khan and Dulquer Salmaan. She speaks to us about her experience and more. Excerpts:
How did you come on board for ‘Karwaan’?
Karwaan is directed by Akash; and Akash and I know each other because of theater. He told me he is making this film and he thought that I fi t the bill of the character and he was going to suggest a bunch of names to Nandini Shrikant who is the casting director of this film. And he had informed me that he will be suggesting my name among others. Also, I have auditioned with Nandini in the past for different projects so I was already there in her data base. So even she was intending to call me; and then it happened through the usual process.
Tell us about your character?
I actually can’t tell much about my character at this point of time. But she is a spunky girl, an unapologetic girl, who has her own take on life and is very confi dent about the things she does.
How was your experience working with Irrfan Khan and also was it intimidating or a learning experience with him?
Initially it was intimidating, not because he made it intimidating; there was no air of that sort. I was intimidated because I was in awe of him because he is Irrfan khan! He made it quite easy in that way and it was a great learning experience working with him; it took me about 10 to 12 days to get used to the fact that I was working with them and acting with them and that I’m not their audience. Because both of them are such fabulous actors, so it took me a while to wake up and realize that I am in this scene and I can’t be enjoying the performance as I wanted. Irrfan sir taught me to be present as an actor because he is very spontaneous as an actor himself. And between two co-actors there’s a lot of give and take; like you have to be very receptive of what your co-actor is giving you. So that’s a very important lesson I learnt from him.
With every project you learn something and there’s always an experience you take back home, how was it with this fi lm?
I learnt a lot about humility from DQ, because DQ is a huge star down south and where we were shooting is his hometown. He has no air about himself and that’s something important and general life lesson. So, that’s something I have taken away from him, to be present as an actor is a huge lesson as to get from somebody as big as Irrfan Khan. And I think I came from a very protected space because Akash and I knew each other since before so I wasn’t thrown in the deep end of anything. If at all I needed anything, I had Akash there. So I think that comfort helped me through the process and it was a fun experience.
What excites you about films as an actor?
It’s all about playing a different person every time because you get an insight of different characters, different personalities, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and I think as a person it makes you very receptive and more sensitive towards people.
You’ve worked on digital platforms , how’s your journey been so far and what’s that one thing that keeps you motivated to work harder?
I think new experiments always excites me, anything that comes to me that’s new and I’ve not done before. And I think there’s a lot of things I’ve not explored yet as I’ve just started but it’s been an interesting journey, it’s all been unplanned. So a lot of it has come as a pleasant surprise. I wouldn’t say I was just sitting and things happened to me because I was working for it. So I don’t really give it away to luck because it won’t be fair because I’ve put a lot to make it happen. But opportunities started unveiling for me and also that I met the right kind of people in every point and time and I had the right kind of guidance so I knew I was going in the right direction.
What kind of genres do you like?
I think I am a sucker for RomComs. I love romantic comedies because I think I enjoy this genre a lot. I also like thriller stories but not ghost fi lms, I get very scared. And it’s really exciting to be a part of the world which is so old and in a way it’s immortal because cinema never dies and you can always revisit it so it’s amazing to be a part of this industry that always comes up with something new. And also there’s this thing where the old and new meet at a point.
Coming from a non-filmy background, what has been your inspiration to enter the film industry?
I think when I was 12 years old I knew I wanted to act but no one took me seriously because I was too young. Also, as a kid we all want to be an actor, doctor, engineer, all these generic things we have in mind as a kid and of course no one takes us seriously then. Also, I live with my grandparents, my parents were always supportive about it but because I don’t live with them, it became more of my grandparents’ responsibility whether they would let me do this or not. For the longest time because I come from a very conservative marathi family, it was a very difficult thing to convince them, especially my grandfather, to let me do this. But yeah I always wanted to be an actor specially theater, I always wanted to be on stage because that’s a different high. When I was 12 and in school we used to do a lot of curricular activities so in that I had participated in an inter school drama competition that was the first time I went on stage and had that feeling about this is what I want to do.