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.

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