Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR
After getting critical acclaim for her debut film ‘Love Sonia’, Mrunal Thakur who has seamlessly made her transition from television to movies, is now seen in ‘Super 30’. She’ll also be seen in ‘Batla House’ starring John Abraham. The vibrant girl settles down with us, to chat about her latest release and more…
While ‘Super 30’ is garnering great reviews, the trailer of ‘Batla House’ is also widely being appreciated. What’s the feeling like, at the moment?
I’m feeling wonderful to be a part of ‘Super 30’; when I saw the film, I realised the fact that I’ve worked with such a genius actor who always sets the benchmark high. Now after watching the film, I’m even more proud of it. Whatever extensive coaching that we did for the characters, has paid off.
What’s been the most satisfying feedback which you’ve got?
My dad told me that we never thought you’d play a girl from Patna. He told me that they weren’t watching me in the film as Mrunal, they were seeing me as Surpriya in the film and that was the most satisfying.
‘Love Sonia’ also got great feedback, and now there’s ‘Super 30’ followed by ‘Batla House’ – how do you really look at this journey so far!
To be present on a Bollywood set and learn the process of film-making is completely different as an experience. The shooting experience for ‘Love Sonia’ with the internation crew and such talented Indian actors was so wonderful. Not many actors would have started out with such a film. Many people thought that they took back hope from the film, and I was happy to play a character which could make some difference to the society. I was also blessed that I entered into the industry at a time when the content was changing and so was the audience. It reached so many countries with the help of United Nations. That exposure was very important for me and when it comes to ‘Batla House’ – because the story is so real and we have real characters, I had something to look at, as reference point. All the three projects have been so different and so close to my heart. It’s not just work for me, I’ve felt so passionate about all the three projects. I’ve found some sort of connection with all of them, and I don’t think I will ever forget the journey of all my three films. It’s been impeccable.
Is there something that you’re consciously looking for in the projects coming to you?
So, people have been telling me that your role in ‘Super 30’ is not as big as it was in ‘Love Sonia’ but the feedback is still impactful. That’s something on my mind always. I don’t care about the screen-space. What matters is, to have a character which does have an impact in the story line. That’s the reason why I wanted to be a part of ‘Super 30’. There are actors like Pankaj Tripathi or Nawaazuddin who just lit the moment even if they have less screen-time. So, it’s so lovely to work with them. What matters is the journey on the entire film and the content of the cinema. As long as the story is driven and people are ready to connect to the film, I want to be a part of it.
“Television has been my grooming process”
Are you happy about the fact that you’ve been getting noticed for your work, despite many newcomers entering at the same time?
I think whatever comes my way, I’ve given my 100 percent. No work will give you a fruitful result, unless and until you work hard for it. The number of years I’ve waited for, for ‘Love Sonia’, ‘Super 30’ and ‘Batla House’ to come out is a long wait. I feel, this kind of patience is very important. For me, there’s no competition as of now with anyone. For me, what’s important is that, I should be satisfied with whatever character I play and the audience should be able to connect to it. That’s something on my mind. People tell me, there’s crazy competition – star kids are being launched. They’ve been offered bigger and better roles. But I’m happy with whatever I’m getting and hopefully, I’ll impress more people with my work.
What is it that you take back for ‘Super 30’?
I got to do a couple of Kathak workshops, and they just didn’t improve me as a dancer but as an actor as well because somewhere down the line, I was shy and I couldn’t express myself but through these workshops, I think I’ve opened up which is why I feel I was better in ‘Batla House’ and even better in ‘Bahubali’. That’s one of my biggest take-away. The perks of working with Hrithik Roshan is that, you just don’t know when are you acting.
What’s the learning which you take back from television?
Television has been my grooming process. A lot of people look down at television but I would say that I’ve had no qualms about starting out with television. I’m proud to have been a television actor. The process is difficult and immense respect to all the television actors who’re giving 20 hours a day for one episode where they have access to no prior script. Even if there are floods in Mumbai, they still have to reach on set and shoot. The common thing is the camera and you. As long as you have the camera and you get to romance the camera, it’s all the same – whether it’s TV or films. But the huge difference between films and TV is that you have the script when you start a film and the duration of the character is shorter than in a TV series.
Tell us about ‘Bahubali’ for Netflix and the line-up of upcoming projects from you?
I get to play Shivagami for ‘Bahubali’ on Netflix. People have tagged me as a television actor but I don’t think I’m giving them any chance now, because I’ve done movies and now also a Netflix show (laughs). They would be confused whether to call me a TV actress, or a model or an Indie film heroine or Bollywood film actress. I feel the ‘s’ is important in characters I play. S for Sonia, S for Supriya and S for Shivagami. My mother pointed that out for me (laughs).