In this exclusive freewheeling e mail interview for bollyy.com and Mayapuri, MADALSA SHARMA CHAKRABORTY who has made her debut on TV with the serial Anupamaa, tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that though an actor does get to show his or her talent in both films as well as TV, one does get a chance to show his or her skills and talent as an actor on a daily basis on TV.
Though you are playing the role of Kavya who is the other woman in Anupamaa’s life, why do you say that it is not an out and out negative character?
Kavya is a real character. Kavya is today’s girl, very ambitious, independent and all her actions are very justified in the show. She is a positive girl and when you see the episodes you’ll realize how positive she is as she knows what’s right for her and always wants the best for people who matter to her. Kavya is the one who insists that Anupamaa should do a job, be independent and stand on her own feet. She is never OK when Vanraj insults Anupamaa. Kavya is a no nonsense girl and has many shades to her character which will be revealed one by one in the episodes ahead. Kavya doesn’t hate Anupamaa at all, Kavya just feels insecure and humiliated when she doesn’t get the credit that she deserves for her work and efforts
Is it true that a fan wrote to you a letter in blood?
It is true that many years ago, a fan of mine wrote to me a letter in blood.
What exactly did you like about the role of Kavya that made you flip for it when Rajan Shahi approached you with the offer?
When during the narration I heard what Kavya was all about, I was so excited that it immediately rang a bell in my head. Firstly it’s Rajan Sir’s show, and I’ve always looked up to Sir and have a lot of respect for him. I had been waiting to work with Rajan ji since a while and when I finally got the chance to play Kavya I had to grab it! I’ve always wanted to play a real character that has various shades and not just a single emotion throughout. Kavya is all about that! There’s so much that she feels and responds to every situation differently. Thus, it was an absolute yes and I took up the show.
Would you say that your role in Anupamaa as Kavya has made you a household name and elicited mileage which your films could not procure for you?
My role as Kavya has definitely made me a household name in a very short span of time. Touchwood, I can see that people have started identifying me as Kavya and I feel blessed that people are showering me with so much love each day and they love my role as Kavya and my work. TV medium is vast and the reach it has is unimaginable. You are being watched everyday and people get to connect with you on a daily basis. Definitely I can say that Anupamaa has given me a lot of mileage and the amount of love I’m getting from the audience is proof that the exposure is huge and that too, in a short amount of time.
What kind of inspiration do you think women in general should take from the character of Kavya in Anupamaa?
I believe that through Kavya, women will strongly get the message that no matter how smooth life goes, one should always be mentally independent first and the rest will fall in place.
Women should be in a place where they can be strong enough to not accept any kind of disrespect for a start and should keep their dignity also as a priority. Whether working or non working, no one should be given the right to make you feel worthless. To stand up for what you feel is right, is the path to be bang on. That’s the impression Kavya’s character wants to leave on women.
Isn’t Anupamaa is the Marathi remake of the Bengali serial Sreemoyee (which was on air on Jalsha) titled Aai Kuthe Kay Karte on Star Pravah)? Did you make it a point to see how your role has been tackled in the Marathi original which is on air from December last year?
Yes that is absolutely right, as homework I watched the Marathi as well as the Bengali version to understand my character better and also gauge the involvement of my character with everyone else in the show.
Is it true that it was your father-in-law Mithun Chakraborty who recommended you take up a stint on TV?
Absolutely right, Dad has always been very supportive of me continuing my work. Intact, dad gave me his example when he was doing Dance India Dance for several years and told me the kind of exposure and love he got from the show was immeasurable. He always told me if anything path- breaking comes my way on TV and if I’m excited about it, I should definitely grab it.
Mithun Chakraborty has been doing Dance India Dance for such a long time. What was the brief that he gave you about TV?
Dad told me it’s a lot of hard work because they have daily telecast and one needs to be on his or her toes at all time and mentally prepared for that kind of commitment. He shared his experience with me of receiving love from people as the Grand Master and we spoke about the exposure TV has and its range.
Do you feel that on TV you have scope to show your talent every single day till the show is on-air, when compared to films where you are seen once only?
Well I always feel that there is a very thin line between TV and Films.TV is like your news paper, your daily dose of entertainment, where the audience gets to see your work and talent each day, definitely. On the other hand films are like books in the library, which can be preserved and watched again whenever you feel like. In both mediums an actor does get to show his or her talent, but yes on TV, one does get a chance to show their skills and talent as an actor on a daily basis.
Is it true that you replaced actor Additi Gupta in Anupamaa before it went on air because she tested Covid positive?
Well honestly I can’t term this as a replacement because unfortunately due to illness when Aditi couldn’t be a part of the show anymore, the bit that was shot with Aditi was re – shot with me all over again when I stepped into the picture.I hope and pray she is in good health.
How is Rajan Shahi as a producer?
Rajan Sir is a wonderful human being and when you work with him you realize how amazing and caring is he as a producer. Talking about our shooting days during this difficult COVID time,Sir has left no stone unturned for everyone’s safety on set. He’s a gem.
In what way is Romesh Kalra who is directing the show Anupamaa different from directors who directed you in films?
Romesh sir is an extremely talented director and his vision is what I admire in him the most. The way sir conceives every scene and brings out the touch of emotion so beautifully is what defines him as a thorough perfectionist. Touchwood! I can say that I’ve been fortunate to have worked with very good directors in my films and that continues for me in Anupamaa as well.
How did your husband Mimoh react when you informed him of your decision to be part of the show Anupamaa?
Mimoh was thrilled when I discussed my role with him. He asked me if I was excited to play Kavya and supported me in every way possible. Mimoh is as excited as I am and doesn’t miss even a single episode of the show and gives me his feedback every single day, which is something I love the most.
How is Rupali Ganguly as your co-actor in the show?
Rupali ji is a sweetheart and we have a blast on the sets. She is a lovely performer and a great human being. Being around her on the sets makes it super fun!
How is your chemistry with your co-actor Sudhanshu Pandey in the show?
Sudhanshu ji and I share a good rapport even off screen which gives our scene a lot of meaning while performing. Sudhanshu ji is a great actor himself and working with him is a great experience every day.
Which have been your five best films as an actress till date?
Firstly, my first Bollywood film by Ganesh Acharya’s Angel where I played a girl who suffered from cerebral palsy. It was an extremely challenging experience for me as an actor. Then Samrat and Co. with the Barjatyas which was a dream come true. The third is the Telugu film Alasyam Amrutham by Suresh Productions of D.Rama Naidu Sir. I totally love the story line of the film and my role, which was very spontaneous and something I hadn’t played before. The next two are my Kannada film Shourya with Darshan, which was a great role and a brilliant film and my debut Telugu film Fitting Master by EVV Satyanarayan. I loved the story and my role was beautiful. I loved and enjoyed the experience.
Can you name the directors in your wish list as an actress?
There are many, and hence to name just a few would be unfair!
Can you name five best films of your father in law Mithun Chakraborty?
To name just 5 best films would be so unfair since I love all films so much but if I have to name just 5 they would be. Mrigaya, Disco Dancer, OMG (Oh My God), Jallad and Agneepath
In what way is acting for a TV serial different from acting in films?
The experience is amazing! In TV I can say that an actor has to be very quick in emoting various shades in a single day because there is a lot to be shot in one day and the work is super fast due to the telecast deadlines that give an actor an opportunity to perform so many scenes on a daily basis. The commitment on TV is longer and requires you to be on your toes till the show is on air whereas in films you commit for less number of days till the film is shot completely. TV and films have their own individual as well as inherent charm and working on both platforms is super fun for an actor.
You have acted in not only Hindi films but also Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and German as well right from the time you had made your debut with Fitting Master (Telugu). In what way have you grown as an actress over the years?
That’s absolutely right. I’ve worked in many languages because I’ve always wanted to explore different industries and do films in different languages to understand my potential and reach as an actor. Right from my very first film to Anupamaa now, I can see my growth for sure because every film has taught me a lot as an actor and made me explore so much which I have used to my advantage. I’m thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work in films in different languages. The experience and knowledge I gained is indeed immeasurable.