Having been a part of five digital shows and two television shows including the popular Gandi Baat 5 and Mirzapur 2 last year, Kolkata actress Amika Shail is all set for two more pivotal roles, with Chattis Aur Myna on Hotstar and Video Call on Cine Prime. Hashtag India gets an exclusive…
From starting your career as a singer at the age of 5 to becoming a famous artist on Indian Television tell us a little about your journey. You have been a part of several shows like Naagin, Divya Drishti and Baalveer Returns, when did you decide you wanted to switch from a career in singing to acting?
As a child I was inspired by my mother. She was my first teacher. I got into professional singing after I shifted to Mumbai post my graduation. But prior to that I was a part of a lot of reality shows. So Mumbai was like a second home I visited frequently to participate in singing reality shows like Sa Re Ga Ma, Little Champs, Amul Star Voice of India, and Bharat ki Shaan.
I have been a professional singer for seven to eight years now. I have sung for music albums and movies. I have released a few music albums as well. I have my own YouTube channel which has like 80k+ subscribers. Acting happened accidentally. My first show as an actor was Udaan on Colors TV. With the rise of OTT platforms in the country I was fortunate enough to be a part of a number of web series like Mirzapur 2, Mask Man, Gandi Baat 5 and many more. I am looking forward to the release of three new web series which includes Chattis aur Mayna on Disney Hotstar, Video Call and Nachaniya on two new OTT platforms.
Tell us a little about your upcoming shows Chattis Aur Myna and Video Call, what kind of characters do you play? How different are these roles from your previous performances?
Chattis Aur Mayna is my next series which is slated for release on Disney Hotstar. Directed by Shraddha Pasi, the series revolves around the story of three female friends who entertain people in villages with dance performances. It also features actors Vikram Singh Chauhan, Sandeepa Dhar, Nimai Bali, and Deepak Qazir. I play Dhaani, a naive village belle, who isn’t serious about dance, and wants to get married. It took me some time to understand Dhaani since we’re quite opposite in nature. It is a challenge to portray that simplicity on screen.
Video Call is a horror show with love and betrayal built into the story. Horror is an interesting genre that lends immense scope for experiment. I played the lead, and this happens to be my first horror outing.
You have featured in popular web series such as Gandi Baat 5 and Mirzapur 2. How different is acting in a web series to acting in a daily soap?
As an actor you get a bigger platform to experiment with your skills in web series. Also with the rise of OTT platforms the kind of content that web series are providing to the audience is quite diverse. The kind of roles that I have played in the web series to date is also varied. Therefore I believe that as an actor I like performing for web series more than performing ina daily soap which is very mundane.
What entices you as an actor before taking up a project?
I look towards roles that give me a wider scope to perform on screen even if it is a small role. If it is powerful enough to leave an impact on the people I will definitely take it.
You are a trained classical singer mentored by Gurus like Kaushik Bhattacharya and Nanda Das. What singing projects are you taking up in the near future?
I have been fortunate enough to learn from these legends. I did sing for a movie as well. But right now I am mostly singing for the web series I am part of as an actor. I recently sang the title song of Gandi Baat 5 and also for my upcoming web series Nachaniya.
You were a part of the Laxmi Bomb co-starring Akshay Kumar, how was your experience on the set?
I have shared the screen with Akshay Kumar in the movie Laxxmi. The complete sequence that I shot with Akshay sir is memorable. I play the role of one of the antagonist’s girlfriends. I am completely smitten by the kind of person Akshay Kumar is. What could have been better than sharing the screen space with one of the most loved superstars of the Hindi film industry? Even though it was a small role in the movie I did not think twice before accepting it. I was looking forward to watching it on the silver screen though.
Tell us a little about your fitness regime. Apart from yoga, how do you keep fit? What are the three mantras you follow to keep fit?
Oh I am a fitness freak! What started as a preparation for becoming an actor has now turned into a full time passion. None of my days go without working out. I spend almost 2-2.5 hours in the gym. Now that the gyms are closed due to pandemic I make sure that I work out at home.
3 mantras that I follow to keep fit are:
1. Eat clean. I eat only home cooked food. During these unprecedented times, it is very important to keep your immunity intact and eating the right kind of food, will surely help you achieve that.
2. I give a lot of importance to mental health. As they say a healthy body resides in a healthy mind. So along with a fit body it is equally important to have a healthy brain.
3. DO not skip workout at all.
Finally, what’s in the pipeline? Future plans and projects
I believe in going with the flow. I have never had a checklist to myself. I have few web series lined up for release. I will talk about them when the time is right. My immediate release is this web series called Chattis aur Mayna on Disney + Hotstar. Incidentally, another of my upcoming series on Tamasha is also titled Nachaniya. I play the main lead in this one.
Your Favourite websites
I definitely wish to do an action film
Singing vs acting, what gives you a bigger high
It is extremely difficult to choose between acting and singing. It is like choosing between your body and soul.
One recent show you would have loved to be a part of…
4 more shots please
One thing you cannot live without.