Mrunal Thakur: “Language, country, state – doesn’t matter”
Mrunal Thakur is not an unfamiliar face. The star began her career with shows on Star Plus, and soon found her way to the silver screen, amidst critical acclaim for her television performances. Her film debut, Love Sonia, propelled her to fame, her presence heavily lauded. With Super 30, this rising star has shown the industry that she chooses scripts with precision. In a free-flowing chat with Lipika Varma, Mrunal Thakur speaks of her upcoming projects, her experience in the industry till date, and her relationships within the film fraternity.
Despite your young career, you have grown to be one of the most wanted actors for directors in both Bollywood and Tollywood, bagging roles with ease.
The mantra of me bagging roles is very simple – I prefer giving look tests because it allows me and my director to understand if I fit the role. I have worked hard in order to reach where I am today. What does it take to be an actor? I have experienced countless sleepless nights, going from one set to another without a wink in between. We don’t eat our lunch on time. Sometimes, in the middle of a scene, you end up breaking your bones. I have broken two teeth. As actors, we miss our personal life and we fail to be in touch with our own family, despite living in the same house. I have to miss meeting my family days at a stretch. They do feel bad when I miss family events, but they always extend their support.
Are you a religious person? Is there a god you look to for guidance?
As I am Maharashtrian, for me it is Ganpati Bappa. We always start our day offering prayers to him. It’s been a regular thing for me, offering daily prayers to Ganapati Bappa even on sets, before shooting begins. Needless to state, my heart is all out to Ganapati Bappa. My mother would always make it a point that I didn’t leave for school without praying to Ganapati Bappa.
You are well loved for your photogenic features.
I am friends with all the DOP’s I have worked with. I have realized that right from my flick Love Sonia to Jersey, all the DOPs have captured me in a certain way. They have made me look so good that there are no inhibitions for filmmakers to cast me as child or cast me as sister’s friend, opening me up for urban or rural roles. I want to thank all my DOPs, from Love Sonia to Jersey, who have made me look different. The best compliment I have received is when I was told I resembled Smita Patil.
Tell us a little bit about Jersey.
It’s a film that will change a lot of relationships. It will impact your from within and ignite your passions, desires, and aspirations. I want this movie to reach the hearts of the audiences, bring out the best in them, and start a conversation about parent-child relationships.
How has it been working with Shahid Kapoor?
My favourite movie that I always watch, especially when I have had bad day, is Haider. The monologue boosts my energy, peps me up and I feel nice. I have watched it multiple times –Vishal, Tabu, and Irfan as all are my favourites. Having worked with Shahid in Jersey, I have realised that he is a wise actor. I think I have become wiser in terms of being an actor by association. It is not just acting; it is choosing the right script. Shahid has good energy, always chooses different scripts, and gives extraordinary performances.
What are the projects you are working on right now?
We are almost on the verge of finishing up [untitled film] with Dulquer Salman. It’s a period film. It’s pretty interesting – the character’s names are Ram and Sita. I will leave it for guys to ponder over whether it is based on the actual story of Ram and Sita or…is it something else?
With all the superstars you have worked with, you sure have had many a woman trembling with jealousy.
Girls are obviously jealous of me, right from Super 30. They envy me. They eye me merely because all men I am working with and have worked with are extremely talented and good looking. I have always been asked this question – ‘How does she manage to get the roles she does?’
What do you think is a marker of a good film?
Sensibilities with good content dominating all over the globe! I think the story should be dominating; it does not matter if it is from down South or borrowed from any industry. If you see, there are Marathi movies being remade in Hindi. Choori was recently the winner, so the content always dominates. Language, country, state – doesn’t matter. What matters is how impactful the story is and its impact on the audience.