Kaal Bhairav Rahasya fame CHHAVI PANDEY talks to MUSBA HASHMI about her role in Ladies Special 2, her acting journey & her desire to do Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa
What is your new show Ladies Special 2 all about?
The concept of the show is very different and people will get to see the journey of three women who come from completely different backgrounds, how they met in a train and start connecting with each other, the challenges they face and how they fight with it. It is a very special show sans saas-bahu drama.
What is your role in it show?
I play Prarthna Kashyap, a 30-year-old single woman from a north-Indian family. She is a mature and responsible person and also the sole breadwinner for her family. All her energy is spent in taking care of the family. She has given up on her dream of getting married because she thinks it is too late for her. The whole story essays the everyday struggle of an unmarried woman and the mental stress that she goes through because of the society.
What made you say yes to this role?
I was both surprised and excited when the show came to me. I'm from north India so was able to relate to it. When I read the script, I was sure that every woman would be able relate to my character.
How has your journey from Smrita in Teri Meri Love Stories to Prarthna been?
It has been amazing. I have been fortunate enough to work with good people and get good shows with good concepts. I am want to be known in the industry for my hard work. I want to create an image where people appreciate my work and my performances, just like Radhika Apte and Swara Bhaskar who are known for their strong performances.
How did acting happen?
It came as a surprise for me because I am a professional singer. I come from a musical family. I learnt singing from my father. Acting happened when I performed in India’s Got Talent Season 1 and Sonali Bendre was the judge. She told me in front of everyone that ‘you have a pretty face, you should try your hand at acting.
Her words clicked in my mind and I thought of giving it a chance. But coming from a conservative family, it was difficult for me to convince my father. I told him that if I tried acting, I may get a chance to sing in the music industry as well. My mother played an important role in my life and she convinced my father. I came to Mumbai, gave auditions for different shows and the rest is history.
What challenges did you face?
There is a long list. There were times when I lost some good shows, my name was suggested for them but then somehow I missed out on them. But I am a positive person, so if something didn’t go well, I simply believed that there is something waiting for me. There are so many challenges in the industry that at some point, you feel like giving up. But I am not the kind of person who gives up on things easily. Having said that, the only contrast in me and my character is that I am a fun-loving person and Prarthna is very serious, quiet and mature, other than that, we are more or less the same.
How hard is it to get into the skin of the character?
It is very difficult because we have to behave like our characters. If I am laughing right now and someone will ask me to get into my character, then I will have to become serious. When I read my script, I prefer to not talk too much otherwise I get distracted from becoming Prarthna. During 12 hours of shoot, I live the character in order to do justice to it.
Any reality show that you would like to be a part of in future?
I would like to do Jhalak Dikhla Jaa because I am a trained Kathak dancer and not many people know that. I would like to show my dancing skills as well to the audience.
What kind of roles are you looking at in the future?
I want to play a typical Punjabi character like the one Kangana Ranaut played in Tanu Weds Manu and Queen.
What is the one change that you would like to see in the industry for actors and other professionals?
I would like to see lesser shooting hours for actors because it is not just a matter of 12 hours for us. If we include the travelling time as well it is almost 15-16 hours that we invest in our work. So there is no personal life left for us. Also when you play a character for so long, you become like them in real life which is good and bad as well. I have experienced this while playing Tara in Ek Boond Ishq and I started behaving like her in real life. It will be better to reduce the working to 10 hours a day than 12.