Mrunal Thakur, one of the prettiest faces on Indian television, is making her film debut with Rahul Jadhav’s Hello Nandan. What’s more interestingly is that the debut will be followed by back-to-back releases of another two films – summing up to a total of three films within a span of just one month. Looks like an impressive big-screen start for an actress, whom audiences have known from Hindi daily soaps Khamoshiyaan and Arjun. In an exclusive interview to Rang Marathi; Mrunal Thakur speaks about this exciting phase of her career, experiences of working on first film and her commitment to television.
Your first film is just a couple of weeks away from its release. What are your feelings?
I’m very much excited!... Hello Nandan is my first project in Marathi and above all it’s a feature film. I’ll be appearing on the big screen for the first time. I’m feeling a lot of butterflies in my stomach and at the same I’m very curious also to know the feedback of audiences about my performance.
Actually, 2014 is a very important year for me. The excitement starts with the release of Hello Nandan on 14th March and it will continue throughout April as two more Marathi films (Ganesh Kadam’s Viti Dandoo and Santosh Manjrekar’s Surajya) will be releasing on the second and third Friday of April, respectively.
How did you bag a role in this film?
I had an opportunity to meet Rahul Dada (Rahul Jadhav) through Sai Deodhar, the co-producer of my tele-show Khamoshiyaan. And soon after meeting him, he said “She is my Ruby!”…. It was a dream come true moment for me! My parents too encouraged me to go ahead as it’s my first project in Marathi.
Give the outline of your character in Hello Nandan?
I play Ruby, a good-looking and sensible girl from a typical middle-class family. To be frank, Ruby has very similar shades of my own personality as this character too likes to think a lot, to help friends, etc…. It was a kind of smooth ride for me to portray Ruby. And Adinath (Kothare) helped me a lot to live up the character to its fullest.
How was the experience of working with Rahul Jadhav?
I’m very grateful to Rahul Dada for having faith in me and for giving me the opportunity to play an important role in Hello Nandan. He has a very good command and understanding with his team. Personally, he’s a gem of a person! I really wish to work with him again.
You must have seen recent Marathi films, some of which were really very good. How different Hello Nandan is from such films?
Hello Nandan is a slice of life. It has no drama; it’s very real! When you open a window and peep out, what you see outside is really happening there. It’s that real! And since phone is a very central thing in the story, almost everyone in the audiences will be able to relate with the film.
Secondly, Hello Nandan is not targeted at audiences of any particular age group. It will appeal and will also be liked by people of age groups.
Is there any message in the film?
Yes, there is a message. The story is about our dependence on the device called phone, which has become an integral part of our lives. The first thing people pick up after waking up in the morning is a phone. We feel so handicapped without it. But, down the line, Hello Nandan is basically about corruption that causes so much of problems and pain in one’s life. Hello Nandan is also about how we find solutions to such problems. I’m so happy and proud to be part of this film.
Whom do you admire as an actor?
Aamir Khan!... And in personal life, I admire my father. I really look up to him as my inspiration.
Tell something more about you?
I’m from Dhule district. My father is a government employee and due to regular change in his job postings, I had to change my schools and college. But that helped me a lot in growing up as a mature human being. At 21, I think I’m strong enough to live and work at any place and with any kind of people. I respect my co-actors and all team members. And, more importantly, I believe in doing newer and different things. I want to learn more and more new things as soon as possible.
Have you signed any other film?
No. I’m doing a new Hindi serial Kumkum Bhagya for Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms. I think it’s difficult to do a film while doing a serial. A film needs your lot of time to prepare for its character. In television, you don’t have too much time to prepare. That’s why television is challenging every day. I find both these mediums equally exciting. Because, performing any given role is the primary interest of every actor. Besides, television will also help me become familiar with more and more audiences.