Indian television actress Mouni Roy, best known for her characters Sati (in Devo Ke Dev Mahadev) and Shivangi Rocky Pratap Singh (Naagin), is prepping to make her big screen debut alongside Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film Gold. The 32-year-old actress, in a candid conversation with Guardian 20, talks about her shooting experience and her journey on the small screen.
On sharing the screen space with Kumar, the actress says, “I feel extremely fortunate to work with him. The first time when I shot with him, I went on completely blank. Forget about acting, I even forgot reacting in front of him. He is such a gentleman, understanding and so respectful and not just for me but to every crew member. I feel like each day that I work with him I have learnt a lot from him.” The film is slated to be released next year on 15 August.
While it is too easy to be typecast in the industry, Roy feels fortunate to have got the opportunity to break the mould of characters she was seen playing on television. On this she comments, “I feel very fortunate as I can do what I love as not many people get to choose their passion as their profession. I love to act and dance and I choose to do it in the future as well. I want to explore different genres and play different roles. I cannot take a step back thinking about something, which is not in my hands which is why I am always nervous about my performance and nothing else. I have never been that person and my thought process is not like that.”
Roy, who has portrayed some challenging characters on the small screen, believes that she has never got easy roles. She says, “I never get easy roles. I think I am one of those few actresses in television who hardly work on an air conditioned set. I work way harder; I actually work like a farmer. Whether it was the role of Sati, where I had to run barefoot all over the Film City, or Naagin where you need to climb trees, shout, scream or dance in the middle of an ancient temple; I have given sweat and blood literally to my each role. So, for me every role has proved to be challenging.”
The diva, in addition to her acting prowess, is known for her impeccable fashion sense and fitness. Roy pays special attention to her fitness regime. She says, “Fitness to me is struggle. I am a low immunity person and a huge foodie at the same time. I also have a major back problem so it is difficult for me to do anything. But again, life is all about trying to strike a balance. I believe discipline is also a key to remain fit.”
Roy, who currently has a lot on her plate, will soon be seen in a web series as well. Her upcoming web series, titled Mehrunisa, is based on a Mughal queen. About the current popularity of web series, she states, “I do see the world going digital, which is a good thing. These series are made on low budget and it gives a great opportunity to all kinds of creative people. So, I find this platform really interesting and will love to do more web series.”
In her journey of the last 10 years in the television industry, the actress has witnessed fame and success on a whole new level. She believes that she has not changed at all since she first arrived to the industry as a newcomer.
The actress had tried her hand at dancing, singing and even anchoring during her early days in the industry. She is also a big dance enthusiast. About her love for dance, she says,“I love to dance and am always eager to learn different types of dance forms, especially contemporary. The only problem is as a television actress I usually don’t have enough time to even sleep, but I always try my best to give more time to dance. Roy is a trained Kathak dancer.
Coming from a non-film background, Roy feels that it is only the hardwork and talent that can get any actor good work. She says, “I think of acting as my profession and nothing more than that. As long as I am getting to do good work and people are respecting me for that I am happy for myself and feel quite lucky for all the love that I have been given in the industry. As long as you are working hard and have that talent nothing can stop you from succeeding.”
On her journey in the industry thus far, she says, “I feel that I haven’t come across any lessons related to my profession in all these years. It’s more of a life lesson, which is that you should hug every opportunity with open arms, no matter what life throws at you whether it is success or failure, happiness or sorrow. Life has a way of surprising you but at the end of the day what matters is your peace of mind and the wellbeing of your friends and family.”
Gold is a sports drama based on the life of the hockey player Balbir Singh, who was part of the team that won the first Olympic medal for India in 1948. The film also features Kunal Kapoor, Gauhar Khan and Amit Sadh, and is being directed by Reema Kagti.