Mrunal Thakur plays Ananya, a doctor, in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Toofan. The film is a sports drama starring Farhan Akhtar as a national level boxer.
Mrunal Thakur has had a fantastic journey as a Bollywood actor. The 28-year-old actress, who made her acting debut with Love Sonia in 2018, will be seen in National Award-winning filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Toofaan opposite Farhan Akhtar. In this interview with indianexpress.com, Mrunal talks about her aim as an actor and why she prefers to stay away from the glam route.
Excerpts from the interview:
Toofaan is the quintessential underdog film, how was your experience working on the film?
It is an iconic movie, at least in my career so far. To be a part of this movie itself is the biggest achievement in my life. I’ll say that because working with Farhan, Rakeysh sir and Paresh ji, Supriya Pathak, Hussain sir, Vijay Raaz and Mohan Agashe is an experience in itself. I could feel the life they brought into their characters. I just kept seeing how great they were at what they do and how they made this journey feel so real. I just felt that I was watching a slice of life. It made me realise that you don’t always have to act, ait is important is that you also feel. Toofaan has taught me that getting ready, getting your hair and make-up done doesn’t cut it. That’s not how you’re ready to act, you have feel the moment that you are in.
Working with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is like a dream come true. I have learnt so many techniques, there is a way of dealing with a scene. I believe that conversation is a must, and that is what he does. Before the scene, he doesn’t rehearse the lines, he has that conversation with me, allows me to feel the situation.
Farhan, meanwhile, has ignited that fire in me as an artiste, as a performer. He makes sure that whatever he does, he dives deep into it and performs as if there is no tomorrow. As an artiste, all the inhibitions I had, probably died with this one. He made sure that we drive out of our comfort zone. And I will choose in the future to do roles like this, roles that are not only difficult, but at the same time iconic.
Toofaan is out-and-out a Farhan Akhtar movie. A movie about a boxing champ, how did you make place for yourself in it?
That is the beauty about Rakeysh sir. Even if it is a biopic, he’ll make sure that every character is important. His treatment to his actors and characters is equal. Ananya is a doctor who has a life of her own. As she has so much pain in her life, she has channelised all the ‘dukh and dard’ in the best possible way, and she believes in giving happiness to all the people who she meets. The way this character is written, it is very balanced, it is really nice. I am sure every Bollywood actress is going to be jealous of me playing Ananya.
When we talk about other actors being jealous of you, you have already achieved with the projects you have done. Before Toofaan, Super 30 with Hrithik Roshan was a superhit too, and your next is Jersey with Shahid Kapoor. Not many newcomers get these kind of films.
I want to be known as a versatile actress, and there is only one thing that keeps ringing in my head and that is that I don’t want to repeat myself. I don’t want to do something that I’ve already done. I want to be a part of a story which is good, irrespective of whatever time I get on screen. Most of the times actresses do have an inhibition about not playing a mother or a sister, and only playing roles where the actress is presented in a very glamorous way. I don’t have such inhibitions as an actor. I realised that the character is very important.
I want the younger generation of people who want to be actors to watch my movies and learn from them. I wish I could be at least 2% of what Waheeda (Rahman) ji is or what Madhubala was. That’s the basic agenda.
When I walk on the street, I want them to know me as Ananya or Supriya, and not as Mrunal. I want people to know me for my work.
Toofaan, featuring Mrunal Thakur, Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Supriya Pathak and Vijay Raaz will stream on Amazon Prime Video from July 16.
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