The Akanksha Puri Interview: If I get an exciting offer on television, I can’t let it slip away just because it’s on small screen!
Gorgeous actress Akanksha Puri, who made her acting debut with Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Calendar Girls, is now debuting on television with the mythological show, Vighnaharta Ganesh.
Stunningly beautiful actress Akanksha Puri is all set to play a new inning of her career. After making her acting debut with a Malayalam film in 2015 and then starring in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Calendar Girls, Puri is now debuting on small screen with a mythological show titled Vighnaharta Ganesh, to be premiered on Sony Entertainment Television. In an interaction with BollywoodMDB Reporter, Mohnish Singh, at the launch of the show, the humble and earthy actress talks elaborately about her new show, her equation with Madhur Bhandarkar and what goaded her to make debut on television. Excerpts…
How did you bag the role of Parvati in the show, Vighnaharta Ganesh?
Television is a medium where you will have to go through the process of auditions to bag a role. So, I got a call from the in-house casting team of Contiloe Pictures. They were looking for a face to play the role of Parvati in one of their upcoming mythological shows, and hence wanted me to audition for the same. First, I could not believe my ears. I always wanted to do a role like this, but never knew it would happen so early in my career. Beaming with enthusiasm, I went to their office and got a very positive response in the first meeting itself. Then they conducted a look test, which went well, and I bagged the role of Parvati.
What was the whole audition process like, if you could please explain?
First you appear for an audition. If you get through the audition, then they do a proper look test on you wherein you wear the character’s costume, jewellery and all. I got through this audition in three steps. One day, I overheard that the makers were hunting for the proper girl for the role of Parvati for five months or so. They had auditioned almost hundred girls before I came into the picture. I feel blessed and lucky that this role finally fell into my lap.
Before this show, the audience has seen many beautiful girls playing Parvati on screen. Do you feel any kind of pressure because of the comparison which is bound to happen?
No, I am not scared and don’t feel any kind of pressure mounting on me. As an individual, I am very confident. The kind of efforts my whole team and I am putting in the show, I am sure that we won’t do anything wrong. I will play three characters on the show – Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali and, of course, Goddess Parvati. I am playing a wife, a lover and a mother. I don’t think that any other show could have given me such variety in one show only.
As you just mentioned that you were looking for such kind of a role to make your television debut. Does that mean you are averse to doing saas-bahu dramas?
It’s not about saas-bahu dramas and mythological shows. At this point of time what all matters to me is what I have to do in that particular role. I am an artiste. So, I would definitely see how substantial my role is in any show.
Before Vighnaharta Ganesh, I had received innumerable calls for TV shows. But the roles were not such which could exhort me to make my TV debut.
Since it’s a mythological show, you will have to mouth your dialogues in pure Hindi. How did you prepare for that?
I have worked in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and, of course, Hindi films. So, frankly speaking, I have never done a film where I had to speak in proper, pure Hindi. But that does not mean my Hindi is not good. Since I hail from Indore and Bhopal, I have good command over the language. Having said that I also admit that the kind of Hindi we use in mythological shows is definitely a bit difficult to speak as we are not used to using that in our day to day life. But to get that right, we did workshops and worked tirelessly on our diction, body language and voice modulation. There is a special team on the sets that just takes care of our looks and language. Since it’s a mythological show, we don’t want to go wrong anywhere and hurt people’s feelings.
You started your career with films. Then what made you to venture into television?
I guess, the whole approach towards television has totally changed in the past few years. Believe it or not, but now the reach of television is bigger than movies. Besides, the way we look at television has changed now. Today, no one looks down upon it. Film stars are doing television, TV stars are doing films. This crossover is happing more often than not. So, if as an artist I get an exciting offer on television, I can’t let it slip away just because it’s on TV.
Are you still in touch with Madhur Bhandarkar who launched you in films?
Yes, of course. I keep receiving messages from him. When he came to know that I am making my TV debut, he wished me luck. He is very excited about my role of Devi Parvati. He has seen the promos of the show and feels that I am looking extremely good in my character. He has always been my support system. So, I feel really glad that he has liked my look in the show.
Goddess Parvati is known to be very powerful and strong. What is your strength?
I have always been very independent as a person. I am living all alone in a city like Mumbai. In more than one way, I relate to Devi Parvati. Parvati appears to be very calm and composed most of the time. But when someone tries to harm or malign her family, she becomes Durga and Kali. I am also like that. I am very calm and quite. But if it comes to protecting my family, I stand like a rock.