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Interviews

And Sati Is Back: A Mouni Roy interview on coming back to Mahadev

IMG-20140120-WA0000To me,the most striking thing  about my last conversation with  Mouni Roy, the glamorous and talented TV actress, who is now back as Sati in Lifeok’s mythological show Devon ke Dev Mahadev, was her frank  admission that she had never made any plans for her life . She preferred to imagine herself like this picturesque green  leaf  caught  in the wind: clueless about which way the wind would take her or where she would finally end up.  Now when the flow of the wind has made a sharp U turn and she finds herself playing Sati all over again in a show that she bid adieu 2 years ago, I was curious to know her views on this yet another unexpected turn of events in her life. So I made a quick call to her and an interesting conversation followed where we talked about her rendition of Sati, her expectations from the track and what makes this character so special to her. Below are the excerpts which I am sure will make a very interesting read for all DKDM enthusiasts:

What exactly was your state of mind when you got to know that you will be playing Sati again in Devon Ke Dev MAHADEV? I , for one, was surprised to my wit’s end and so were many other viewers…

When I first got a call from the Mahadev team and they told me  they had something like this on their mind, I was but of course surprised. The first impulse I had was to pause for a moment and thank God for never stopping to surprise me. Life has been full of surprises, good and bad  ,and I have always accepted everything  believing it to hold some meaning: sometimes decipherable some times not. This time ofcourse, it was a very pleasant one!  I feel lucky to  be able to work with Nikhil Sir and Sohanna again who in addition to being almost family, head one of the best production houses in the industry. So yeah, currently my state of mind is of Gratitude.

You are obviously looking more than forward to play Sati again. This time around what is it going to be like? Do you plan to apply a fresh approach to the character or is it going to be an extension of the Sati we saw last time?

I would say it is going to be an extension as this is not a new character. A fresh approach only works when you are playing an altogether new character which has not been essayed before.  For me now, Sati is someone I know intimately, thanks to all the research and background work we all did on her the last time. I know how Sati thinks or reacts when she is put in different situations and that makes it easier. TV, being an industry which works 24*7, all the preparation and research needed for an actor to understand the character, happens on the job. On the first day you sit with the director and understand his vision, then as you start playing it, you gradually get into the skin of the character. Fortunately for me, most of this has been covered. The only thing I am concerned about is that it’s been a while since I was Sati. So bringing her back to life again after this long gap could be a challenge.  I definitely don’t want to ape myself. I do not want to do what’s already done. Fine tuning and a revision is needed and I plan to sit with Nikhil Sir and sharpen my vision of her again by understanding hIs expectations this time around.

What are your expectations from the story? Everyone is wondering how exactly things will progress as Sati’s story has already been told. What are your views?

IMG-20140120-WA0001 copyI have immense expectations from the story and am heavily relying on the writers and  the director. The script,screenplay and dialogues are crucial to this  rendition. All I know right now is that I would want to play with a lot of new situations while keeping in touch with the basic character. This whole concept of Sati Rahasya has a lot of promise. I am hoping it turns out to be as enchanting on screen as it sounds on paper.  There is as much anticipation in me as in the viewers. I really hope it’s all worth it!

Doubts are being expressed by some people about how  the show would be able to  justify this retelling when Purunas don’t seem to support it..

Well I haven’t read the entire Shiv Puran. Folklores and some versions, yes, but that’s it.  So I would plead ignorance and leave this question to be answered by  the writers and researchers.  Mahadev has a brilliant research team and I have full faith in them. I don’t want to answer any speculations either because I need to clear my speculations first. I am very close to Sati and the production house so my answers are always going to be biased. I would rather let the show speak for itself, as it has until now, in a brilliant fashion.

What is it that you like most about Sati? Why is she so special to you?

The binary opposition of the character appeals to me immensely. It’s a challenge playing her contradictory sides: She is arrogant yet innocent.  She seems politically aware yet at times, naive. Being a protected princess, she has seen a limited world, still is not afraid of what lies beyond. She is ready to leave everything for the love of her life yet holds strong to her principles . She is a goddess yet as much an ordinary girl as you and me.

Looks like you identify with her a great deal…

I don’t identify with the haughty princess part because God has made sure I keep my feet firmly grounded at all times but other than that, there is a lot of identification.  My friends and family would swear by the fact that I am as contradictory as it gets. AIso, like Sati, I tend to value relationships and people more than things. I am as lost as her when it comes to “social hierarchy” :  Equal respect for all human beings have been instilled in me since I was born.  Sati’s readiness to do things not generally expected of someone in her position is also something that appeals to me. I believe I am like that except that I am lazier.  Also I would like to believe I am a very intense person like her.

Are you a shiv bhakt in real life?

375370_2559642344518_10837746_nYes I am. Most people I know are.   My best friend is one . My mother is  a huge shiv bhakt. She always said that an ideal husband should be like Shiv. Singing Shiv Stuti is part of my daily routine.  It is well known that I  observe the Shivratri fast every year. Nataraj, an aspect of Shiva, has enamored me endlessly since always.  In fact to tell you something funny,  I  have had this strange fixation since childhood that Radha should be Shiva’s partner. I think it’s because I always imagined myself to be Radha owing to her passion, her dance and her beauty.

As you are an inherently spiritual person, did you happen to experience certain moments of spiritual awareness or divinity while playing Shiva’s consort in Mahadev?

On the first day of the shoot, when we were shooting for 28 hours straight, I had to  do a scene where I look at Shiv for the first time. A lot has been said about the scene and people often wonder how I got the expression so right. Without doubt, Nikhil sir gets all the credit for bringing that out in me. He really made me believe that I was going to see God in flesh.  It couldn’t be just love, like a mortal feels for another, it had to be more than that. He explained that centuries of buried dedication, devotion and love had to come out in the form of divine bliss on Sati’s face. So I realised that I had to actually feel the goosebumps to make it convincing and yes I did. That was one moment where I felt spiritually aware and content.  At the same time, you can’t always feel intensely about all scenes. You have to take it as a job as  you are always fighting deadlines. A mythological production entails a lot of hard work on so many levels and Mahadev has brilliant people working all around so at times you just do your part of the job and let others  do theirs. So you have to strike a smart balance when it comes to being connected with your scenes at an emotional level.

A lot has been talked about the Shiv- Sati chemistry even though Mahadev is a mythological show. It has been a trend setter in this regard. I don’t think people expected any chemistry between gods and goddesses before Mahadev! What do you think actually makes one chemistry better than the other?

DKDMI think it’s a mixture of everything in regards  to how a show is made:  The co ordination between the people who work behind the camera and those in front of the camera is vital. The actors have to be convinced with what’s on paper for them to add their own element to it. Sometimes two actors while rehearsing realize that they can  actually add to the scene here and there. But if scenes and dialogues are not written well, it hampers the chemistry. Other than that, there’s this inherent factor which just makes two people look good together and they catch the fancy of the audience. So definitely a lot depends on how well the “chemistry” is accepted by the viewers. But most importantly, acting is also in part, reacting.  So it helps immensely if the actor in front of you is a very good actor.

When your character died in Mahadev the last time, the show was just beginning to be well known. Now its one of the most famous shows on the Indian screen and quite a lot of people watch it. Naturally the level of scrutiny is going to be way higher. Do you feel pressured?

No, I have never felt any pressure  in my life, stemming from the fact that I only want to give my best to what I do and then I want to go back to being the person I am. I will go crazy if I take the entire ownership of a show on my shoulders. You do your job better if you concentrate on your scenes rather than the numbers. I feel very fulfilled at the end of the day if I have a done a certain potpourri of happy, sad and intense sequences through the day. If you throw in a little bit of dance, it is even better.  But I experience a big disconnect once I leave the sets. I don’t bring my work back home. If something goes very well or doesn’t go well, it does not elate or disappoint me to a level where I’ll keep thinking about it after work hours.

So what is your message for your fans who are waiting with baited breath for Sati to come back into Mahadev’s life again?

Thank you for always being so loving and caring. I love you all. All I can tell you is that I will try my best to match up to your expectations.  But if in some scenes you feel I have failed you, please give me a second chance. I will try again.  Please keep giving me chances and I will improve because after all I am just a beginner every day.

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About TulikaD

A full fledged dreamer. I prefer to see life pass by from a train window rather than trying to catch up with it. P.S I write if I feel like it!:)

Discussion

11 thoughts on “And Sati Is Back: A Mouni Roy interview on coming back to Mahadev

  1. Wohaaa a..Tulika interviewIng Mouni Roy what more could I ask for..Muaahh to both..Love you Monu..I adore..love everything abt u..God bless

    Posted by HemaKini | February 16, 2014, 8:39 am
  2. Thank you very much T! She’s the most down to earth person I’ve ever seen! Just couldn’t have asked for more!
    She’s truly a gem of a person…
    Love her so so so soooo much!
    Again thank you very very much for this lovely interview!!
    Waiting for Sati to back in Mahadev’s life! 😀

    Posted by Priyanshi Gangwar | February 16, 2014, 9:19 am
  3. A great read for Mahadev fans.. Satisfies all the queries that have been raised!
    Perfect timing!

    Posted by Ishma Raina (@ishma96raina) | February 16, 2014, 10:12 am
  4. this is indeed one of the best interviews of Mouni Roy..!! One thing tht really sets this actress apart frm others is the deep understanding of her onscreen character..!!
    ehr dedication is appreciable.. Thank you D&D for this excellent feature..!!

    I hope the writers and directors do justice to her second stint as Sati as it was done previously

    Posted by SUCHETA | February 16, 2014, 10:46 am
  5. Another lovely interview of Mouni. Loved reading her views on her much anticipated re-entry and again felt the piece brought out how down to earth, genuine and truly nice she really is. Thank you!

    Posted by Shruti | February 16, 2014, 10:48 am
  6. love u monu and a lovely interview my mouni rocks ❤

    Posted by rupa | February 16, 2014, 10:58 am
  7. What more we can expect from such a lovely personality the most apt person to play the role of princess Satiiii…….She is beauty…She is innocence…a pure hearted person who is beautiful both inside and outside.I think Monu can hear each and every heartbeat of the character Sati and thats what make her uniquely talented actress ever.May god bless you with lots and lots of happy surprises throughout life.love you lots Monuuu…You always rocks Tulika…I love the way you write and the way you ask questions.Truely you are a blessed person and whenever i read your articles feels like words are just dancing beautifully infront of me.Always waiting for your new articles and interviews.God bless you and thanks a lot…love you.

    Posted by Athira Athira | February 16, 2014, 12:01 pm
  8. Radha and Shiv! I like the way she thinks!
    Lovely interview T.

    Posted by Maith | February 16, 2014, 3:40 pm
  9. Beautiful and agree with Maith Ma’m.I was pleasurably surprised .Radha-mystical in her own way….only less is known of her

    Your dance,your grace,your persona is exceptionally beautiful Mouni.It’s like a magnetic charm.You are my Mum’s favorite too ,as she says tarash ke banaya hai bhagwan ne aapko[while watching your entry dance 🙂 ]

    And as always a great read T

    Posted by आकांक्षा (@Ak4nksha) | February 16, 2014, 7:37 pm
  10. Well timed interview T! Thank you so much for another in-depth tete -a -tete with Mouni. She’s so open and honest with her responses each time and yet there’s so much more that fans want to know of her. Very fascinating personality, with a lot of depth and breath to her identity! Simply marvelous! Thank you and God bless!

    Posted by Asha (@hopeenlight) | February 17, 2014, 2:14 am
  11. Dis is one of d best itvs of mouni .. 😀 She is so genuine n kind hearted person.. Loved all d questions Tulika.. thanks for dis beautiful feature.. ALL answers by mouni.. Came straight frm her heart.. WITTY N PRETTY MOUNI.. ❤ ❤
    love u mouni n tulika.. 😀
    PS-i loved dat shiv-radha answer 😉

    Posted by sneha prakash | February 17, 2014, 3:19 pm

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