‘Being a seductress is written in my destiny’: Mahie Gill
Ten years ago, Mahie Gill made her Bollywood debut in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev.D (2009), which saw her beautifully essaying the role of modern-day Paro. Over the years, she has done noteworthy projects like Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Paan Singh Tomar (2012), Apharan — Sabka Katega (web series, 2018) and Posham Pa (web film, 2019). But what stands out the most is her image of a seductress, which continues to dominate her work in recently released web series, Fixerr. And, Mahie Gill is not oblivious to it.
“Main hoon hi seductress. Main kya kar sakti hoon? (Laughs) (I’m a seductress. What can I do?) Every time people reach out to me with a role, it is of a sensuous woman. "After Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, everybody thinks of me for a similar role, which would involve me consuming alcohol while sensually holding a cigarette. Look at Posham Pa, I am playing a Marathi sex worker. It is a very dark role and I trace the character from the age of 25 to 55 and yet people came up to me and told me that I was looking hot. I was taken aback. I think there is some problem. It is either written on my face or in my destiny,” says Mahie, even as she laughs it off.
Keeping it real
But when quizzed if she is bothered by being typecast like this, Mahie says that she has stopped thinking about it. “Until two-three months ago, I was tired of receiving the same roles, but after being called ‘hot’ even in Posham Pa, I have stopped thinking about it. I don’t mind playing a seductress, I think we all are, but it becomes very boring when people offer you similar roles. This is the reason why I haven’t been doing a lot of work. I had to say no all the time."
True, Mahie did very few projects between 2014-17 and it is only after last year that she is back in the ring. In these years, Mahie also gave birth to her daughter, Veronica, with her boyfriend. The news came out a few months ago and took everyone except Mahie by surprise. “It is okay, I think. It doesn’t matter. The number of divorces that are happening today is huge. It is dirtier and involves a lot of legal drama. To each his own, it is a very personal thing,” she says and adds that raising her daughter is not that big a challenge since she is not a single mother and has her boyfriend to co-parent the child.
“Besides, I have an aunt who I have known for the last 20 years, she has recently moved in with us and takes care of her. She has gotten used to my schedule. She knows the way she has to go to school, I have to go to work,” she further adds. Veronica celebrated her third birthday in August that went by.
Wonder of the web
When asked what brought her back to the screen, Mahie says that it is the revolution that web is as a medium, plus the fact that she has agreed to play a mother on the screen that has brought all these projects to her doors. “And, they are all different. Apharan, Posham Pa and Fixerr, they all see me playing a different character. Because I did Posham Pa, which was very dark and intense, doing the character of this seductress in Fixerr was interesting.” In Fixerr, Mahie will be seen playing the role of a cop’s wife who loves her husband dearly, has immense faith in God but also wants her make-up to be on point, even when her husband is in ICU. Describing her, Mahie says, “she is a complete nautankibaaz (drama queen).”
While admitting that web is a revolution and has brought good work in abundance for everyone, Mahie states that there is absolutely no difference in doing a film or a web-series. ‘‘The only difference is that you don’t have the stress of getting a certain box office collection. Apart from it, there is no difference. Films have got that kick that you are being watched on that big screen but in the web domain, the word of mouth is stronger and the reach is huge, almost everybody is watching digital content because it is accessible, you don’t even need a television set,” she states.
When asked about her preparation style for a role, Mahie makes it clear that she doesn’t take time in getting into the skin of her characters. “I honestly do nothing except coming to the set. I am a switch-on, switch-off actor. I do spend some time to understand what my director wants from me and it takes about a day or two and I am ready to roll,” she puts it bluntly and adds that she has done method acting earlier.
“For Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster part one, I drank and performed, but now I just need to understand my role. Also, you don’t have to do much when a character and the dialogues are well written. It is half the job done,” she says and adds that for her it is the script that matters the most and then her role. “But, there are certain films with which I struggled. Not A Love Story was disturbing because we were shooting in the same building all the time. Posham Pa also bothered me because you are constantly bothered by how can someone kill children like this… but getting into that psyche wasn’t tricky because it was written very well.”
Talking about upcoming projects, Mahie says that she will next be seen doing comedy in a film called Doordarshan, a period role in a web-series and another one as an officer rescuing children in Orphan Train. “Besides, I have read a book, a psychological thriller sent to me by a producer. Let’s see what happens with it,” she concludes.
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