Spotlight: Young and vivacious actor Anuradha Mukherjee loves to explore different genres
She is perhaps the only Bengali actor among the new brigade who started out with a Marathi movie, Janiva (2015), opposite Mahesh Manjrekar’s son Satya Manjrekar, followed by the Hindi films, Days of Tafree (2016) and Panchlait (2017). Her journey in Tollywood began with the hit film Sweater last year, where she got noticed for playing the part of a flirtatious younger sister of the protagonist.
“I was in Mumbai when I got the offer to play this role in Sweater. I’d done two short films, Ludo and No Moon Coming Soon with Shieladitya Moulik before, and hence said yes to the offer after hearing the script,” says Anuradha Mukherjee, a 26-year-old enthusiastic bundle of raw talent hailing from the seat of the 1857 mutiny, Barrackpore.
Besides Sweater, Anuradha also shone bright in a couple of web shows that she did for ZEE5 including Bus Stop in Bhalobashar Shohor Season 2, Dawaat e Biryani and Tansener Tanpura for Hoichoi. The Pretty young thing will soon be seen in Zeishan Quadri’s Halahal, an original film for Eros Now, based on the infamous Vyapam scam, directed by Randeep Jha. Before she starts shooting for filmmaker Indrasis Acharya’s next film, Maya Bhoy in February, where she plays the lead, we caught up with Anuradha for a chat about her journey so far, and the road ahead. Excerpts:
It has been quite a journey for you so far...
Yes, five years back when I went for an audition of a Hindi film, I got selected for a Marathi movie and after gruelling workshops in the Marathi language, I was selected for Janiva. It feels satisfying to kickstart an acting career in a different language. But the real struggle was convincing my family back at Barrackpore, who were very conservative. I used to assist in films and wanted to learn the ropes of the trade since I had no formal training. While giving cues to actors, I realised I too might do well as an actor. But it was Mumbai, where I learnt a lot. It made me strong both as a professional and an individual.
What’s your role in Arjunn Dutta’s movie, Guldasta?
I play Riya, and I am in a relationship with a married man, and it’s about how she deals with life and its ups and downs when she realises that there’s no takeaway from this relationship for her.
How are you preparing for the lead role in Maya Bhoy?
I wasn’t the first choice for Maya Bhoy, but Indrasis called me for an audition after seeing my work. It’s a film about a girl with a disturbing childhood, and shows how she deals with life and changes through the five phases of her life shown in the movie. I’m still preparing for the role. Indrasis doesn’t like loud portrayals and his frames are large, so voice modulation and body language are very important in his films. I am still internalising the character with his help.
How was it working with Barun Sobti and Sachin Khedekar in Zeishan Quadri’s Halahal?
I had a wonderful time shooting at Ghaziabad for Halahal. It’s a tout thriller around the infamous Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh and I play one of the protagonists in this film. It was a learning experience for me with Sachin Khedekar as a co-actor. He is such a good actor, and yet, he is shorn of attitude and is very hardworking.
There’s another featurette, Book of Azrael, that you shot with Bolly actor Sahidur Rahman last week...
Yes, it’s another Hindi show shot for an OTT platform. I play a mom for the first time, and the plot revolves around the child and it deals with the things that we fear in our minds.
You have never shied away from playing characters in a film. What are your parameters for choosing a film?
I prefer being a small part of a good film rather than the lead in a lousy one. For me, the script is the most important thing while choosing a film. I want to be known as a good actor, and I have never really cared for the length of the role.
COMFORT IS THE KEY
‘Fashion always means being casual for me. I’d rather be myself and wear something simple than wear something that I am uncomfortable in. I love cotton saris and dresses, both long and short, with white being my all-time favourite colour. I am not much of an accessories person but I love to wear quirky neckpieces at times. I quite like the works of a couple of local designers including Anushree Malhotra and Sohini Das. Make-up for me means a natural dewy and no-makeup look.