National award-winning actor Ananya Chatterjee debuts in the web with Mohomaya, a thriller series
It's a joy to see actor Ananya Chatterjee emote on screen. But the National award-winning actor has to be moved or excited enough to say yes to a role. Or is it that Tollywood couldn’t do enough justice to her acting prowess?
“I don’t look at it as a dearth of offers, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Rather I would say, any role has to be challenging enough for me to get excited about it. Otherwise, it gets difficult for me to accept a role just for a living. I also don’t want to disappoint my audience by doing something very plain and mundane,” says the cerebral actor.
And that’s what kept her away from the webspace too until Mohomaya happened. The series, a psychological thriller directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee, is streaming on Hoichoi from today and sees Ananya playing Maya. We had a chat with the actor on the same and more. Excerpts:
How did you prepare for Maya in Mohomaya?
I am playing Maya, but it’s very difficult to explain the role. It’s a real character that has multiple layers and shades. There are many sides to a human — emotional, rational, social and behavioural — and if you impersonalise and put them all together, then it becomes Maya. It was very difficult to prepare for Maya.
Every time I was reading the script I got a bit warier about whether I could play the same and brought out a little of each emotion that makes up Maya. I kept sleeping with the character and since I am a spontaneous actor, I evoked all the emotions before executing a scene. We shot for 12 hours each day and it was so physically and mentally taxing that at the end of the day, I didn’t even have the energy to eat.
How was it working for webspace?
It’s no different from films or television. But one beautiful thing about the web is that you can get different kinds of content and it facilitates experimental work.
How was it working with Kamaleswar Mukherjee after almost 12 years?
Yeah, it’s after a long while and my second work with him. We both went through our share of ups and downs but the bonding and understanding are still unaffected. The best part of working with Kamaleswar is that he never loses his cool and patience during exigencies on the floor and that assurance is very important to the cast and crew.
How was it working with Swastika Mukherjee for Mohomaya?
I had only a day’s shoot with her. She is an extremely dedicated actor and a simple soul, no tantrums or showing off... I also observed that she mixes with junior co-artistes easily to ensure they don’t get nervous while working with her.
Does it hurt that Tollywood hasn’t fully valued your skills or explored your acting skills enough?
I don’t at all look at it that way. It’s my decision to choose my work painstakingly and I have accepted that decision beautifully. The offers have to be compelling for me to work on. So, it doesn’t hurt or affect me when others are doing more work than me. I spend that time watching meaningful cinema, reading and travelling.
Any other upcoming projects?
I had a few television offers but I turned them down as I want to explore the webspace more.
BEAUTY, DIET AND FITNESS
Hair and skincare routine: Cleansing, toning and moisturising. For hair, I use extra virgin coconut oil.
Beauty essential in her bag: Perfume
Fashion choices: A white linen shirt and denim for daily wear. Saris, kurtas and palazzos accessorised with silver tribal jewellery.
Hobbies: Reading non-fiction books
Diet: Two eggs with broccoli and tomatoes for breakfast, grilled chicken or fish with veggies and salad for lunch and chicken stew for dinner
Exercise: Walking twice a day and pranayam