Do you allow yourself to be guided by your instinct or do you
just follow what the director tells you to do?
Of course, I am a spontaneous actress. My acting is based on
my instincts. Usually, the directors give me their basic guidelines
for approaching a particular scene but if I feel that I could take
a different approach, I let them know. Like for instance, when I
was shooting for Makdee Vishal uncle (Vishal Bharadwaj) used
to tell me how he wanted a scene to be enacted. He also used to
ask me to act in my own way. He did accept some of my suggestions.
Who is your favourite director?
Actually I have enjoyed working with all my directors. (after
much coaxing she adds) Well, Vishal Bharadwaj is my favourite director,
(then quickly adds list of all other directors as well).
How did you land the part of Chunni and Munni in Makdee?
I had auditioned for a film called 'Barf' for Devgan
production, Vishalji was present during the screen test. Unfortunately,
the project got canned but Vishalji offered me the central character
in the movie that he was planning to make. This is how I managed
to bag the plum role in Makdee.
How did you manage to do the double role in the film Makdee
We shot in Alibaug for around 22 days. I simultaneously gave
the shots for both Chunni as well as Munni. It was fun. It was so
real that every time, I watch the movie (I must have watched it
atleast 20 times), I think I am living in 'Sitapore', the village
where Chunni and Munni live.
is more like me and so I did not have any difficulty in portraying
How did you switch from Chunni to Munni?
Well, Chunni is more like me and so I did not have any difficulty
in portraying her. However, I did a little bit of background work
to portray the character of Munni. I talked about her to Mom and
to the director. I put myself in her shoes. But, to tell you the
truth, I never really liked her. She is 'Miss-goody-two-shoes',
gets scared easily and even stutters. However, there are some shades
of 'her' in me such as the fact that I, too, am good in my studies.
How was it to act with Shabana Azmi?
Shabana Azmi is a legendary actress but she was very supportive.
She had no starry airs. She helped me with my role too. I can never
forget the time that I first saw her with the make up. She looked
so scary and ugly. I could hardly believe that she was the Shabana
Azmi who I admired.
How much preparation do you require for each shot?
Not much really! If it is a small scene, where I am required to
cry, I stare at some thing or put glycerin or squirt water in my
eye. Sometimes, I just visualise the trouble the character is going
through and start crying. For example, when I had to cry as both
Chunni and Munni in Makdee , when their screen mother dies,
I tried to think of what if I would do if I lost my mother. And
the tears started rolling out immediately. The scene wherein I had
to make some extra efforts happened during the shooting ofKahaani....
. There was this scene where my character is angry with her
screen mother Parvati for leaving her and becomes so upset that
she flings a vase at her mother. I tried to visualise how I would
react if my mother were to leave me. This is my best scene till
How do you manage both your studies and work?
My school teachers and my principal encourage me. They are very
proud of me and help me out if I am unable to attend my school.
My mother is very particular about my school. I make it a point
to attend school regularly. I missed school only during the shooting
of Makdee . In fact, I have some sort of a contract or agreement
with directors to the effect that I shall work only after the school
How did you land the role of Shruti in Kahaani...?
Sakshi Tanvar who plays the role of Parvati is my mom's friend.
She put in a word for me. I was called for an audition and I got
How was the experience of working with Balaji productions; Kahaani...
to be more precise?
In the beginning, I was very apprehensive about working with
so many good artistes. But, my fears were proved unfounded. Everybody
was cooperative, helpful and I have learnt a lot. Now, we are like
a big family.
Which is the best children's show on TV, according to you?
I am very fond of Cartoon Network. I also watch Kahaani...
What is your favourite film (other than Makdee of course)?
Terminator 2 and after that I think Edward Scissorhands,
Jurassic Park, Matilda and recently Scooby Doo.
I love watching horror and action movies. In fact, I was just watching
Addams Family before I came to meet you.
What is the best and worst thing about being a known face?
Every thing about being famous is great. I wouldn't trade it
for anything in the world. People recognise me. They want to click
photographs with me and ask for an autograph. I love to be in limelight.
The only thing that I miss is using public transport.
Anything in near future?
I am working for a serial for Star Plus called Karishma
ka Karishma , a take-off on the English sitcom Small Wonder.
I am playing Harriet. It is a fun role. My mother and I are also
talking to other directors. I shall probably act in two more movies
once the details are finalised. I am planning to take a break after
two years and concentrate on my studies. I shall certainly be back
after 8-10 years.