I'm done playing a 'typical' bahu on TV: Mona Singh

In an exclusive conversation with Mumbai Live, Mona Singh talks about her memorable moments from the years she has spent on TV, her new show on AltBalaji, aspirational roles and a lot more.

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Popular actress Mona Singh has been away from television for a long time now. However, she has made sure that her fans get to watch her often, in the web series she has done over the years. The talented lady who started her career with 'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi' is now seen in Alt Balaji's show 'Mission over Mars' where she will be playing the fictionalised version of one of the scientists who made this magnanimous Indian mission to space come true.


In a conversation with MumbaiLive.com, Mona shared her thoughts about the show, her nostalgic moments from the professional space and a lot more.


Firstly, talking about the pressure she dealt with while playing a scientist, she said, "The characters are fictional, but I felt a lot of responsibility. I felt it was heavy duty and I was keen on taking it up. Even if it is scary or challenging, one should take the step forward"


A film on a similar subject was made recently and it taught us a lot about the mission and the reality. Talking about what did she learn about the mission, during the shoot, Mona said, "I knew very little about the mission, but not in detail. All I was aware of was that the team made India proud. When we came on board is when we knew it was done in less time, money, and what these women and team went through to make sure the project was a success. The story of their sacrifice and struggle came through when we were on sets, understanding it every day."


The subject of the show, the popular mission, has been spoken about a lot. Sharing her thoughts on if the team thinks about half the battle being won already won, she added, "Absolutely, with a cast and team like this, half the battle is definitely won. The other half is won, with the director and writer being clear about what they want to show. Sambit, our writer, has written this very well, where we did not have to do much. Everything was magical."


There are many moments in the mission which are bound to strike an emotional chord with the audience. Understanding if the actors also faced an emotional breakdown during the shoot, Mona said, Oh yes, we did have many such moments, where we did not use glycerine (laughs). During the launch, there is a moment, where the team lost the signal and that moment broke us into tears, on the sets. 


Mona started her career as 'Jassi' and was loved immediately by the audience and the audience accepted her wholeheartedly. It has been more than a decade now that she is a part of the industry. Looking back at the journey, Mona recollects, "I've been lucky and fortunate enough to be choosy. Because I don't have to work, just because I have to. Jassi spoiled me and it gave me the courage to do something different, out of the box and willing to take the risk. I was never ready to settle down for something which wasn't normal or extraordinary. I've been lucky to get those opportunities. I did a special show - Naya Roop Nayi Zindagi - which gave a new life to people with some issues, and I loved being a part of the show."


But for the fans who have been following her for a long time now, a complaint that she has been absent from TV for the last three years. Answering the 'long time no see' messages, she said, "It is a conscious decision to not be on television as I believe it is the best time for actors to explore and be cast in such shows. It is an amazing time for writers to think out of the box and for directors to tell such stories. It is a big risk and TV, in today's time, is very different from what it used to be. Having said that, I haven't quit TV, but I'm on a break, waiting for something different and new to be offered. I'm done playing a 'typical' bahu on TV."


Having said that, one may wonder if she is in a comfort zone, to which she quickly replied saying, "I'm definitely not in one. TV is my comfort zone as it is regular, it's every day and a lot of money. Here, one wouldn't know what project comes their way, and there is a lot of uncertainty attached. I'm in a space where I'm wanting to get out of my comfort zone. Precisely why I also chose theatre in-between, where I loved being on stage. I did not have a full auditorium but we had to perform and I had to give my best."


Finally, concluding the conversation with what keeps her motivated or driven, and what this profession has taught her, Mona smiled and said, "Today, a lot of content is available on different platforms and I keep imagining myself in those characters. I want to be a part of shows like Narcos, Designated survivors, etc., wanting to play a cop or a serial killer. I'm waiting for someone to call me and offer me such roles. This keeps me going and hopefully someday someone calls. It's not about quantity but about quality. Talking about what acting has taught me, well, it is the flexibility to learn and unlearn. That's an actor's job, as one should not come with preconceived notions. One should always be a directors actor or experimental actor and be ready to learn and unlearn.

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