Ahead of the world television premiere of ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari’, Supriya Pilgaonkar talks about the experience of working on the film, choosing to play progressive characters, doing films more frequently, memories of her first show and more.
Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari was one of the first films to be screened in the cinemas after the lockdown. It is still playing in some theatres and has enjoyed a good viewership on Zee5. Do you think its satellite release will help it further reach out to a larger audience?
Yes, I have a reason to believe that the satellite release will help it further reach out to the family audience. Many people who have seen the film on ZeePlex have called up and told me that they loved the film. During the Unlockdown Phase 1, when they saw the film, many of them wanted to get out of the house and see it again. They told me they wanted to see it on a big screen as well. Somebody I know had even booked a private theatre somewhere in Palladium. They watched the film and really liked it.
You have been known to be a method actor. What is the kind of preparation you had to undergo to play Rekha Rana in the film?
Actually, I do not follow any method. I have not been a trained actor. I don’t even know if I am a good actor. I think I am a director’s actor. I love to be directed by the director and I love to follow what he says and then, get something out of me which is in compliance with the director. If I am left on my own, I am looking at the validation from the director. I think I am quite spontaneous as an actor.
You have worked across different mediums very actively but your fans did not get to see you on the big screen as frequently as they would have liked to. Do you wish to do more films?
Yes, the audience has mostly seeing me on television of late. I think it doesn’t matter if I am coming on television or films. I would love to do more films if they offer me something as good as I get to do on television. Frankly speaking, I get more screen time when I am doing a television show. But having said that, whatever little work in Hindi films has been duly recognized. For instance, people still remember me for that one scene in ‘Aawara Paagal Deewana’ with Johnny Lever and they keep reminding me about it and I literally feel amused. The films I have done in Marathi are shown quite often. That’s why the younger generation have seen my films and they connect with me. I have always done pivotal roles and have found great satisfaction in playing them. The character of Rekha Rana was very cute. When Abhishek approached me, he said it’s a very good role and he wants me to do it. I asked him if I it is a ‘prop mother’. He assured me that I will get some good scenes that will leave an impact. I felt totally at ease working with him. She is a woman from the 90s, trying to be modern and running a parlour. I enjoyed laying Rekha Rane and working with such wonderful actors like Manoj ji, Fatima and Diljit.
In your first ever TV show ‘Kshitij Yeh Nahin’, you played a young widow who lives with her ten-year old daughter and father-in-law. You are known to play well etched out and progressive characters on the screen. What makes you say yes to playing a particular character?
I am glad you remember that show. There are quite a few people who remember those 13 episodes that were shown those times on Doordarshan. It was shot extremely well by Durga Khote Production and directed by Vikas Desai. If I feel if you do some good woke somewhere, people who have watched it will recognize it. I am really happy that I played that character back then. I do not want to do regressive characters as I think it might also have a bad impact on the audience. Things can be learnt two ways, by seeing something positive or negatively. There was a point when I wanted to play a negative character but I don’t want to show regression. In the show ‘Kuch Rang Pyaar Ke’, I played a character which had many shades to it. It was a layered character. It was a loving character but had grey shades to it. There came a point I felt slightly comfortable playing that part. I feel playing a negative character could also affect your personality. At the same time, if I play a positive role, I can imbibe good qualities of that character. I would always like to play progressive characters. Such characters are hard to come by in films. ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari’ has been a combination of all good things.
Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari premieres on Zee Cinema on Sunday, 28th February at 8 PM.