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Does playing a grey character kill your prospect of landing a lead role? Amruta Khanvilkar reveals

Damaged's lead protagonist Amruta Khanvilkar talks to Bhavi Gathani about her role and experience while shooting for the series. 

What made you choose Damaged for your digital debut?

We shot Damaged about a year and a half back. When it comes to work, you don’t have too many choices. I always want to play the protagonist whenever I do something on the web as I get to explore the character and a lot and people get to see me a lot on screen. And the web is coming up with some great content that is extremely universal. Yet, it has a very Indian feel and is very rooted. When I read the script, I saw that this was a role I had never done before. I had always played very demure, very Indian and traditional characters. But for me to be in Lovina’s shoes was something else. Everybody has a dark side, and I got lucky to explore it in terms of Lovina. I still remember my first day, when I was told I had to take a hammer and pretend to kill someone. I was like how do you convince somebody or yourself to kill somebody? That was very challenging. People will say what is she doing yaar and how is she doing it yaar? So these small challenges convinced me to take up this role. Also, it is the first story in India when a woman is shown as a psychopathic killer.

As you said, Damaged is India’s first show about a female serial killer. Do you think digital is a better space to explore unconventional themes for women?

Of course! I think Lovina’s character is basically flawed. She has no guilt about killing anybody. She suggests that she is in search of love and stuff like that but she also pushes them to an extent where they commit a mistake and then its game over for her. She is a very unapologetically strong character. Now, people get to see these characters. They don’t get to see them on television or in films because there are censor issues or because you cannot show this in a family show as kids are also watching. As far as the web is concerned, everyone has a choice. Everybody can watch what they want. The web not only gives freedom to actors, it is also gives freedom to producers and directors to explore concepts.  

Do you think playing such a grey character will hamper your prospects of doing lead roles? Or do you look it as an opportunity?

No. I don’t think that I should always get the lead role or I should get these four scenes or a song. For me, it is more important to do that role, that character very convincingly. I like doing this, I don’t want to be typecast that ye yahi karti hai. I think the more I explore myself, more I will get to reach the audience.

Do you deliberately choose these roles?

Not really, I just pick them and people say it is a conscious choice. The role has to really excite me as I get easily bored doing one thing all the time. I cannot do television serials to save my life. This is how I am in real life and it reflects in my work.

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