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"This is a new chapter in my life, I am still processing it"

Ananditaa talks to Bhavi Gathani about what inspired her to become an actor, her recent web series Bekaaboo and more

Was acting always on your mind?

As Indians, we all have that keeda in our system to become an actor but, there’s education, work and other responsibilities to take care of. At that time, I didn’t think much about acting. But I was working with a production house and when I would go on a set, my eyes would twinkle looking at my surroundings; I just wanted to be there, I just wanted to try my hand at acting. One day, I thought why not give it a shot. I tried to build up the courage to do it. That kind of confidence and courage to pursue something like this was absolutely alien to me. It was a drastic and dramatic step.

What encouraged you to pursue acting as a career?

I was working with one of the best production houses in this industry but I was not very convinced about what I was doing in life. I thought about giving it a try and my friends gave me all the encouragement I needed. They told me that the time was right for me to give it a shot and I should never regret not trying. Years later, I didn’t want to look back and think that I had age on my side and I did not try.

What has your experience been like with Bekaaboo?

Very nice! Lovely set of people, everybody in the crew, and everybody in the team was amazing. The actors, the director were all very encouraging. They helped me mould myself into my character.

How did you come on board?

How most of the journeys begin. I used to go for auditions. I went for an audition for Bekaaboo. I think there were four or five auditions for each character and I was eventually picked for Tina. 

What was the brief you were given about Tina?

I was told that Tina was a demure character. She was a simple girl who was oblivious to the cruel side of the world. She was living a cocooned life and she was wronged by a guy. The story revolves around Tina, who is the reason for the story.

How did you prepare for this role?

As an actor, I had to go down memory lane and find certain incidents in my life that I could closely connect with. They may not have been the same as Tina’s but they were similar to her experiences. Each actor has a different way of approaching their character. I created an imaginary childhood for my character. I tried to figure out why Tina was the way she was when she was 23. What was her childhood like that gave her that personality and attitude that she had at 23? Tina’s childhood may have been in the script but I made up the whole story, especially three incidents that I had to create and build.

Is that how you connect with the characters you play?

Yeah! I do it will all my characters.

What kind of response have you received for your work?

People have been very generous with their response. I myself am more critical about my work as an actor. People have been very generous (Laughs).

After Bekaaboo, how have things changed for you?

Well, it’s been a great journey and things are moving forward. I am still trying to process everything because it is all still very new for me. This is a new chapter in my life because I can see new opportunities opening up, people are getting in touch with me and projects are coming in. My first film project has to be a good one.

And what do you expect from your first film? 

I am looking for a good concept in a film and a character that would help me prove my acting skills. I am not sure if the film will be a commercial one and only time will tell. More than anything else, I want to be known for my craft and I am working very hard on it.

What do you think about the digital platform? Do you think it is giving newcomers opportunities?

Digital is a great thing because there are so many opportunities that have opened up for so many actors. There are innumerable actors in our industry, in Bombay itself, and the web space has opened so many more avenues for them.

At the beginning of their career, most actors have a wish list of what kind of characters they want to play and what kind of genres they want to be a part of…

Honestly, I don’t have a bucket list. I just go with the flow and seek new opportunities. Also, when I was doing Bekaaboo, I was simultaneously doing theatre.

Finally, what is in the pipeline for you right now?

I am working on three scripts right now, of which one will start soon if all goes well. I am sure something will get finalised by July or August.

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