In a candid interview, the actress opens up on Naagin’s success, her co-star Arjun Bijlani and her sex appeal! As she walks into her vanity van dressed in a pale yellow chiffon saree and sleeveless blouse, you know why she has a legion of fans fawning over her. The current bombshell of the TV world,Mouni Roy is a busy woman and requests us to make this interview a quick one. However, we come to know a lot about her, including the fact that she did like to date celebrated author, Amitav Ghosh.
Has the unprecedented success of Naagin taken you by surprise?
Well, it did take us all by surprise. We were expecting it to work since it was the first show in the fantasy-fiction genre. The naagin track was like a sub-plot in saas-bahu dramas. We hoped that it would open with a TRP of 2 but 4.3 was pleasantly surprising. At the end of the day, TRPs are all about audience appreciation. Naagin is a very tough show and we work really hard on it. The compliments feel great.
Devi Sati from Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev or Shivaanya, which character is your favourite?
Both…I can’t choose between Krishnatulsi, Meera or Sati for that matter. All my shows are very special to me. I give 200 per cent to my role and at that point of time, it’s all that matters. That show and the subject becomes my priority. Whether a show does well or not is not in my control, I can only work hard. I have given my heart to all my characters.
Do we see you in season two of Naagin?
I have no clue as of now
You share a great chemistry with Arjun Bijlani. Tell us about your bond…
I know Arjun for over seven to eight years now. His wife, Neha is a dear friend of mine. When you’re buddies, you don’t really visualise yourself romancing with each other. As we are great friends, we were skeptical if our friendship would work for our onscreen chemistry. However, as we knew each other, there was none of the initial inhibition that comes with an unfamiliar co-star. We take our work very seriously. And most of the chemistry is in the writing.
People refer to you as a diva, bombshell and hottie. How do you react to such tags?
Every kind of compliment feels nice. It is extremely sweet of people to think good of me. Whether it’s my work, looks or clothes – they are all an extension of my personality. I don’t know what to say other than just thank them (smiles).
What’s your sex appeal?
That’s for you to say. I think it’s my speech – the way I talk. I would like to believe so.
You have the looks and the acting chops, yet many feel you are too laid-back in your career. Why so?
I am a laid back person. I don’t believe in running a race or being in a competition. If you see my career graph, you’ll notice that I have never been in hurry to do one show after another. A project should suit me and my personality. Moreover, I like to live a life. I want it to be a journey and not a competition. Along with work, I need to sleep, read my books, watch my favourite shows and catch up on my dance. I am very particular about my dance rehearsals. To do all this, I need some therav in my life. Time management is an issue but I do take out time.
You have a degree in English literature and one in Mass Comm. How much do you study a show before coming on board?
Not as such. I am a director’s actor. I tell all my directors if I do well it’s because of you, if I do badly it’s due to you (smiles). Yes, English Literature and Mass Communication do help you a little. Being a literature student, I have better imagination, which helps me understand characters a little better, perhaps. Education is very important and you make use of it sometime or later.
Is it a conscious decision to be so guarded about your personal life?
Not really. I learnt my hard lessons. It’s very different when you start working as you lack the understanding of how things function. I am not very guarded about my private space, but then my life is not a reality show. My personal life is my personal business. Nobody has anything to do with it. What I want to say about it is out of choice and not because somebody is invading my privacy.
If someone raided your home, what would they find more – books or clothes?
Both…the thing is I pack off my books and send them over to my mom or brother after reading as I don’t have space to stack them. I can’t send my clothes so they lie around my house.
Who is your Man Friday?
My assistant, Altaf
According to you, who is the sexiest man in the TV industry?
One character from literature you identify with?
It has to be someone from a Jane Austen novel. No…I think it would be the ugly duckling from Hans Christian Andersen’s story The Ugly Duckling. Like the character, I am also a total misfit in the television industry.
Any author you did love to date?
Amitav Ghosh and Salman Rushdie
Who is your punching bag?
My group of girl friends
Vampire or werewolf – whom would you like to be romanced by…
Both…I am greedy. I would love to be the centre of attraction and have these two fighting over me.