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The biggest vulnerability an actor has to deal with is facing rejections: Manjari Fadnnis

– By Farhad Dalal

With a new release in the form of Masoom and a new show Miya Biwi Aur Murder lined up for release, Manjari Fadnnis is back in business. In an Exclusive Interview with Farhad Dalal from Popcorn Reviewss she talks about the response to her new release, her vulnerabilities as an actor and the year 2022 ahead.

1. How has the response been to your new show Masoom and more specifically to your character Sanjana?

The response to Masoom has been tremendous! It got an overwhelming 6.1 Million views over the weekend it released! It’s been hitting a beautiful chord with people who are watching it. It’s been moving them deeply. I feel so grateful & proud of being a part of this project.

Even my Character Sanjana has been getting such a lovely response. I have been getting so many messages from all over with such delightful words! People have felt the inner struggle of Sanjana which I tried to portray as an actor, that by itself feels like- job accomplished… Also a lot of people have been asking me about the cliff hanger and what comes next…  So happy it’s all been intriguing them !

2. What was that one thing which you connected with your character Sanjana which prompted you to be a part of Masoom?

Sanjana is a very complex and layered character with her own inner struggles, be it from her broken abusive relationship with her husband, to her struggle with an illness she’s trying to conceal from everyone, to her blind bullish love for her father or a strained relationship with Sana, to holding back some important family secrets…. It was a fantastic opportunity for me as an actor to work on this multilayered complexities in the character of Sanjana. So it was a no-brainer for me to want to grab it with both hands & legs 😅! I had no personal connect with this character which is what made it so exciting for me to play. Besides I knew I was in the hands Of a FANTASTIC director who will guide me in the best direction possible.

3. You will soon be completing two decades in the industry. How has the journey been? Do you have regrets if any?

Hahaha still time for that but yes!!! Been here for almost a decade & half atleast! Let’s say in short, It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride! A few ups & many many downs! But every bit has been worth it’s while. Luckily I’ve mostly been working continuously on something or the other except a few times and as long as I am working I’m happy irrespective of the outcome. Some projects worked extremely well but lots also failed badly 😅. But I’m mostly proud of most of the projects that I’ve been a part of.

I had my really low moments too a couple of times when I thought I’ll have to give up on my dream now & have to pack my bags & leave Mumbai & get back to studies & normal life…. (& my parents would have been happiest if I left the industry… hahaha) but Somehow Mumbai never let me go back. I cannot be more grateful for how much this city has given me.

4. What are the insecurities or vulnerabilities which you have faced as an actor and how do you keep yourself motivated when things don't go your way?

Most actors are insecure about how they look on camera and oh I totally am always hoping the camera is catching my left profile because I believe that’s my better side.… Hahahaha… You’ll always catch me giving my left profile in selfies or pics 😅🤭
But in the films/ series in which im supposed to go no makeup in or look absolutely natural de-glam in, like in Barot House or Masoom or now my upcoming series on MX player, Miya Biwi Aur Murder, I’m the happiest because that stress of looking my best is gone & I can just enjoy acting and playing the character and then I can happily look my worst for all I care as long as it brings the character out the best.

Most of the insecurities that I have are related to my own self. But other than that I’m a very secure person, especially in relation to other actors/ actresses….But being human, when I have one of those rare moments I get jealous or envy another person or actor,  I just start imagining how happy he/she must be in this moment (reason for my envy) & then I start feeling happy for them too & I stop being jealous 😅 hahahhah I don’t think that makes sense to anyone but it works for me everytime😅😅😅. I had read a beautiful quote that had hit a chord with me long back… “Supporting another persons success will never ever dampen yours…” We all have our own journeys after all.

The biggest vulnerability an actor has to deal with is facing rejections…. It Is the first thing an actor needs to come to make peace with…. because the amount of rejections an actor faces at an everyday level is incomparable in any other profession and that can either make u stronger or can completely shatter your soul if u aren’t mentally strong. Anyway actors or creative people in general are extremely sensitive and emotionally vulnerable.

So the first thing I learnt was never to take the rejections personally. Either something is meant for you or it’s not… I know it’s easier said… but it takes practice & one eventually gets immune to it & learns to move on…

5. With the rise of OTT platforms, how do you think it has affected actors, good or bad.

I think it has been an absolute blessing to actors! Because of OTT platforms, there is so much content out there for the audience, including stuff from  world over… that now the audience understands good content from bad ones out there. With the taste of the audience evolving, so have their expectations. Now also because since In OTT there is no worry about Box office collection, producers directors & writers, instead of investing their time & passion on tried & tested formulas are now working instead on what they believe in, they are focusing more on content… also while casting they are getting more experimental. They need the right fitting characters for the role that is written instead of casting only on the basis of star value… therefore so many Good talented actors out there are now getting better opportunities than earlier. What matters now is how good are you at your craft as an actor… it doesn’t matter who u are where u come from, how popular are you, as long as u fit the character….

6. 2022 has begun on a good note for you with Masoom. Are there any other films or shows lined up which we as fans should be looking forward to?

2022 has been such a blessing 😊 I’m thrilled at the response to Masoom….
Before that a Mini Series I had co-produced with Humara Movie, which me & my costar Paresh Pahuja had shot on our phones, in our own respective houses alone, with the director & DOP on Zoom call with us during peak lockdown, also released on Humara Movie YouTube Channel. It’s called Yeh Dooriyan. It’s turned out into a real gem. Hope it finds it audience on YouTube. It’s been getting a very heart warming response. 

Next my series Miya Biwi Aur Murder is releasing on MX Player on 1st July. It’s a CRAZY comedy thriller that we did right after the 1st lockdown. I had a Mad time shooting for it! It’s gonna be one heck of a ride. It stars Rajeev Khandelwal opposite me.
Also I’m awaiting my Marathi film, Adrushya to release on an OTT platform in the coming month.
Other than that… there’s something very exciting I can’t wait to share with everyone… but I Will Wait till I officially sign it 😊🤞

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal

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