Can you recall some of your cherished childhood memories?
I was a very calm and shy girl. I was born and brought up in Kolkata. As a child, I have a lot of memories of my growing up days. I always liked staying at home and wasn’t an adventurous person. You cannot separate food from a Bengali. I have always savoured Bengali cuisine so I miss that authentic Bengali food in Mumbai. I also miss those big houses we have there. In Mumbai, you learn to live in a small house. There we have a big house with a lot of trees in the garden. I miss all that in Mumbai.

When and how did you realise that this is what you want to do?
I started my career as a singer basically. It has been more than 7-8 years that I am into singing. I have sung for movies, I have sung for music albums, I have released my own music albums as well, a lot of them. I have my own YouTube channel.

Tell us about your debut film as a singer and actor.
I was fully into singing and then acting happened accidentally. Now it has been two years that I am into acting. The acting journey began with a musical show. They needed a singer-actor for that show and they approached me. I went for an audition but did not get selected then. It was also because I was not ready as an actor at that time. But yes, this was my first baby step into the world of acting and then I groomed myself for it.

My first debut as a singer was for the movie Wedding Anniversary. I sang the title of the film called Ittefaqan. And as far as acting is concerned my first acting project was this TV serial called Udaan.

The same goes for web series. They just came to me one after the other and then I was also lucky enough to be a part of Laxmmi Bomb along with Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani.

Tell us about some interesting memories from the shoot of Laxmmi Bomb.
As you all know, I shared the screen with Akshay Kumar. The complete sequence that I shot with Akshay sir is memorable. I play the role of one of the antagonist’s girlfriend.
I am completely smitten by the kind of person Akshay Kumar is. What could have been better than sharing the screen space with one of the most loved superstars of the Hindi film industry. That too in my first ever feature film itself. So even though it was a small role in the movie I did not think twice before accepting the role. I was super excited about it. I was looking forward to watching it on the silver screen though.

What’s the difference you see both in television and feature film as an actor? Which is tough?
Both are equally tough. When it comes to television you do not get time to prepare. The script is generally provided on the day of the shoot. You have to be quick to grasp it and perform. And there is nothing called a fixed script for television. It changes very frequently. You are doing your hair and makeup and at the same time reading the script which was just handed over to you and once you are ready with the makeup you stand in front of the camera and perform. So, the time is given to the artist to prepare for the role or to get into the character is very less or negligible. Whereas for films you have a proper script reading session. You get enough time to research your character and then perform. So, it is not impromptu. As an actor, I love acting in films and OTT more than TV. It gives you more time to experiment with yourself as an actor.

Do you have any plans to make a debut both as a singer and actor in the Tamil film industry? Which music and film director would you like to work with?

I would love to debut in the Tamil film industry. I have always found it to be very rich in content. They have come up with some Magnum Opus films of our times.
As a musician, I would love to work with AR Rahman sir. I have always idolized him. As an actor, I would love to work with SS Rajamouli sir.

Who is your favourite Tamil film singer, actor and actress and why?
My favourite singer is Hariharan.
Actor – Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
They are legends by themselves. I have grown up watching their films and they are simply outstanding in their profession.

How did you develop an interest in Yoga?
I was never into fitness and gymming earlier. But I had started gaining a lot of weight and it was then I decided to start working on my body. I started going to the gym and working out rigorously. Once it started showing results on my body, it motivated me to continue with it. At the same time, I developed a liking for Yoga as well. Fitness and exercise have now turned into a passion. It gives me immense confidence. Especially now during the time of lockdown when the gyms are closed, Yoga comes as a saviour for me. I give a lot of importance to mental health. As they say, a healthy body resides in a healthy mind. So along with a fit body, it is equally important to have a healthy brain. So, Yoga helps you achieve that mental fitness.

Tell us some fitness tips to keep ourselves healthy in this lockdown
3 mantras that I follow to keep fit are:-
Eat clean. I eat only home-cooked food. During these unprecedented times, it is very important to keep your immunity intact, and eating the right kind of food, homemade food will surely help you achieve that.

I give a lot of importance to mental health. As they say, a healthy body resides in a healthy mind. So along with a fit body, it is equally important to have a healthy brain. Sitting at home can frustrate you. But don’t let your negative thoughts affect you.

Do not skip workouts at all. Do whatever you can at home. Make exercise a habit.

During lockdown what you would suggest us to keep motivated?
To keep you motivated during the lockdown. Just follow your routine as you did during normal times. Whatever spare time you get, spend it on learning something new. Consider it as an opportunity that you have got to work out on yourself and on your skills. Try to keep negativity away as much as you can.

What is it in the pipeline in terms of your work currently?
I believe in going with the flow. I have never had a checklist to myself. Things just happened to me one after the other and I am happy and content with the way life has unfolded itself for me. I have a few web series lined up for release. I will talk about them when the time is right. My immediate release is this web series called Chattis aur Mayna on Disney + Hotstar and another one titled Video Call which just released on a new OTT platform called Cine Prime. It is a Horror series. Another of my upcoming series on Tamasha is titled Nachaniya. I play the main lead in this one.

On this Father’s Day special edition, what you would like to tell your father?
It feels privileged to be a part of the Father’s Day special edition. I would like to take it as an opportunity to thank my father. I lost him in 2019. And since then his blessings have always been there for me. I wish he was there to see my success in the industry. The last time that I had spent time with him was when I was shooting for Bal Veer. He had come to Mumbai and I took him to my set as well. He was extremely proud of me. Soon after that, I lost him. And there are no words to describe the vacuum that he has left in my life. But I am sure wherever he is, his blessings are always there with me and it is because of his blessings that I could achieve all this in my life. And I promise to make him even more proud in the near future.

– By Vinitha Venkatesha