Follow Us:
Saturday, May 28, 2022

First of Many: Ayesha Raza Mishra revisits Andhakar

This week's First of Many features Ayesha Raza Mishra. In the 64th edition of our exclusive series, the actor talks about her first project Andhakar.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
Updated: January 13, 2021 6:33:48 pm
ayesha raza mishra andhakar acting debutAyesha Raza Mishra's Andhakar aired on Doordarshan. (Photo: Express Archives and Ayesha Raza Mishra/Facebook)

Ayesha Raza Mishra, who had plays, television shows and web series to her credit, broke into mainstream Bollywood with Dil Dhadake Do (2015). She followed it up with memorable roles in movies like Befikre, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Veere Di Wedding and Student of the Year 2.

Last year, the actor was seen playing significant roles in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Ginny Weds Sunny and Laxmii.

But how did it all start for Ayesha Raza Mishra? Here’s what the actor shared.

1. What was your first project? How did the project come to you?

Best of Express Premium

Weekly Horoscope, May 29, 2022 – June 4, 2022: Libra, Aries, Pisces and o...Premium
Fingers burnt last time, AAP picks two Padma Shris for RS seatsPremium
Heat rising over Kerala rally, PFI in no mood to backtrack on ‘camp...Premium
‘Monetisation’ axed, MeitY’s fresh draft to ‘encourage’ cos to share non-...Premium

During my theatre days in Delhi, I used to do small roles here and there, including a part in a show for ETV Urdu. Its sound engineer Anil Saxena asked me to call him whenever I came to Mumbai. Finally, when I came here, I stayed with a friend for a week and then in a PG. I wanted to make it on my own. I called up Anil Saxena and told him to let me know incase there’s any work. He told me that he was shooting for a Doordarshan show and I should come over at Madh Island. This was within a week or ten days of arriving here. I was so new. I had to ask my friend how to reach this bungalow in Madh Island. I somehow managed. It was an episodic horror series called Andhakar and this particular episode was being directed by Irrfan Khan and Tigmanshu Dhulia. Irrfan hadn’t attained Bollywood stardom then, but was an established TV star, and I was in awe of him. He came to me and asked my name. He explained the role which was of a woman of the locality. He asked me if I was interested to do it and I agreed. I got signed for roughly a thousand rupees per day. We shot there for two days.

2. What do you remember of your first day on set?

Pubali Sanyal from NSD was playing another local woman. Tannishtha Chatterjee was playing a suspicious lady who moves into the neighbourhood. Pubali and I come to sell a small room to Tannishtha. This was the scene.

I was told in Delhi that I don’t know anything about camera angles. So I went to Irrfan and asked him where the camera was. Irrfan, with his straight face, asked me to concentrate on my acting, and told me that capturing that in the camera was his job. So, he refused to tell me where the lens was. That made me really happy as it meant I won’t have any issue about angles.

3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?

The scene required me to bend my head as if trying to see who had come. I did it with an upward movement and the shot got cut. Irrfan came to me and asked what I was doing. I said, “Dekh rahi hoon (I’m trying to look).” He said, “Dekh rahi ho na? Toh mujhe dikha kyun rahi ho? Dekho. Dikhao mat. (Then why are you showing me that you are looking? Just look naturally.)” For the next three takes, we toned the acting down. But Irrfan wasn’t happy. So in the fourth take, I and Pubali peeped out of the window, looked at each other and walked off. Irrfan said this is exactly what we had to do.

4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again?

I did not get to work with Irrfan or Tigmanshu after Andhakar. I did meet Tannishtha later.

Q. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what’s that one thing you’d like to change or do better?

At that time, I did the best that I could do. As an actor, you keep analysing yourself and keep growing. The day you become satisfied with your work, your craft will die.

Also Read | First of ManyGajraj Rao | Vivek Oberoi | Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub | Rajpal Yadav Rajeev Khandelwal Govind Namdev Neena Gupta Pankaj Tripathi Satish Kaushik Mohit Raina Shahid Kapoor Anang Desai Jimmy Sheirgill Tabu Harsh Chhaya Gaurav Gera Saurabh Shukla | Deepak Dobriyal Seema Pahwa Annup Sonii Sayantani Ghosh Annu Kapoor Ajay Devgn Vishal Malhotra Rahul Khanna | Ashutosh Rana Jaaved Jaaferi Ashwath Bhatt Varun Badola Renuka Shahane Taapsee Pannu Manoj Bajpayee Milind Soman Rajkummar Rao Akhilendra Mishra | Rohit Roy Suchitra Pillai | Gulshan Grover | Abhay Deol | Ashwini Kalsekar | Adil Hussain | Shweta Tiwari | Purab Kohli | Mita Vasisht | Vipin Sharma | Divya Dutta | Jaideep Ahlawat | Archana Puran Singh | Daya Shankar Pandey | Hina Khan | Rajesh Tailang | Urvashi Dholakia | Manish Chaudhari | Sheeba Chadha | Karanvir Bohra | Bhairavi Raichura Pratik Gandhi | Konkona Sen Sharma | Gurmeet Choudhary Lakshmi Manchu | Zakir Hussain | Nimrat Kaur | Hiten Tejwani 

6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?

My mother’s influence was strong as she was an art and cinema person. So, I grew around idolising Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Supriya Pathak, Deepti Naval and others. I wanted to emulate their performances. I wasn’t big into the stars of the 1980s. Later, as a commercial actor, I really liked Juhi Chawla. I loved her brightness, comic timing, energy and innocence.

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard