Based in Agra, SAB TV’s Tera Kya Hoga Alia revolves around Alia (Anusha Mishra), a history teacher, who has devoted everything to her family after her marriage. Post her pregnancy, she has been battling weight issues that have also caused a dent in her confidence. An overprotective wife, she gets insecure when the new English teacher starts getting friendly with her husband Alok (Harshad Arora), who is also the PT coach in the school.
In our second edition of ‘new kid on the block’ series, we introduce you to Anusha Mishra, the latest actor to join the television industry. In an exclusive conversation, the debutant opens up about what made her jump to acting from her marketing job, her first time in front of the camera and more.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
You were working in a marketing agency. How did acting happen to you?
Yes, I was the creative supervisor at Tonic Worldwide. And interestingly, SAB TV was one of our clients. My mother Pratichi Mishra is a television actor and every time I would visit her sets, people would ask if I am also interested in acting. I would clearly say no as I had no inclination towards acting and did not even want to work for such long hours. But I have acted for my college project videos and even some brand videos that we shot during my marketing stint. A few months back, the programming team of SAB TV reached out to me with this show and told me that they want me to audition for it. It was a story about a plus size girl and they were interested to have me on board. Things then just fell into place, and here I am playing Alia.
You didn’t want to work long hours. Have you got comfortable with it now?
I realised it’s not just actors who work for more than 12 hours. I did work long hours as a marketing professional too. But working on a television set is much more relaxed. I don’t have have to constantly churn out ideas or brainstorm with the team. I also don’t have to respond to stinkers sent by clients now (laughs).
Tell us about the time you faced the camera for the first time.
So the first day, we had a pooja before the shoot and I got really overwhelmed realising how big it is all going to be. I only had one scene with Harshad (Arora) that day. While he was done in about 15-20 minutes, I was still giving my shot for four hours. So you can realise how did it all go. But I am doing much better now, and it’s all thanks to the team, who has been helping and teaching me everything.
What was about Alia that made you say yes to the show?
The fact that we are the same person, minus the husband and child. Alia and Anusha even have the same interest. While she won Miss Agra, I also won a tiny pageant a few years back. We both are insecure about our weight and constantly worrying about how that will affect different aspects of our lives. I have been criticised about it for a long time but now it has given me something amazing in life.
Television is known to stereotype actors and you are playing a mother in your first project. Weren’t you apprehensive of what kind of roles would you be offered next?
I feel insanely amazed and lucky that I got this part. It was a dream project for me. All the quirks, nazakat I have in real life, I am getting to portray the same on-screen. To find a role like this in one go is God’s gift to me. I am not someone who dwells on the future so I am not even thinking about it. Presently, I have very big shoes to fill and do my best with this show.
Since one works for months together, it’s important to have a great bond with your co-stars. How is your equation with Harshad?
Before we began shooting, we had lots of workshops. We would spend the day rehearsing lines and getting into the skin of our characters. So we never got a chance to become friends. Only when we met during the promo shoot, did we start interacting, and now we are great friends. He irritates me the whole day, and I do the same with him. Harshad is the one who coined the term Aalu for me, and now we are using the same on the show too. According to him, I am a child actor and he calls be baal kalakaar. I think that tells everything about our bonding.
Lastly, tell us about your reaction when you saw your first hoarding.
It’s ironical that I did not see my promo for the longest time on television. But I had friends who would share pictures of the posters and promos. Before the show launched, I took all my friends to the Malad flyover to see the hoarding. It was past 11 in the night and it was all dark. And there I was under the spotlight on a huge banner. I just got down on my knees as I couldn’t believe it. I was actually very nervous and excited.
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Tera Kya Hoga Alia airs Monday-Friday at 10 pm on SAB TV.