February 27, 2021 6:42:16 pm
Hello Mini has moved into a much darker space in its second season, revealed its lead pair Anuja Joshi and Mrinal Dutt. The MX Original Series is the second installment in the psychological thriller franchise, adapted from Novonveel Chakraborty’s ‘Stranger Trilogy’.
Actors Anuja and Mrinal, who reprise their roles of Mini (Rivanah Banerjee) and Danny Abraham respectively, sat for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, to share what lies ahead in the story, how their characters get affected with the return of the Stranger, and filming the show in COVID-19 times.
Here are excerpts from the interaction:
Can I say the ghost of the past is haunting your characters again?
Anuja: Absolutely. And much more than what the audience has even seen in season one.
Mrinal: Also, so much more is happening, which is making things even more complex and weird. The show is returning with its second season, as the audience is invested in it. So, there’s some sort of responsibility to make it crazier and more interesting. It’s exciting, because it will fulfil all the anticipation.
How did you react when the second season came to you?
Anuja: It definitely took time, but I was so excited to get back into the zone of Hello Mini. Obviously there was a lot of confusion of how to do it in COVID-19 times. But, we have an amazing team that really pulled it off. I think we were one of the first productions who returned to work after the lockdown.
How does the story progress this time?
Anuja: Rivanah is in a lot of danger. It’s not just about her and the Stranger, the story has gone beyond that. The story has become bigger and includes more people. You’ll see some really fantastic young actors who have joined this show.
Mrinal: Things are going to get really dark, the bar has been raised high, and there are cooler characters. This season is more young and spunky, it’s got a great tone to it and is power packed.
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What kind of changes do your characters undergo?
Mrinal: Danny and Rivanah move in together. They’ve left everything behind, hoping things are simpler from here, which they are not. Also because something or the other keeps happening with Rivanah so Danny’s life revolves around taking care of her. And then there are other things he’s dealing with, which affect their relationship. It’s pretty much the same mad ride in different degrees for both of them.
Anuja: The biggest change is Rivanah is that she is growing up. You saw a very young timid girl in season one. This time, she has come into her own. Rivanah is not as afraid as she used to be. This Stranger also helped her come into her own. She’s a fighter this time around. People forget that it’s been a long time since I filmed season one. Even I’ve grown and changed. I think I’ve squashed that little fear I had in me. Playing that growth of my character has been amazing. I’ve seen what we’ve done and I’m proud of it.
How was it going back to the sets?
Anuja: A lot of the crew was different. We had a different director. But obviously, me and Mrinal were the same, the producers were the same. And then, shooting it during COVID-19 times was weird, like we were doing Hello Mini, something I’m so familiar with, in such an unfamiliar territory. It was a good challenge for me.
Mrinal: Anuja and I had a lot of scenes together initially. We’ve reached that stage of ease, just like our characters. So that familiarity was there and that’s where the story takes off. We shot in our bio bubble. Having everybody together helped in sailing through it.
When season one came, audiences received the digital content differently. Post COVID-19, it changed. You think season two, coming now, will make things easy or difficult for the show?
Anuja: The biggest boon is that we have loyal fans, people who have supported the show. My hope is we will pull it off the way we did last time. We took everything that worked for season one, to the next level.
Mrinal: Digital space is blooming. A lot of stuff is happening here with new directors, stories, genres, capacities. OTT is experimenting and will always have its space. There couldn’t be a better time for Hello Mini 2 to come.
But don’t you think since thrillers have become the new favourite, the latest season might find it challenging to leave a mark?
Anuja: We won’t know until we see how it’s received. But I think Hello Mini is special because it has such a diehard fan following of not just the show but also the books. I don’t think it’s competing in any sense because it has its own universe.
Mrinal: A thriller has a capacity to be told in different ways. Hello Mini is a young show, edge-of-the-seat thriller, fast paced. There are different and young characters. This has its own charm and following.
Hello Mini 2 is streaming on MX Player.
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