ALTBalaji’s love story Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain 2 has been garnering rave reviews from all quarters. The first season ended on a high note with Ananya (Mona Singh) leaving her husband Rohit (Ronit Roy) to pursue her career.
Helmed by Ekta Kapoor, the next installment has opened with Rohit pledging to win back his love, while his ex-wife Poonam (Gurdeep Kohli) is trying to start her life afresh.
Mona debuted on television in a very different avatar in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi. Apart from her serials Kya Huaa Tera Vaada, Pyaar Ko Ho Jaane Do and Kavach, she has also been part of films like 3 Idiots, Utt Pataang and Zed Plus.
The actor recently sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com about her web series, playing the other woman and what keeps her away from television.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Was there any kind of pressure before the new season of Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain?
Not pressure but definitely nervousness. As an actor, I feel it’s a good sign to be a little nervous. But I am just overwhelmed by the love that we are receiving. I am showered with messages about how much people are enjoying the second season.
Q. Did you anticipate the positive response that’s coming for the new season?
I feel so proud that many are liking the fact that the season has portrayed the reality of working women. As women, we often tend to sacrifice our career post marriage. I have been getting messages about how that has really touched chords with the independent women. They don’t want to give up on their family and marriage but want to give equal importance to their ambition also.
Q. Women have always been at the center of a story but TV shows still project them in a stereotyped bahu avatar. What’s your take?
In my opinion, we had far more progressive shows back in the 90s. One, who has seen Tara, would know. There, the women spoke of boyfriends, sex or alcohol so openly. But now, I guess the audience has changed. Makers too don’t want to take the risk. There are hardly any progressive shows as the audience enjoys the typical drama, mythological or supernatural tales. And so they switch to the web when they want to see something real and different.
Q. So, is that the reason why you are keeping away from TV?
Yes, as an actor, you can’t just work for the heck of it. It’s a challenge to wait and pick but after doing all the good work, one can’t fall into the trap. As and when there is something interesting, I would be happy to go back.
Q. Your last project Yeh Meri Family Hai had you playing a typical housewife and now the independent Ananya. Do you feel the opportunity to play different roles came late to you?
It’s the right time I feel. Earlier there was no such opportunity. Now, there is so much content available and people are ready to download and watch. I think it’s a great time, especially for women actors. One can easily experiment and not fear of getting stereotyped. Be it shows like The Test Case or Yeh Meri Family, one can slip into different shades.
Q. How was the equation with your co-actors while shooting for Kehne Ko Humsafar Hai Season 2?
We picked up right from where we stopped. There was just so much love on the sets among the entire cast and crew. And since we were shooting in a foreign locale, it helped us grow closer. After pack up, we would go around exploring Qatar. Every day we were either eating, shopping or partying together. I think co-stars automatically become an extended family for us.
Q. And how was it working with your first co-actor from Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Apurva Agnihotri again?
Your team from your first show is always very special. Apu is a very close friend, almost my best friend. We have kept in touch over all these years. Even Gaurav (Gera) is like family to me. We have all evolved and changed with experiences, seen personal growth and it’s nostalgic to work together. It just helps you go back in time and reminisce your memories.
Q. What’s that one thing about Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain that will stay with you for long?
I never thought Ananya would be accepted so positively by the audience. Usually, the other woman is looked down upon as a home-breaker but we have broken the stereotype with the show. And it’s only because of Ekta’s different vision of Ananya. The characters are not black and white but grey just as it would be in real life. I am surprised that Ananya has been appreciated so much by everyone. That feeling will always be close to my heart
Q. What’s next lined up for you?
There’s a short film titled Glitch next and another one Luft, with Vinay Pathak. There are a few other things but there’s still time to talk about it.