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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sandhya Mridul: Mentalhood is fun and not preachy

Sandhya Mridul spoke on why she took up the ALTBalaji show, Mentalhood, and how it was working with an ensemble cast.

Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai | Updated: March 26, 2020 6:36:11 pm
sandhya mridul mentalhood Sandhya Mridul was last seen in AltBalaji’s Mentalhood. (Photo: Sandhya Mridul/Instagram)

ALTBalaji’s recently launched Mentalhood has been appreciated for its unique take on parenting and some impressive performances. While Karisma Kapoor made her acting comeback and digital debut with the show, Sandhya Mridul, Shruti Seth, Tillotama Shome and Shilpa Shukla play equally prominent roles in Mentalhood.

In an exclusive chat with Sandhya Mridul shared her reasons of taking up the show, “Honestly, I haven’t really played a role like this. Also, what we are trying to say through the show is not at all preachy. Mentalhood is fun and entertaining. There’s a lot of humour involved. Ekta showed a lot of faith, and just asked us to go out and deliver. As for my character AJ, she actually pisses me off, but I did learn a lot from her.”

The actor is seen playing a dominating mother of two in the web series. While she wants the best for her kids, she has to also deal with issues in her marriage.

Stating that the characters in the show are relatable, the actor said, “We all have such women around us. I have friends who are worried about their kids all the time. They compete on petty things with each other, even on WhatsApp groups. We have tried to bring fore these topics in our show, and also how many women are having a tough time with their interpersonal relationships, and some even caught in sexless marriages. Their lives are so consumed by their kids that one fine day, they are left asking themselves who they actually are. They start missing themselves. And Mentalhood will mirror the same, and how one can get a grip on issues.”

With the show having multiple women as protagonist, we asked Mridul how secure she feels while taking up an ensemble show. “I have always believed and had confidence in ensemble projects. I pick up projects if I have belief in the script. My first film had Rani Mukerji as the lead (Saathiya), and then I went on to do films like Page 3, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd and Angry Indian Goddesses. My only worry is whether I’d be able to pull this character off. I want to be challenged with my roles. We live in an ensemble world, you cannot just sail solo. Also, you can never make a scene with one actor,” she shared.

Sandhya Mridul in Mentalhood.

Talking about her working experience with the other actors, Sandhya Mridul shared, “I have known Tillotama for a long time, and even Sanjay (Suri) and Dino (Morea). I had met Shilpa years back, but I have followed and loved her work. So I was happy to connect with her through the show. The entire team was quite a positive one and it was easy and fun. Even the children, surprisingly were so behaved (laughs). They would keep themselves busy, and never complained even during night shoots, when one is bound to get cranky. We would all be hanging in my vanity most of the times. Karisma did take time, given that she was back in the circus after a long time, but eventually she too was one of us. She even got us wine one day and we all chilled together after shoots.”

Having started her career on television, we asked her what has been keeping her away from the medium. She said, “I did not leave TV, the content just left. I still feel it’s the most powerful medium. And I even feel blessed that people keep saying that they miss me. But there was just nothing new for me to do. If the kind of content I had been part of makes a comeback, I think may be I will too. I work with my soul, and I draw happiness from my work. If that wasn’t the case, I would have joined an office.”

“I am so glad that the web has started offering such varied roles to actors like me. We can experiment with our characters. I have two more shows coming up, and all the parts are so different from each other. Also, not just actors, but anyone associated with content has a great chance to showcase their craft through the medium.”

On a concluding note, Sandhya Mridul shared how she has been practicing yoga which keeps her positive and going in tough times. “I had tried so many things before starting with yoga. It gives me boundless energy, lifts me up and I am no more jaded. It actually makes me happy and has validated my thoughts. People assume that yoga is boring but I have been really enjoying myself,” she concluded.

Mentalhood is currently streaming on ALTBalaji and ZEE5.

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