Mrunal Thakur, who is a well-known actress in Hindi and Marathi films, started out in the entertainment industry by starring in television soap operas, such as Kumkum Bhagya. The actress debuted on the big screen with the international film Love Sonia. Later, Mrunal featured in the biographical drama Super 30 (2019) and the action thriller Batla House (2019). With her recently released sports film Toofaan, Mrunal bats mixed reviews. But she seems undeterred in realising her dreams in the industry.
Q What does success mean to you?
Success means a journey. I believe that as a human being I will make mistakes and at times I may face failure, but there will be times when I will be successful too. I don’t need validation from people. I like to be humble and grounded. I want to be remembered for the roles I have done. I hope success doesn’t affect me.
Q Toofan was supposed to be released in theatres but came out on the OTT platform. Do you think the coronavirus has changed the film industry?
Change has to happen, so in life, if we don’t change, we will be left behind. As an actor, I have to be a part of films even during COVID times. The OTT platform is a blessing — because of it, our films reach not only all over India but beyond borders. As entertainers we are reaching the homes of our audiences. This film is dubbed in English. Through this medium our film has reached the hearts of the
Q You’ve worked with Frieda Pinto, Richa Chaddha, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. Are any of these your 4-a.-m. friends?
Frieda is a very good and supportive friend. She has been there with me always. John, Hrithik Roshan, Shahid are all people I love and adore, but among these, I am most friendly with Shahid.
Q You did Love Sonia, a film related to human trafficking. Are you doing anything for human trafficking victims you met in Kolkata?
Love Sonia is my first international film. The film did not do well in India, but internationally and at film festivals it did extremely well. In Uzbekistan the government changed two laws on this issue, raids were conducted and many girls were rescued.
As actors, we share the lives of real superheroes. So no, I won’t call those I met in Kolkata ‘victims’. I am still in touch with them. They give me strength. I know Ruchura Gupta, who’s taking care of girls and children and ensuring they get proper education. I’d be happy to do something for them but I’d prefer to remain quiet about it.
Q Would you call Super 30 and Batla House your career turning points?
Not many know that Love Sonia got me roles in these films as it made an immense impact on the filmmakers and they invested their trust in me. I’m happy I got to work with such well-known directors and actors.
Q How do you look at your transition from TV to films?
Transitioning from television was difficult. There were many who said I couldn’t do it. But my friends stood by me, telling me not to give up. I could relate to my role in Toofaan because of so many incidents in my life. I’d, however, like to believe that I have come a long way....