Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘You get 50% of the success if the story of the project is good’

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Actress Neha Joshi, who has been a well-known face in the Marathi film and television industry, has awe-struck the audience with her significant character in the Ajay Devgn starrer Drishyam 2. In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, the actress shares some exclusive insights from the film, her character of Yashoda Gupta in Doosri Maa, and much more.

Tejal Sinha

The Ajay Devgn starrer Drishyam 2 has been one of the much-awaited films of the year. The film stars several biggies of the industry including Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Shriya Saran, and Akshaye Khanna, among the rest. Apart from their roles/characters, there was one such significant role too, which definitely needs a special shootout, and that’s the character of Jenny Thomas, played by Neha Joshi.

Without any further ado, we connected with the actress to know more insights about how the film had happened to her, playing the character, her character of Yashoda Gupta in her ongoing television show Doosri Maa and much more.

Getting to work in the film was not only something exciting for her but also emotional at the same time. “Drishyam 2 had happened surprisingly. I had got a call from Vicky Sidana casting to audition for Drishyam. I had myself been a big fan of Drishyam. The film was directed by Nishikant Kamat. I had not worked with him, but has seen his work. And, now he is no more. So, when I had got a call for the casting, this was one of the things that had come in my mind. I had got a little emotional too. I was very happy to be a part of the film, not because the first part was a hit or had biggies. But something that was important for me was my character. In the film, I had to play a character with two different shades and that was definitely a significant character.”

Initially, the character that she plays, Jenny Thomas, is the neighbour of Vijay Salgaonkar, and a very close friend, more like a sister of his wife Nandini. While, we think she is just a neighbour, later in the film we see that she is in reality an undercover agent.

Sharing what was challenging for her, she says, “I had to play both the shades of my character in the same genuine and convincing way. In the film, I had to give those small-small reactions, even after the audience get to know that I was an undercover cop. I had received several compliments from the audience about the genuinity while playing the character, which was very overwhelming.”

She continues to say, “ It was interesting to play a character like Jenny, who is always scared, weak, and with her shoulders bend. On the other side, there’s this shade of the undercover cop, who is a strong and confident woman. I had infact done my own research to play the character of an undercover cop.”

Apart from the film, The One Night Out actress is currently seen in the &Tv’s Doosri Maa, playing the character of Yashoda Gupta. Doosri Maa is the story of a woman living in Uttar Pradesh with her husband, two daughters and in-laws. Her happy, peaceful family life comes to a screeching halt when she and her husband unknowingly adopt his illegitimate child. The show captures the lead protagonist Yashoda’s journey of coming to terms with her husband’s past and her conflicted, rocky relationship with her stepson. The character that Neha plays is a very strong character.

On talking about how relatable her reel-life character is to her in reality, she says, “There are not only things that I relate to her, but also things that I would learn from the character too. Be it the strongness of the character, being emotional and sensitive, or taking a life-changing decision, I feel very much relatable to her. In fact even the ethics and morals that she has in term of her work, that is how I am too.” Coming to things that she would want to learn from the character, she says, “The uniqueness of how she makes others realise their mistake is what I wanna learn from her because when people don’t do their work with honesty, so I genuinely get disturbed. Keeping honesty and also loving your work equally is very important to me. At times I get irritated and feel bad about how people do a certain things. The way Yashoda makes someone understand things in a polite, fun and mischievous way is very interesting to learn. With all the support and love of the audience, here we are shooting in Jaipur today, for the past three months.”

Asked if, as an actor working in both television and films, does medium really matters to her. She says, “I am a theater person, I am a theater graduate. I enjoy working on the stage and till the time I’m doing acting, I will be doing the theaters. The magic, fun, and addiction that you have of the theaters is way very different. I have been in the industry for the past 16 years. Be it television, theater, or films, I don’t find any difference. For me, something that’s really important is acting and work. I really enjoy working in all mediums equally. Every medium has its own strengths and weaknesses and I see the strength and get excited from them. I would give my 100 % no matter what the medium is, with all dedication, sincerity, and love.”

Neha has been one of the actors, who has always been vocal about content-driven projects, irrespective of the budget or size of the project. To this, she says, “To say yes to any project, there are a few criteria, out of which the most important criteria is the story of it because that’s the base of the project. If the story is good and has been written properly, then 50% of the success happens. The second thing is the character for which I have been approached, and how significant is the character in the story. It is very important for me to play a strong character, strong for me means a significant character. A significant character that makes a strong difference to the story, protagonist, and subject. If you have around 10 to 15 scenes in a film or a show, you are seen every day but there’s no significance to the character and doesn’t have any purpose, or motive, in the story, then that’s not something that impresses me or excites me.”

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