Comedy-filled challenge of playing ‘the other woman’

Shamin Mannan
Shamin Mannan



MODEL turned actress Shamin Mannan has delivered a number of winning performances on television ever since she made a star-making turn playing Bhoomi on hit drama serial Sanskaar – Dharohar Apnon Ki.

For new ZEE TV comedy serial, Shamin plays one-third of a love triangle in a story about a man torn between his wife and the ‘other’ woman.

Eastern Eye caught up with the versatile star to talk about acting, comedy, Ram Pyare Sirf Humare and shooting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How do you look back on your acting journey?
It’s been a rollercoaster ride – from having no acting background and any professional training and landing on the sets of a TV show as a very young, shy and naïve newcomer to here and now, where I have learned my acting craft with theatre workshops, self-training and gaining confidence to deal with people and the industry. But I still feel I have not even achieved 10 per cent of my dreams, so there is a long way to go and I am all set for it. Though I have played different characters I would love to explore the web genre and, of course, films. I have set a lot of goals, to be honest.

Tell us a little bit about your new serial Ram Pyare Sirf Humare and your character?
Ram Pyare Sirf Humare is a very funny drama on ZEE TV, which is coming up with a full-on comedy show after a long time. The character-based comedy drama has lots of interesting twists and turns. It’s loosely based along the lines of Pati Patni Aur Woh (husband, wife and the other woman), and I play the woh – Koel.

This very interesting character is alluring with different shades – she is a go-getter, sharp and spicy. It’s a one-of-a-kind of character, which I never played before. The role is quite challenging, which is what I, as an actor, always look for.

What can we expect from Koel?
You can expect a lot of drama with lots of comedy. You will fall in love with Koel hopefully.

How does comedy compare to other genres?
Comedy isn’t easy. It takes a lot to make people laugh and you need to have that kind of comic timing and flow of the character. There is a thin line in comedy of whether people will laugh or get irritated, so that line shouldn’t be crossed.

What is it like working during the time of the coronavirus pandemic?
Oh it’s scary, but there is no other option. It’s better to take the risk of working by being safe rather than sitting at home. I am enjoying working a lot. At the same time I have to be careful about social distancing because we as actors can’t wear a mask on set all the time, especially in front of the camera. So we are actually exposed a lot.

What is it like on set?
The production houses are taking all precautions, so other than the actors, everyone wears a mask and we sanitise regularly. Temperatures are being checked every day. We have to be vigilant about the precautions every moment.

What do you enjoy watching as a viewer?
I love watching sitcoms, mystery-thrillers and scifi. I love watching movies and web series a lot. So I binge watch almost anything good that comes online, shows like Dark, Aarya, and Mirzapur to name a few. The last one I binged on was True Detective season one.

Who is your acting hero?
Shah Rukh Khan because he is what he is and just adorable. He was one of the biggest inspirations for me to become an actor. I am a die-hard fan. And Irrfan Khan because of his flawless and spontaneous acting performances. I watch his films in awe. He is so natural. Both SRK and Irrfan Khan started with television, which is a great motivation in itself.

What inspires you?
People who never give up on their dreams.

Why would you say you love being an actor?
I love the process of acting, right from the beginning of building a character to performing and making the role come alive on screen and everything in between this process. Also as an actor, I can live so many lives in one lifetime.

Finally, why should we watch Ram Pyare Sirf Humare?
Life is so stressful with whatever is going around and this show will be a wonderful respite from that stress. And I think you will definitely fall in love with all the characters in the show.