‘I work hard to find joy in every role I play


FINE BALANCE: Maanvi Gagroo
FINE BALANCE: Maanvi Gagroo

MAANVI GAGROO ON HER ACTING JOURNEY AND LATEST MOVIE

by ASJAD NAZIR

VERSATILE actress Maanvi Gagroo has shown off her impressive range in a wide array of projects, including a stunning turn in smash hit 2019 web serial Four More Shots Please.

Her beautiful balancing act of cinema, web and TV projects continues with a starring role in this month’s most interesting Bollywood release Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, which is a comedy revolving around a gay man coming out to his conservative parents.

The film continues an impressive momentum generated by the seemingly unstoppable Indian actress in the past few years in out-of-the-box projects. Eastern Eye caught up with terrific talent Maanvi to talk about acting, her new film and future plans.

What first connected you to acting?
Acting happened to me by accident. However, over the years, I’ve come to love the craft. It’s the humanness that connects me to it – to live a hundred lives in one lifetime.

Which role has given you the greatest joy?
I work hard to find joy in every role I play. Projects that are collaborative, ones where every member of the cast and crew is trying to add value are the ones that give me most happiness. (Mini-series) TVF Pitchers was one such project. Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan, Four More Shots Please and Ujda Chaman have been extremely fulfilling experiences.

Does your approach change if you are doing a movie or TV series?
Not at all. My job as an actor is to play the part I’m assigned to play. The medium rarely makes a difference.

You are a very versatile actress, but what genre do you prefer?
Thank you, Asjad. I absolutely love drama. Simple stories depicting day-to-day realities. That’s my favourite genre.

Tell us about your role in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan?
I play a character called Goggle Tripathi. She’s called Goggle because she’s always seen wearing goggles. She’s someone who believes her worth lies in her marital status. Being brought up in an environment where she’s constantly reminded of not being married has made Goggle extremely desperate for marriage. She’s willing to go to any length as long as she’s wed. Her character graph sees her through a journey to find herself and her true worth. Goggle is also the only family member who stands in support of her brother, Aman, played by Jitendra. She stands for love.

What was the biggest challenge of playing the role?
Wearing the goggles, most definitely. Because one can’t see her eyes, I had to play her louder, with more physicality. Goggle is also very quirky, visually to begin with. To understand her took me time. I’ve never played a part like this before. So understanding her motivations and what drives her to do what she does, took a while.

Your favourite moment in the movie…
The film is full of beautiful moments. I love the scene between Shankar Tripathi and Sunaina Tripathi where they’re discussing their parenting and where they think they went wrong. There’s a scene between Goggle and Kartik where we find out why Goggle is always with goggles. There are lots of scenes in the film that move you.

What else do you have on the way?
I’m awaiting the release of season two of Four More Shots Please, and we begin shooting for the third instalment soon.

What do you enjoy as an audience member?
I oscillate between hardcore drama and light-hearted, witty sitcoms. Stories about relationships and everyday problems. I love when makers experiment with the format, be it non-linear screenplay, photography style, out-of-the-box production design or anything else for that matter.

Who is your acting hero?
There’s no one particular actor, but roles they’ve portrayed. Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl and Adam Driver in The Marriage Story. Closer to home, Konkana Sen Sharma in 15, Park Avenue, Radhika Apte in Lust Stories, Shabana Azmi in Arth, Naseeruddin Shah in Masoom, and so many more.

What are your big passions away from work?
I love dancing and reading. I enjoy traveling to new places. And I absolutely love psychology – talking about it, reading about it and living it.

What inspires you?
(Laughs) Life. But it’s true. All the stories you watch or read are all drawn from real life. Toaccept every aspect of life and relish it, can be very stimulating.

Why should we watch the movie Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan?
It is an entertaining film. It’ll make you laugh, smile, dance and through it all, it’ll make you think and feel. Hopefully, the film will start a conversation. It’s as much heart as it is mind. So don’t leave either of the two at home.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan is in cinemas on February 21