WHY THE ACTRESS IS REVISITING A CLASSIC TV CHARACTER AFTER 11 YEARS
AN action-packed acting career has seen Ridhiema Tiwari leave a lasting impression with powerful roles across diverse drama serials and acclaimed Bollywood film Begum Jaan.
The beautiful Indian star has shown that few can play an unpredictable character as well as her, and she revisits one of those roles in the hotly anticipated season two of classic drama serial Sasural Genda Phool. She plays a lead role in the sequel of the classic drama serial, which ran for nearly 600 episodes a decade ago. It being one of the longest gaps between season one and two makes it a massively unique project.
Eastern Eye caught up with the popular actress to discuss her journey, difficult role, reconnection with a beloved character, inspirations, and big passions.
How do you look back on your career?
I look back with a lot of gratitude for the kind of great acting opportunities I was offered. Every actor has a unique pathway and mine is an inspiring one too. Navigating through various hurdles in life I have already marked a decade – alive, kicking and loved through this pilgrimage. I have always believed in myself and worked harder with each project.
What has kept you motivated?
With endless failures in my kitty, I gave myself enough reasons to find a strong purpose to wake up each morning with a smile and try again. I have lived through my fears, overcome insecurities and learnt it the hard way. And now I look back with gratitude for doing fabulous projects, including the film Begum Jaan with the best set of actors.
Which character challenged you most?
The positive roles challenged me most. Negative shades got me effortless accolades and recognition, and it somehow became difficult to convince some I could do the same justice to positive roles. The negative image still remains stuck in the heads of many and takes a while for them to acknowledge my skills as plain Jane. My fans have loved my glam avatars and it’s about time they accept me in other shades too.
Which role did you find most difficult?
Amba in the film Begum Jaan. It took a lot of workshops, self-study and back stories to bring a shift in the inner world. It took a lot to connect to Amba, and the pathos she lived in the past and the undercurrent she carried behind the onscreen rage, rough body language, foul words, and crude demeanour. It took a while to let go of Amba. She left a strong imprint and I felt heavy in my heart bidding farewell to her. This was the first time a character came alive like this, and I was broken for a few days.
What made you decide to revisit your role in Sasural Genda Phool after a decade?
When you talk about an epic show like Sasural Genda Phool, you are talking about perfect synchronicity between actors, team, story, and audience. This show touched deepest chords 11 years ago purely for the content. Viewers loved my character Disha because her journey was relatable and likeable. Simplicity always catches the eye, and this show is the biggest
example. Revisiting it is a dream come true for the entire crew.
What is it like for you to be back on set?
The cast of legendary actors channelise and bring out the best in each other, helping one another to elevate the scenes. It challenges me to be on the sets of Sasural Genda Phool where there’s no room for a dull day. Most of our scenes are rehearsed to perfection, so challenging one to go beyond limits. So, revisiting it is a great idea for me as well as for my fans.
Tell us about the sequel?
The sequel brings about a lot of freshness, considering the gap of 11 years. There is some growth in terms of age and socially, financially too. Layers and depth have been added to each character in terms of real and reel experiences that add value to the journey. The format remains the same but a few minor changes in the storyline takes the story forward with some new challenges the Kashyaps will face in life.
What is it like for you to reconnect with this role?
It feels wonderful! Disha is a strict teacher yet very grounded and homely. Reconnecting with Disha will definitely be a spiritual experience for me. I haven’t lost her completely. A part of her essence still resides within. Though it’s been a long gap, it took very little time to recall her nuances and the way she is around the Kashyaps. The script and dialogues help us to flow and be more organic. I am super excited to do this after a continuous stint of negative characters.
What is it that inspires you as an actress today?
Good content drives me as an actor. And a fabulous cast of actors is a cherry on the cake. An equally focused and passionate team elevates the subject to another level.
Do you have any dream role?
There are too many to mention. There’s so much more within me yet to be tapped. I am patiently waiting for the right ones to cast me in the right roles with interesting subjects on all platforms.
What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I binge-watch almost all films and series to see my favourite artists. But thrillers, suspense, horror, and murder mysteries are my all-time favourite content as an audience.
What are your biggest passions away from work?
I love to sing and have been classically trained as a child. I am deeply passionate about music and old classics. I find Bollywood retro classics immensely relaxing, soothing, and meaningful. I am a voracious reader and have a mini library at home. I am possessive about my collection of books and keep them well. Self-help books and motivating audios are an intricate part of my life.
Why do you love being an actress?
I love getting to be different people. The best part about being an actor is possessing a vast imagination that can be channelised through taking on various characters in one lifetime. It sets me free to emote at various levels and teaches me the art of switching on and off effortlessly.
Tell us more…
It teaches me the universal law of detachment, yet attaching myself to imaginary people, adding my own element and creating a new person out of it every time. It also gives me a stage to experiment and disguise physically with make-up and costumes, which gives me a sky of possibilities of all that I could be. This is so powerful spiritually and gives great depth and personality to me as an actor. Instagram: @ridtiwari