TV actresses take the big leap

TV actresses take the big leap

Over the years, several TV hotties have forayed into cinema. Aamna Sharif, Anita Hassanandani, Karishma Tanna and Sara Khan have tried their luck in movies, albeit with varying degrees of success. Except for Gracy Singh, who debuted opposite Aamir Khan in Lagaan, or Sakshi Tanwar, who played his wife in Dangal, hardly any small-screen actress has bagged a pivotal role opposite a big film star. But that is changing now. With Mouni Roy playing Akshay Kumar’s heroine in Gold and Radhika Madan being roped in for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Chhuriyaan, telly ladies are making the transition into the silver screen in a big way. Here’s the lowdown...

Mouni, who slithered her way into the audience’s hearts as a shape-shifting snake in Naagin, caught the eye of Reema Kagti, who cast her opposite Akshay in Gold. Even before the film has hit the theatres, the actress has started shooting for Brahmastra with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Buzz is that she is playing a negative role in it. This leggy lass has become so busy with her movie outings that she has bowed out of the upcoming season of Naagin. 

Ankita Lokhande  
Ankita Lokhande became a household name as Archana in Pavitra Rishta and after playing the role for seven years, she took a break. Now, she will be seen on the big screen with Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi in which she plays an important role alongside Kangana Ranaut. She says, “In Manikarnika, I’m essaying Jhalkaribai, a strong character who played a great role in Rani Laxmibai’s fight against the Britishers for independence. I’ve studied the character thoroughly before stepping into her shoes. It was challenging, but then that is what I always wanted to do as an actor.”

Mrunal Thakur 
Mrunal Thakur, who rose to fame as the bubbly character Bulbul in Kumkum Bhagya, has catapulted to the big league with the biopic Super 30, in which she plays wife to Hrithik Roshan, who essays mathematician Anand Kumar. It’s a different thing that she has already done an Indo-American venture Love Sonia that got a lot of acclaim at film festivals. But all eyes are on her big Bollywood break. In an earlier interview to this paper, Mrunal had said, “It truly feels like a dream come true and the beginning of a special journey. I am extremely excited and grateful to be working with Hrithik, Vikas Bahl, Phantom, and Sajid Nadiadwala for my first Bollywood film.” Leaked pictures of Mrunal and Hrithik from the sets have already grabbed attention.

Radhika Madan  
Radhika Madan made her small-screen debut with Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi in 2014, which ran for two years. Though she has been missing in action since then, she has managed to catch the attention of Vishal Bhardwaj. The maverick filmmaker has signed her for his next directorial, Chhuriyaan, in which she has one of the lead roles. She will also star opposite Bhagyashree’s son Abhimanyu Dasani in his debut film Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota.

Kritika Kamra 
Kritika Kamra, who gained fame as Arohi of Kitani Mohabbat Hai, followed by Kuch Toh Log Kahenge and Chandrakanta: Prem Ya Paheli, is foraying into Bollywood with the Hindi remake of Telugu hit Pelli Choopulu with Jackky Bhagnani. This is the second outing of Nitin Kakkar, who won the National Award for his directorial debut Filmistan. “It’s not just a remake but has been adapted completely and set in Gujarat. It is the story of the youth and the traditional people living in a city. It’s a slice-of-life, feel-good film,” reveals Kritika. Ask her why it took her so long to make the transition, and she says, “I’ve met a lot of people for opportunities. There is a prejudice against TV actresses. I think, somewhere, content on TV has not developed the way cinema has. So, when we audition for a film, they feel we’re not capable of essaying a real, subtle character. But now, things have changed, and I am happy that the doors have opened.”

Nia Sharma  
Nia Sharma became a sensation with her bold role in Vikram Bhatt’s web series Twisted and after doing two seasons of the show, she landed a movie with the filmmaker. It is a thriller, but details are still being worked out. 

The lines between films and TV are blurring not only in terms of big movie stars coming to the small screen, but also the opposite, especially as far as actresses are concerned. As Ankita aptly puts it, “Makers are seeing us in a different perspective and giving us the opportunity to explore cinema. Actors are actors, be it any medium. Time changes and it is interesting to see how industry clichés are changing and helping it grow more.”