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I Had Stage Fright, Didn't Know How to Face Camera, Says 'RadhaKrishn' Actor Mallika Singh

Mallika Singh

Mallika Singh

Mallika Singh opens up on overcoming her shortcomings and becoming a known face in the role of Radha.

Now adored as Radha, Mallika Singh looks back at the time she had stage fright and overcame the fear of performing in front of a crowd during the initial days of her now-popular show RadhaKrishn. As she speaks to us about her journey in showbiz, the tranquility she displays as Radha is evident in her gentle voice. Her debut show has been a runaway success but the journey has not been without the challenges.

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“I have always pushed myself to survive when the situations were not good enough. In the beginning, it was difficult to get into the zone (of the character). With the passing of time, I started feeling the character and people began liking it as well. As a child, I had the fear of the stage. I did not know how to face the camera. When I was giving the audition for this role, I remember only two people were present in the room, the cameraperson and the creative director because I was too nervous. When we went on the floor, I had to shoot in front of the whole unit and that was difficult for me. Initially, I used to think, ‘How will I be able to perform? Should I focus on dialogues or the expressions?’ But Sumedh (Mudgalkar) has been there through this time. The director has helped me a lot. The producer used to visit the set and make me feel comfortable. I still don’t know how it all fell into place, with my fear,” Mallika shares.

As Mallika embraced the divinity of Radha, some of the qualities rubbed off on her. “Earlier, I used to panic about little things. Whenever I used to see the fans, I did not know to greet them. Deep down, I was scared about handling the things that were new to me. What I have learnt from Radha is the love and calmness she has. I feel no one made me realise this. It happens when you play a character for three years continuously. I have noticed that I have become calmer. I stay positive. I even wrote a poem on Radha some time back,” she says.

On becoming synonymous with Radha and what keeps her and the character separate in real and reel life, Mallika elaborates, “People start treating you as the character. It happens a lot. But I tell people that I am not Radha. I am just a girl playing that particular role. Since people consider them (the mythological characters) as idols, we had to be very careful in real life about a lot of things. I’d say, because of social media people now understand that there’s a distinction.”

What does Mallika like to do when not on the set? “I like to explore. I don’t stick to a particular thing. I like playing the guitar, piano and the flute. I learn it in my free time. I watch movies and read a lot of books that can help me grow personally. Long back, I watched Money Heist and I really liked the performances. I also like old Bollywood movies.”

On her co-star Sumedh Mudgalkar, who plays Krishna, Mallika says, “He has been very supportive, be it work or my personal life. From him I have learnt how to get into the character and emote in a particular scene. I really love what fans do for us. Once a day, I go on social media to see fan edits and sketches of #Sumelika. These gestures keep us positive.”

Mallika wants to experiment in roles other than Radha. She says, “I’d love to do anything that is challenging and more than what I am doing right now. I want to grow in a positive way.”

Talking about shoot life during the coronavirus surge, she shares, “It’s pretty hard during today’s times. We are shooting with all precautions. The effort is to shoot in a limited time span and do it a bit faster and wrap up as early as possible. Personally, I am meditating when I wake up in the morning. With the kind of news doing the rounds, it is difficult to stay positive. But in my free time I read books and write.”

On a parting note, her message for fans is, “Please keep watching our show. I believe it will give you positivity in some way or the other. Please take care of your health. Do not switch to junk food.”

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first published:May 03, 2021, 12:21 IST