Mona Singh finished work on the third season of her show Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain in December, and got married to investment banker Shyam in Chandigarh. She was working for Aamir Khan's upcoming film Laal Singh Chaddha, when the lockdown brought all movie shoots to a standstill.
While that was unfortunate, Mona got an unexpected break from work, which she is now enjoying with her husband and parents. Also, the third season of Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain (KKHH) dropped on ALTBalaji earlier this month. The Ekta Kapoor-produced show is about an extra-marital affair, where Mona plays the other woman in the life of Ronit Roy and Gurdeep Kohli.
The 38-year-old actress spoke to us about her role of Ananya in KKHH, the regressive content on TV and why resuming shoot for Laal Singh Chaddha will be a herculean task.
How has been the response to three seasons of Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain?
These are the kinds of shows which need to come on TV, but television has become too regressive. These used to earlier play in the '90s, like Neena Gupta's Saans. I was a big fan of that show. We got great response to the first two seasons of Kehno Ko Humsafar Hai, and season 3 has come with such twists and turns for every character.
What attracts you to the character of Ananya?
I like the fact that she is a self-made independent woman. Because of all the setbacks she's been through she loves herself first and she's ambitious. I also like the fact that she has chosen to move on, and not cry and look for happiness at the same place where she lost it.
Are you like her in real life? Nahi yaar, I am not. I’m just too much of a softie. I'm not as strong-headed as Ananya is. So it was quite a challenge for me to play that role. I love this. When a person has lived through all the seasons, you know exactly what needs to be done in season three, the way it has been written. Is this different from your shows on TV? People usually see me playing the wife, I have rarely played the other woman. When Ekta offered me the role, she said, ‘Mona, it is important to break that image. It is important to create a character of the other woman, who is as simple and as independent as we all are, she's not a villain. She's not a home breaker. So I want to change that whole setting and thinking of our society about the other woman.’ If this was a TV show, Ananya would have definitely been a grey character. Since it is on an OTT platform, people didn't know whose side to take, the wife or the other woman, because both were right. Ronit and you have been in the industry for years, but this is the first time you have worked together... There's a lot of improvisation that he does on set and I absolutely love that. He just doesn't go by the script, he also adds his own bit. We used to sit for hours together and rewrite a few lines together, practice our sher-o-shayari together. He's been an absolute delight to work with. He's a bit of a bully, but I cracked it. The only issue was, the director was fed up of me because I used to call Ronit ‘Dada’ all the time. And the director was like, ‘Stop it, you have a romantic scene in two minutes, stop calling him dada.’ Once shootings resume, will you be going back to the sets of Laal Singh Chaddha? Yes, my work is still left. But I don't know when we're going to start because most of the shoot is outdoors. And it is a big unit, of almost 500-600 people. So I don't think they will be shooting in June or July. I think it will happen when things are a little better and under control, because it's a huge responsibility to fly down so many people out of Mumbai and shoot for several days.
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You got married quietly in December, and have been in a lockdown since March. How is it going?
Everybody's been saying that I had a quiet wedding but the reality is that I am a private person. I have never spoken about my personal life out in the open. I had a beautiful wedding with all my close ones, and that is how I always imagined it. The lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for me because we are discovering each other even more. We are doing things together, cooking together. He does all the chopping and I do the cooking. If this lockdown wouldn't have happened, we wouldn't have got this kind of quality time to spend with each other.
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