There is so much you could do on small screen. There is a lot more you can achieve on the smaller one. The beauty of internet lies in its expansion. The size of the screen might be small, the world is largely connected through these small screens. Thanks to the power of the web. How to use the web to good effect to attain stardom? Maybe ask Maanvi Gagroo about it.
The queen of Web Series started off with a short stint at the television. Then, films happened. But the big break came for her when The Viral Fever offered her to play Shreya in one of their most successful web series- Pitchers. What followed was much-needed recognition and appreciation, from the world, where the best roles are only written for the ‘star kids’, if she is to be believed.
Maanvi played Shreya in Pitchers and now essaying the ever-so-happy and ever-so-sad Chanchal in TVF’s latest offering Tripling.
Here’s Maanvi, up-close and personal with Bollywoodirect.
Q:Let’s start with your journey.
A: I was never into dramatics. I used to dance. I did a lot of dancing in school and college. I had done this dance-drama once and someone there really liked my work. So he came and contacted me to work in Disney Channel’s new show. He asked me to come for an audition which was happening in Delhi. The show was Dhoom Machao Dhoom. I was not interested initially but one day I reached their office as I had nothing to do that day and thought of trying out in the audition than killing my time. I cracked it and came to Bombay and shot for about 4 to 5 months. I went back to Delhi to study further.
Then, I got a film called Aamras. Again, I was unsure whether I wanted to do it or not. My sister was the only person who believed that I should do it. She said, “Don’t be stupid, nobody gets a movie so easily in their laps.” I went because of her persuasion. I came back to Bombay and completed the film. It was then that I decided that I should take acting up as a profession. Since then I did a lot of films like Question Mark, No One Killed Jessica, PK. Then Pitchers happened and now Tripling.
Q: Pitchers changed the game for you. It was after this web series that appreciation came in abundance for you. In that light, do you see yourself as an actor who is going to do more of web series or even films revolve around your interest area?
A: I, as a person, get easily bored. I know that I won’t be doing just web series and just films, for that matter. I want a mix of all. I want to do films, I want to continue doing theatre. I want to web shows. I don’t think that medium is as important as the content. In fact, the reason why web shows are doing well, especially TVF web shows are doing well is because the content is so good.
Yes, people had certain reservations about the whole idea. A lot of people did not even understand the idea of web series. But once they saw good content coming their way to be consumed, they accepted that.
Q: How different is TVF or to say web series from television or films?
A: One major difference is that the kind of roles we are being offered in web series, we don’t get those roles in films. We come from non-film families. I don’t think we will ever get those kinds of roles in films. It is very hard to get those roles, knowing the industry.
Another thing that happens is that there is always more emphasis on content. The other web series which came after Pitchers did not receive many accolades. They tried to play safe by making sex comedies. But that is not how the web works. You just cannot win audiences by inserting cuss words and toilet humour forcefully. Content is utmost important here. Realism in the content is very important. Web series is very near to reality. Here, a conversation between two friends is actually like the conversation between two friends.
Q: Lets’ talk about Tripling for a while. It has been getting great reviews. All three of you have done a great job as well. Suppose you are not a part of it.
Which character would be your favorite?
A: Let’s take Chanchal’s character out then as I am playing the character. In that case, Chitvan. He is someone who I would want to be. I also don’t like making plans. I cannot stick to them. I like to go with the flow. I like to take things lightly. That’s who Chitvan is.
A: One thing that the audience knows is that they are going home. So, they will definitely be seeing their parents. You would also want to see what their parents are like because of Chandan, Chanchal and Chitvan are so different from each other that the first question that comes to your mind is what would their parents be like? Whatever conflicts that have come up in the last four episodes will get resolved.
Q: You have been part of two of the biggest web series till now in Pitchers and Tripling. The third one is Permanent Roommates. Which one is your favourite?
A: It’s got to be Pitchers. I did not expect Pitchers to do so well. When I signed to be a part of it, I knew it will be a good show and I would not regret being a part of this. I knew I would not be embarrassed at myself after being a part of it.
Q: What’s next?
A: I am busy currently promoting Tripling. Also, I have one film called Tu Hai Mera Sunday, which has been selected for the BFI film festival in London. So, we will be going there as well soon. It will be screened at MAMI.
Interview By: Shubham Pandey