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Neha Mahajan: “I have always been extremely particular to not let my work stagnate but only grow”

Neha Mahajan is excited to play the main role in the first underwater film which is a supernatural thriller.



Neha Mahajan

By Jyothi Venkatesh

In this intimate interview for Cine Blitz, Neha Mahajan tells senior journalist Jyothi Venkatesh that she is excited to play the main role in the first underwater film which is a supernatural thriller.

What exactly is the USP of your latest film Gadad Andhar?

For the first time ever, a film in Marathi has been shot entirely underwater. Pradnysh Ramesh Kadam who was an assistant to filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra directed the film. I am playing the role of a young woman called Chinmayee in the film, which is a supernatural thriller. Jay Dudhane is playing the leading man in the film opposite me.

How did you prepare yourself to gel with your character in the film?

I had to lay a lot of emphasis on my basic fitness and focus a lot on my breathing properly underwater. You have to keep in mind that when you are underwater, you do not have the luxury to take a break and say that you are leaving your breath, be it even for a minute.

How did you get over your phobia of going underwater when you started acting in the film?

Thankfully I never had a phobia as far as water was concerned but I was scared of going underwater as such and the preparation that I had to undertake was more mental than physical. Before we shot the film in the Maldives, I had to train in scuba diving and it was challenging to get into the skin of the character in the film.

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Can you elucidate?

The setting of the film was no doubt under water but then at the end of the day, the intent was more important. One had to keep in mind the fact that Gadad Andhaar was not just an ordinary run-of-the-mill film but in every sense of the term a different experiment

What has your stint in the film industry taught you as an actress?

It has been quite a while since AI has been a part and parcel of the industry both the Hindi as well as Marathi film industry and I have always felt that there should be something meaningful as far as your work is concerned.


What has your approach to your work been in the industry?

Right from the time when I made my debut with Deepa Mehta’s Canadian-British production Midnight’s Children in 2012, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel of the same name, followed by the Marathi film Ajoba in 2014, I have always been extremely particular to not let my work stagnate but only grow.

To what extent have you evolved as an actor to date?

Besides Midnight’s Children, I also acted in Deepa Mehta’s film Leila (2019). I was also a part of Chris Hemsworth’s film Extraction (2020) with Randeep Hooda. I should concede that as far as my work to date is concerned, I have evolved a lot in the sense that there have been many changes in me as an actress. Today the kind of work that I do is not just instinctive but more in detail.

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Though you are known for your intense roles in films, why did you choose to be a part of Rohit Shetty’s Simmba?

I enjoyed being a part of Rohit Shetty’s film Simmba. When you agree to do a film, you judge what you want to get out of it. For the film Simmba, I enjoyed being chased by Rohit Shetty for three days in Goa where we shot the film. I should say that Rohit Shetty is one director who has clarity that is very cool as well as rare.

You have played different kinds of roles besides just intense roles!

Take it from me. An actor worth his or her salt does not want to do just one type of role all his or her life

Where do you think you will find yourself in say the next 5 years?

I just want to live in the moment and not waste my time thinking about what I will do in the next 5 years, because I feel that it is very important for you to know what you are doing right now rather than regretting what you have done all your life.

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