She debuted with Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi and became a household name with Kya Huaa Tera Vaada. Thirtyfour-year-old Mona Singh will now essay the role of Paridhi in Kawach. She talks to Sangeeta Yadav about the challenges of playing a character possessed by an evil spirit
- You play Paridhi in Kawach. Tell us more.
She is a positive, modern woman with a strong mind. A historian by profession, she falls head over heels in love with Rajbir (Vivek Dahiya) and gets married to him. All hell breaks loose when Rajbir’s obsessive dead lover Manjulika (Maheck Chahal) returns to haunt the couple as an evil spirit. Paridhi has to be her husband’s kawach to save him.
- What drew you to Kawach…?
I’ve never played such a character. Paridhi doggedly fights the evil spirit that possesses her and endangers her husband’s life. There were scenes where I bang my head against a wall, talk aggressively and much more. I saw it as a challenging role. I love doing unconventional roles and this one was something that’s never been attempted on TV.
- What was the biggest challenge?
To fly mid air on harness was a fabulous experience but to balance on it was a tough task as you have to keep your body at a particular angle so that the harness gets aligned. To have the right cuts and a computerised background, it’s important to be precise. Second was falling and the fire scenes. Then there are action sequences with the ghosts.
- What were the toughest ones?
There are a lot of chase sequences with a dog who is trying to kill me. Fortunately, the makers didn’t use a real dog; they created an artificial one through VFX. It’s a bit tricky to work on the croma background as you have to imagine the situation. So it is fun as well as tiring as there is a lot of running around to do. People on the sets would jokingly tell me, ‘bhaag Mona bhaag’.
- How scary will the show be?
We aren’t calling this a horror show. It’s based on supernatural activities. There’s possession, exorcism, love, obsession etc. There are funny characters too. The minute you think something scary is going to happen, somebody will crack a joke or something unexpected will happen to divert your attention. But the show will keep you on the edge. I don’t like horror as a genre but this one is different.
- Your make-up is very scary…
Credit goes to my make-up artist Rukesh. We did a couple of tests for reference with grey make-up base, lenses, scars, black smudged kajal and blood on my lips. When I saw myself in the mirror, I freaked out and put the mirror away. But when I went for the promo shoot, people around me wanted to get a selfie clicked with me in my ghost avatar. They loved it so much. So I knew we had got the perfect look.
- Did playing a victim of supernatural element impact you?
It did. During the shoot, you don’t get scared as a lot of people are around you but when you are home, your senses are so sharp and you become aware of the slightest noise around you. Listening to the story which is in its fifth and sixth episode, it’s a little eerie and spooky. I couldn’t sleep for days. Most things happen because your mind is playing tricks. It just freaks you out more when you try and not think about situations which are very scary. The best way to deal with it is to totally switch off and do something different altogether.
- Was it really difficult for you to switch off from being Paridhi?
When I was doing Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, if there were emotional scenes I used to not talk to people the whole day and listen to the saddest songs to keep myself sad. I later realised that I was actually torturing myself. People who don’t come from an acting school learn these things from everyday experiences. So I’ve learnt how to dissociate myself from the characters I play.
(The article also got published in the Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/eerie-scenes-gave-me-sleepless-nights.html)