MUMBAI: Mona Singh who has always weaved her magic on the audience whenever she is on screen. From playing an iconic role like Jassi in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (2003–2006) to the supporting character of Mona in 3 Idiots to winning the audience’s hearts in dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, she has done it all. Her name is synonymous with powerhouse performances and stupendous acting skills.
In her 15-year long journey, Singh has proved her mettle across all possible media—television, the big screen, theatre, and even new media. Her debut on the digital space with Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain proved that irrespective of the medium, she shines as bright as a constellation. The show has been getting rave reviews. What’s more, the lady is back with another web-series. After playing an ugly duckling, a protective wife, and the other woman, the actress will now be seen a mother. In her upcoming digital series with TVF, Yeh Meri Family, Mona will play ‘the character of a mother who is very real, relatable, and strict’.
In an exclusive conversation with loan trading, the actress, who is known for her infectious smile and laughter, spoke at length about her ‘happy phase’, upcoming projects, and much more.
No digital show that a family can watch together
As we discuss her latest role, she says, ‘I love taking up challenges. I’ve played a mother earlier on TV, but that was very different. She was a sweet mother. Here, I have even slapped a boy.”
She goes on to say ‘It was fun! It is great writing. I love the script. TVF writes very well and spends time on that. Usually, that never happens. People write scripts on the set. The directors and writers at TVF were every clear about the script. I love the concept of the shooting. Such shows were made back then in 90s. Right now, there’s no show on the digital (platform) that a family can sit back and watch together. This show is something that my family can watch together.’
Mona doesn’t have any inhibitions about playing a mother’s character. She says that she has shed all her inhibitions, especially after doing theatre. For her, the challenge was to be a strict mother, since she is ‘not that kind of person’ in reality.
The day I am satisfied I’ll retire
The actress says she doesn’t what is in store for her next. ‘I always go with the flow. I came to Bombay to act, and all I wanted to do was to become an actor. And now, I’m doing it and loving it.’
The actress has also shot for two more short films—Glitch and Ek Chota Sa Ego—and will soon begin shooting for the second season of Kehne Ko Humsafar.
Despite having such a glorious journey, Singh is not satisfied. Her reason is legit: ‘If I am satisfied, then I’ll get retired. I’m hungry! Actors are very greedy people; we always want more. And by greedy, I mean quality and not quantity.’
I want to play a bad cop
After doing varied characters on screen, Mona now wants to play a bad cop, something that she hasn’t tried. ‘I’m watching a lot of CBI- and FBI-based shows, so I want to play a bad cop.’
I miss TV
The actress has been away from television for a long time. She was last seen hosting Colors’ reality series India Banega Manch (2017), but she hasn’t acted on any TV show for 2 years. Prod her about this and she says, ‘It’s the content that is keeping me away from TV.’ Singh claims that only the story of a show excites her and nothing else. ‘So there’s nothing right now that excites me. I miss that. I hope the shows that were made in 90s and early 2000 come back.’
I can’t do mythological shows
While discussing current TV content she says, ‘I can’t fathom mytho shows. I can’t wear heavy makeup and say putr.’
The actress is interested in shows that have more meaning. Along with mythological sagas, Mona is also not keen on doing fantasy shows. ‘I have done a fantasy show (Kavach). I enjoyed it, but that’s it! I’ve ticked it off my bucket list. I’m waiting for the right show.’
No Bigg Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi
While fictional shows don’t really excite her, even the non-fictional space is something she is tired of. The actress doesn’t want to participate in any other reality series. ‘Bigg Boss is just something you can enjoy watching, but I can’t participate in it. Never! About Khatron Ke Khiladi, I like to pay for adventures that I enjoy; I would rather not get paid for it.’
I have only a few friends
The 36-year-old actress is a loyal friend. Her videos with best friend Gaurav Gera have always given us major best friend goals. In addition, her pictures with Ekta Kapoor show the strong bond they share. Point out this to her and she quickly reverts, ‘I’m a loyal friend. My loyalties are always intact with my best friends.’
She takes a pause and further adds, ‘I have known Gaurav since the last 14 years; he is like family. I have known Ekta for 6 years; she is also almost like family to me. I know both of them inside out. With Ekta, we meet at her home parties or her birthday and talk about food, dieting, and all that. With Gaurav, I’m making a video, cooking, going out for drives, or watching a movie. I have only a few friends, but whoever I have are very close.’
What I say can be misconstrued sometimes
Her absence from page-3 parties has proved how private she is. ‘For me, a party is cooking at home and calling people. I don’t go out, and I don’t like clubbing. I shy away from the paparazzi. I’m a private person on social (media) as well.’ According to Mona, people’s work speaks for them and not how many times they are clicked and what they wear.
She also maintains a controversy-free record. And that’s a conscious decision that she has taken. ‘As a person, sometimes what I say can be misconstrued. So whenever I’m at an interview, I’m very clear about what I’m saying. I can’t sue the person who has misquoted me.’
Post this project, the actress will head for a vacation to Italy and Spain with her best friends: her parents.