Calling her stint on Kangana Ranaut’s show ‘challenging and interesting’, Mandana said she realised that her eviction would ‘come soon’.
Last Updated: 12.20 PM, Apr 22, 2022
On the 50th day of Lock Upp, Mandana Karimi was ousted from the show after host Kangana Ranaut announced that the former had received the least number of votes. Mandana’s stint on Lock Upp saw the actress face more than a few challenges, especially an argument between her and Karanvir Bohra, perpetuated by Zeeshan and Anjali Arora. OTTplay caught up with the actress about her journey on the reality show, which can be streamed on ALTBalaji and MX Player 24/7. The actress also opened up about her upcoming projects, and the shows on her watchlist at the moment.
You were recently evicted from Lock Upp. Would it be safe to say that you saw the eviction coming and that you realised that the eviction was due?
Talking of my stint in Lock Upp, it’s been a very challenging and interesting experience. It wasn’t anything like I had thought. As far as my eviction is concerned, I am a very strong person and the audiences and fans thought that when I came on the show, I’m going to do a lot and win the show. But the format of Lock Upp is very different from the other reality shows that I’ve done. The last week when I was in the game, I became really inactive because there were a lot of situations which had happened and it made me realise that I am not ready to do anything and everything to stay in the jail. If that has led me to an eviction, I’m absolutely fine with it. It just shows that as an individual, I wasn't ready to cross certain boundaries, which means physical fights and verbal abuse. I wasn't ready to do all that. I knew my eviction was going to come soon because I wasn't really ready to do ‘anything’ to stay in the show.
You said that you felt you became inactive and didn't feel strong anymore. So did you start feeling that way after your big secret revelation?
No, not at all. Actually after this secret was revealed by me, I felt really free and I felt really strong. I think it was the fact that the fights that I had with Anjali, the way she pushed me. She got physical with me and it made me realise that these guys are ready to do anything. Kangana ma’am said on my eviction day: ‘Yeh jail par itna jaanwar hain and ‘Mandana is going to get eaten alive by these people’. And that’s absolutely right! That’s how I felt. These people are going to fight and indulge in physical attacks. Three or four days after I left, you see it happening to Zeeshan. I feel like I saw that coming a few days before or a week before. As the finale is coming soon, people are ready to do anything to stay in the show. So I think that’s the reason, not the secret or not talking about the secret.
You said that the format of the show was very unexpected, were you not aware that Lock Upp was going to be this way when you went in?
It’s a new show with a new host. It’s not something that everyone is familiar with. Many people don’t know what the rules are or what is accepted or not allowed. Before entering the jail, I thought it was going to be like the other reality show that I’d done. But it wasn’t. The format of Lock Upp is very different from the other shows that I’ve seen or I’ve been a part of.
We know that you have met Karanvir's children and been to his house. But Zeeshan seemed to spin the story in a different way. Can you clear up a bit on that?
I like the question as I haven’t really had the chance to talk to anyone else about it. I know what I said and I know what I’ve done. It was very disappointing when Karan actually believed them. Everyone and the audience knew that Zeeshan and Anjali played him and gave him the story in a different way. All I said (about Karanvir) was that I don’t trust him in the house and I don’t trust him outside of the game either.
I'm also disappointed that his wife, who is outside, has taken this argument happening inside the game to another level. I feel like it’s a very unfortunate situation and it feels more of an activity outside of the jail. And inside of the jail, Karanvir is playing along with them to make alliance with Anjali and Zeeshan which will play well for him. I never said those words. It is what it is. In real life as well, some people are going to use opportunities to gain publicity, to gain drama and news and articles and headlines, and some people don’t.
What do you think about Prince Narula's addition to the show?
I think Prince is very strong. He has done many reality shows and won them also. I think he’s a great wildcard entrant at this point of the game as he has shaken up a lot. He has already changed a lot of things in the jail.
Both Zeeshan and KV are out of the jail. Now who do you see as a winner?
Oh KV’s out the show? I didn’t know. Zeeshan, to be very honest, the way he exited the show was very unfortunate, and I’m 100% against physical violence. Physical violence is not the answer to anything, in real life or inside the jail. But what Azma did, verbally and mentally abusing people, is not right either. I have no say in this because it’s the decision of the queen and the jailor. And I didn’t think KV would reach the finale.
While you have made it clear that you are not currently in the mind frame but would you go back to the jail, even if it means going as a guest?
To be honest, I adore and respect Ekta Kapoor and I have a long relationship with Balaji, so if they request me and if they want me to go, how can I say no to it? That’s the first thing.
The second thing is that, at this point of the game, I’m not sure what I can add to the show. I think for now, Prince Narula is a great option for the show. But if they ask me, yeah why not. As of now, I’m not like “Oh my god I want to go back”. But you never know.
Could you talk about some of the projects you have in your kitty at the moment?
There’s this movie, Thar that has been announced. The trailer is out too. I have done an appearance in Thar which is going to be released on May 6. Before I went into Lock Upp, I had just finished shooting for a web series which is going to be released this year. I’ve also been working on a very small project and I’m going to shoot for it over the next couple of weeks. For the moment, that’s what I’m busy with. I am also giving auditions and am in talks for other projects that have not been confirmed yet.
Could you recommend any shows or films you watched on OTT?
There’s a new show Roar on Apple TV that I’ve started watching. It’s about women’s stories by women writers, which are quite fascinating. There’s also a new show on Netflix called Mai. We’re so lucky as there are so many OTT platforms where you can watch a lot of shows and new movies.