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Rohini Hattangadi: Even Amitabh Bachchan couldn’t get away from ‘angry young man’ stereotype

Rohini Hattangadi makes her Gujarati web series debut with Kshadyantra.

Shaheen
Jul 04, 2021
 
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Rohini Hattangadi.

Renowned actress Rohini Hattangadi has made her Gujarati web series debut with Kshadyantra. The actress spoke to OTTplay exclusively about her project, career so far, being stereotyped and what future holds for her.

Excerpts from the interview:

What prompted you to take up Kshadyantra?

(Laughs) I thought the role is worth doing and it’s the first Gujarati web series so I thought to be a part of it even if I’m a Maharashtrian. It’s my first Gujarati series.

What has the experience been like?

I had done Gujarati plays, but they were different since you get a month’s worth of rehearsal. The main concern was the language since it’s not my mother tongue and I had to by-heart it. Films and series take longer since the shots are long. By-hearting was a problem for me in the beginning. I used to ask for different words. I was okay after 2-3 days.

Any memorable experience from the sets?

I’m on a wheelchair in the show. That was quite challenging but fun. I had a joystick to handle it. I had to do all the calculations. It wouldn’t work on rough surfaces but I managed that too.

You have worked in almost every industry. What was that like?

It is easier when you understand the language but I have developed my own technique. I can’t say 1234 and get away with it. In the Malayalam industry, they asked me to do that. I insisted on talking in that language so the lip sync works.

Did you imagine this is how your career would shape up?

I simply wanted to act. I took things as they came by. My first regional language film was Kannada, which came out of the blue. I didn’t know the director or anybody from the production. My mother-in-law knows Kannada but it’s not my mother tongue. Luckily my co-actor understood English and Hindi too. However, I got the dialogues in Roman. I then asked the assistant director to read my lines and rewrote them in Devnagari.

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Before this, you had worked in the Gujarati film Oxygen. How was that different from working on this?

There aren’t very long shots. You shoot for 2-3 lines. Here, you even have one-shot scene, where you don’t take a break.

Tell me about your character.

She’s a newspaper owner who is helping her younger sister, who is a CM. She was aspiring after her father. I know the tricks of the trade of politics. It’s a very strong character, who is manipulative and calculative.

Do you relate to your character?

Not really. I’m not that calculative or viscous. I can understand why and how is my character working a certain way. It’s not a character you fall in love with.

You had been typecast as a mother. How are you breaking that stereotype?

I haven’t been able to completely break it. I’ve done different films, where even the mother is a little different. I tried to get away from that image, but once you are stereotype, that is how it is then.

Isn’t it unfair to be stereotyped?

Even Amjad Khan and Amitabh Bachchan couldn’t get out of the trap of stereotypes. Big B, who has been tagged as ‘angry young man’, is still called the same thing. It’s tough to get rid of the stereotype, especially because directors and producers don’t want to risk it. Even though people know you are good actors, they don’t want to risk it. You have to prove that you can do different roles before breaking out of it.

Apart from Kshadyantra, do you have anything else at hand?

Two Marathi films. One which is written and directed by Anant Mahadevan. I was working on TV but those projects shut down owing to COVID.

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