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“Anchoring helps me pays my bills and lets me be choosy as an actor” – Meghana Kaushik

She has been a student of journalism and dabbled with a variety of professions in the media but today, Meghana Kaushik is focussed on building up a career as an actress. This year, she was seen in a commercial with Amitabh Bachchan and the second season of the hit web show ‘Love Lust And Confusion’. In this interview, she talks about her journey in the industry so far and more.

You have studied journalism, worked as a voice-over artist and have been a radio jockey. How did acting happen?
I have been a theatre enthusiast since my school days. I was very active in extra-curricular activities. I found it very liberating to play another character and to imitate life. I come from an army background and my parents thought I should work as a journalist as it was a secure job. I agreed to it initially as I did not have the confidence to tell my parents that I wanted to pursue acting as a profession. I was also not sure if I was talented enough to become an actor. I tested with a lot of big production houses for different parts. I got a lot of good feedback but people would tell me that it is difficult to give a big platform to someone who is not from a film family. People prefer working with faces that are easier to sell. I went through a lot of highs and lows but it has been an interesting journey.

Was it easy sustaining yourself financially after you arrived in Mumbai?
I had been an anchor since I was in school and when I was in college I realised you get paid for it. I had been doing events since I was in college. One of the most important things for an anchor is to do ice-breaking sessions with the crowd and I was quite good at it. I think of anchoring as my cushion in Mumbai. It helps me pays my bills and lets me be choosy as an actor.

You worked with Amitabh Bachchan in an ad. How was the experience of working with him?
It was a great and a very memorable experience. The first shot was of me standing at a corner and yelling at him. For whatever reason, I was not intimidated by him. I had read so much about him and I knew that he always makes his co-actors feel comfortable so that he can also deliver a good performance on screen. He shook hands and greeted everyone when he came on the sets. I was suffering from a bad throat but he made me feel very comfortable. For me, it as a huge learning experience to see a legend like him put so much effort to rehearse his lines.

You have trained with Barry John and Neeraj Kabi.
I did a three month long course with Barry John and it was absolutely enriching to be a part of it. The number of students is always an even number. When I applied, they told me there was no vacancy. Three days before the course was about to start, I got a call from their office and I was the thirteenth student in the batch. Neeraj Kabi’s course was good but it was very short. He shared a lot of interesting techniques which he used himself while enacting a scene.

How did you ‘Neerja’ happen? Did you audition for the film?
Yes, I got the film through an audition. When I auditioned for the film, I thought it would give me a lot of exposure as an actor. I took up the project thinking that it would be a life-changing experience for me. Almost the entire film was shot on a plane-like-set. The film was supposed to focus on the three air-hostesses but when I went to dub for the film, I realised they had changed it to a mother-daughter story. The makers were right in their own way but as an actor, I felt a little dejected as my role did not come across as well as I had expected it to be.

You also write. Are you developing something at the moment?
I am currently scripting a beautiful story of a family. It talks about how it disintegrates and the members of the family move into different paths because of technology. No matter what happens in life, family comes first. There is another beautiful, funny female-centric story about this girl who is pretty and suffers from the constant pressure of looking good at all times. It is a spoof on being beautiful and the notions attached to it.

Both the seasons of ‘Love Lust And Confusion’ have got a good response from the viewers. How was the experience of working on the show?
Working on the show was an absolutely fantastic experience. I was called in to audition for a small part. When I reached there, I stumbled upon an old friend who was working on the show. I told him I was not happy about testing for a small part and asked her if the lead girl had been cast. When she said no, I asked her if I could test for Poroma’s character. Eventually, I ended up testing for Poroma, Momo and Nikita’s part. When I was auditioning for Nikita’s part, the director walked into the room and loved the audition. Soon, I was informed that I have been finalised to play Nikita.

You are a part of ‘India Strikes Back’, one of the most anticipated web shows of this year. Can you share something about it?
Being from an army background, this show is extremely special to me as I play an army officer’s wife. A lot of people think it is easy to be an army officer’s wife but it is not. I remember my dad would be posted in remote locations across the country and we would get to speak to him only for a minute through the satellite phone once in a while. ‘India Strikes Back’ is a very edgy show and has been shot very beautifully. I do not have any scenes with Amit (Sadh). I have maximum number of scenes with Darshan (Kumaar) as he plays my husband in the show.

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