"I would love to do negative roles but I guess with a face like mine, they are difficult to come by" : Mandira Bedi

A chance meeting changed her life. Mandira Bedi was a working girl, just out of campus and freelancing for an advertising project when the director of Shanti first set eyes on her and asked her to audition for the role. That was the beginning of a new life for Mandira.


The bubbly Mandira who played the protagonist in Shanti, a soap that created history in Indian television , has come a long way .She has acted in a number of serials and movies like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. After establishing herself as an actress who can play serious roles with elan , she is out to prove her versatality by opting for a comedy role in Papa Ban Gaye Hero, currently being aired on Sony.

Mandira spent time with's Agnes Sebastian between shoots to talk about her experience in the television industry.Excerpts -


From Shanti to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and now Papa Ban Gaye Hero , how has your journey in the television industry been?

It has been a rather interesting journey . I have done a variety of roles and thus am content as an actor. I don't have any regrets so far .

Right now, I am busy with Papa Ban Gaye Hero, my first attempt at sitcom. I am also looking forward to my comeback in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.


Have you taken an exile from the silver screen after Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge?

Well , not really . I am waiting for a role that suits my image. I am not game for roles which require me to wear skimpy outfits and run around trees.


Tell us something about your role in 'Papa Ban Gaye Hero'?

I play the role of a bossy housewife who is materialistic and henpecks her husband (played by Vijay Raaz, Mr Dubey of Monsoon Wedding) who becomes a film star by fluke.The serial basically revolves around comic situations which arise when she starts basking in her husband's glory and tries to cope with the newly generated lifestyle.

"In drama a pregnant pause connotes many emotions but in sitcom a pause means that you have forgotten your lines"

What are your views about the on going saas-bahu sagas currently on air ?

I think these soaps are wonderful .These soaps are meant for the masses, for housewives who are in some way able to relate to it. They are able to identify with the characters in some way. The in-laws are people whom they live and interact with.These soaps will run as long as people like them. The only thing I don't approve of is the loud make up of the artists and the lavish sets. I hate wearing make up.


Do you need a different kind of preparation for acting in serials ?

Definitely. You need to pay attention to expressions and dialogue delivery. While doing drama, appropriate facial expressions and pauses between dialogues have an impact whereas in comedy, the same can be disastrous if not executed properly. In sitcom, it is timing and spontaneity which are essential.

What kind of roles do you prefer ?

Though I enjoy doing all kinds of roles, my first love will always be drama. I would love to take on more of negative roles but I guess with a face like mine , they are difficult to come by. At present I am enjoying my stint at comedy. After all the drama I have been doing , comedy is difficult. In comedy one has to be equipped with spontaneity and good timing, otherwise the joke falls flat. In drama, a pregnant pause connotes many emotions but in a sitcom, a wrong pause means that you have forgotten your lines.
How would you rate yourself as an actress?

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate myself at six. However, with a good director, I guess my performance can be as good as nine or even 10.

What are the basic criteria you look out for while taking up an assignment ?

On principle, I take up only those roles which have substance. I cannot see myself doing only black or only white roles. I look out for grey characters as I find that more challenging. Also, the script should be strong and coherent.


"I am not game for roles which require me to wear skimpy outfits and run around trees"
How do you juggle between home and work?

I try not to work for more than 18 days a month. I believe that I need to spend some quality time with my family too.I don't think I will ever compromise on that.
What are your future plans ?

My ultimate dream is to go in for direction. However, I suppose it will take some time . I do have a few projects in the pipeline but I don't want to divulge any details unless and until its for sure. I am slightly superstitious in these matters.

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