Karisma Kapoor: Mentalhood blends entertainment with learning
The actor discusses her comeback show that explores motherhood and urban anxieties
Eight years after Dangerous Ishhq, Karisma Kapoor returns with Mentalhood, ALT Balaji’s new show exploring motherhood and urban anxieties. Karisma essays Meira Sharma, a multitasking ‘tiger mom’ trying to raise her three kids in Mumbai. The show highlights themes of helicopter parenting, bullying, gender dynamics, and more.
“Each episode has a message for everyone,” Karisma shares. “Even men watching it would say 'Oh my God! I didn't realize this.' We deal with bullying, gender, exam fever, and surrogacy. It's actually entertainment with learning, which is so beautiful.”
Karisma was convinced to do the show by producer Ekta Kapoor, who thought she would be the perfect fit for the series. A mother of two, Karisma feels the show will reach out to every mom trying to navigate day-to-day challenges. “When I heard the script, I could connect with it as it's something I go through on a daily basis. I wanted to reach out to the audiences and tell them they aren't alone. We are going through this journey together,” she says.
Karisma, who made her acting debut in 1991 and has seen the industry evolve, hails the ongoing OTT revolution in India. She feels web shows encourage actors to be more realistic with their performances. “I think the web space is a perfect balance of film and television,” she says, “During my day, if you would act a certain way they would be like 'Madam thoda sa aur expression dikhaiye’ (Please show more expressions). There was a certain scale you had to reach.”
Karisma’s career boasts some of the greatest comedies of the 1990s — films like Raja Babu, Andaz Apna Apna, Coolie. No. 1, and more. Would she like to return to the space in the future? “I don't plan anything as such, but yes, I do enjoy doing a light-hearted comedy,” she says.