I've had a crush on Hrithik Roshan since Kaho Na Pyaar Hai: Mrunal Thakur
The actor on Super 30, working with Hrithik Roshan, and the delayed release of the film
Mrunal Thakur stars opposite Hrithik Roshan in Super 30. Directed by Vikas Bahl, the film is based on the life of mathematician and educationist, Anand Kumar.
Mrunal, who was raised in Mumbai, shot to fame for playing ‘Bulbul’ on the television soap opera, Kumkum Bhagya. After working for a brief period in Marathi cinema, she played the lead role in Tabrez Noorani’s international co-production, Love, Sonia (2018).
Ahead of Super 30’s release on Friday, the actor chats with us about her promising career, the ‘surreal’ experience of working with Hrithik Roshan, the character she portrays in the film, and her upcoming projects.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Tell us about your role in Super 30.
I play a character called Supriya. She's a chirpy, fun, and colourful girl. It’s based on a real person. I was told how Anand Kumar’s house used to be so small, he never had space to receive couriers. So, all those notes and packages were sent to Supriya’s house. There’s another bit in the song Jugraafiya, when Anand wins the medal and runs towards Supriya. That’s also taken from real life.
Was it daunting to be paired opposite Hritik Roshan?
I've had a crush on Hrithik since Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (2000). I have seen all his movies, from Lakshya to Guzaarish. I have memories of watching Lakshya and crooning along to ‘Main Aisa Kyun Hoon…’
As a co-star, Hrithik is approachable and caring. I was confused whether to call him ‘sir’ on the first day. He told me not to, since we had to build a chemistry for the film. Later, when I was nervous doing our first scene, he let me go off the script and lead the scene as I wanted, as long as the feeling remained the same.
This film was embroiled in several controversies, from the sexual harassment allegations against Vikas Bahl to the fraudulence claims against Anand Kumar. What was your mindset through it all?
Much of the negativity started after we finished shooting. The delays did not bother me. I just wanted the film to release in good time and be appreciated by the audience. Even Love Sonia took two years to hit theatres. As long as a film is made with good intentions, and everyone’s efforts are paid off, nothing else matters.
What, according to you, makes Anand Kumar’s journey cinematic?
I first saw him on Kaun Banega Crorepati. That’s how I got to learn about his life and the programme he runs. Imagine a man with no resources, training underprivileged students successfully since 2002. That too with the whole world trying to pull him down. That’s a battle, a silent one, which will inspire a lot of Indians — the urge to prove yourself against all adversity.
What’s next for you?
I have finished Batla House, with John Abraham and directed by Nikkhil Advani. The film will be released on August 15. Apart from that, I am working on Baahubali: Before The Beginning. Both projects have been exciting and different journeys. I am looking forward to them.