Mouni Roy speaks to Manju Ramanan on playing a Bengali in the forthcoming film Gold, albeit an accent!
What does Gold mean to you?
It symbolises hard work, passion and perseverance. To me, it symbolises the Number 1 that stands for achievement.
Do you wear a lot of gold?
Yes, I am Bengali and I love my gold jewellery. I love temple jewellery done in the Bengali style. When I started earning, I bought a gold pendant for myself and a gold set for my mother.
You have made a smooth transition from TV to the big screen. How did you adjust?
I am excited at the transition. The medium has changed but the work is the same. I am a proud TV actor and with Nagin, I could reach even larger audiences. Nandini Shrikant audtioned me for the role and I waited for 2 months and got the part. Being Bengali helped me. I have grown up to the movies of Uttam Kumar and Aparna Sen and very clued into my culture. I recommend that most Indians watch old Bengali films. They are a mine of art and understanding life.
How did you get the Bengali accent in Hindi. You speak Hindi fluently otherwise?
I had to work to get that accent since my Hindi is saaf. I don’t speak like a caricature or in an OTT fashion. But speaking to my mother helped. She speaks Hindi with a Bengali accent and what you see in my character in the film is a lot like her. The hair especially is like that. Of course my costumes that included the saree is all courtesy to my stylist and costume department.
You play a strong woman in the film?
Yes I am bashing my husband all the time ( Laughs). My character keeps Akshay’s character in check. He is alcoholic, keeps squandering everything he has – she is the leveller and keeps him in control.
What are the four Bengali attributes people don’t know about
- We instil feminism in our girls right from a young age and it is done very naturally.
- We don’t like to eat rotis
- Nearly all of us are skilled in the arts – music, dance, pottery, sketching, writing etc
- We are nature lovers. Being around nature keeps us happy.
- We don’t do vodoo!
How was your experience working with Akshay Kumar and Reema Kagti?
Akshay sir is very disciplined and chilled out. There is no heirarchy with him and his work ethic is soemthing to emulate from. Reema is an amazing writer apart from being an ace director. The way she writes is easy-breezy but that is what is excellence is – it makes things look easy.
Are you dancing in the film too?
No, I am not getting to dance in Gold. But in the upcoming Made in China and Brahmastra, I will be dancing.