Deepti Naval loves to go trekking with her camera, says ‘its a great excuse to be out in the wilderness’
Honoured with the Excellence in Cinema award at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, veteran actor Deepti Naval is not ready to rest on her accolades. The powerhouse performer who has classics such as Kamla, Ankahee, Chashme Buddoor, Saath Saath, Kissi Se Na Kehna and Katha -- to name just a few -- in her filmography, recently experimented with medium and appeared in Amazon Prime’s Made In Heaven.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Deepti opens up about her experience in the film industry, her upcoming online web series and what keeps her busy other than acting and direction. Excerpts:
You have been honoured with the Excellence in Cinema award at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai film festival with Star. How do you look back at your journey? Is it fulfilling or you hold any regrets?
It came as a pleasant surprise, but it has also been extremely overwhelming. Being recognized for your body of work in totality is some sort of an encouragement that everyone looks for. To have actually achieved it, feels amazing. When I look back at my journey, I have lived a life full of experiences that I am proud of. As an artist, the work that I have done in my career has always and will always make me happy. I do believe that my life, career has been fulfilling, I’ve had my share of disappointments too, but I have nothing to regret.
Do you think you have got your due?
I believe so. It’s rewarding when people come up to me and say that they relate to me through my characters. I have consciously chosen roles in my career that made a lasting impact and to be recalled time and again for good work is all I can ask for. Moreover, such honours like the Excellence in Cinema Award by MAMI is a huge encouragement to any artist.
Why do we see so little of you in films nowadays?
Every character and role I have played has been extremely important to me and helped mould me as an actor. When something interesting comes my way, I dive in. For example, the one episode I did for Zoya Akhtar’s Made in Heaven. I’ve always enjoyed working with Zoya and this short experience was also lovely! I’m not staying away from work, in fact I’m looking forward to more interesting projects.
Your part in Made in Heaven was too little to satisfy your audience. When will we see you in a full-fledged role?
I think it was a beautiful role, again very impactful. I don’t think a role has to be meaty or big enough to make an impression. My character was part of a lovely story that resonated with the audiences. As for my next project, I have also just completed a 10-episode web series called Pavan and Pooja, which is scheduled to release in December and hopefully, in the meanwhile, I’ll also finish work on my childhood memoir.
The larger part of your career is in art cinema. Do you see the line between art and commercial cinema diminishing now?
Yes, it was an important phase in cinema that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I still feel its significance today. Having said that, I think now is a great time for actors to work with a lot of quality content and I do believe that the lines are blurring. Art or parallel cinema is now becoming mainstream cinema. The audiences are more open and receptive to this experimental space.
We know you are a writer, painter and, of course, an actor, but do you have something else that keeps you busy when you are not doing any of these things?
Yes, one of my favourite things to do is go trekking along with my camera. I enjoy trekking and it is a great excuse to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life and be out in the wilderness. So yes, that’s always been something I have been passionate about doing and will continue to do for years.
Can you tell us about the book that you are writing?
I’m writing my childhood memoir. However, I can’t reveal much now as I’m still in the process of working on my draft.
Do you relate to the stardom we see today – newcomers with already established fan following on social media. Your comments.
I think it’s the norm of the day and where the world is going. It’s about projecting yourself and life on social media for your friends, family and fans to be part of and there is no problem with that. While it is a forte for young people, I am on social media too and I try to keep everyone updated with what’s going on in my life, but it’s not something I regularly do. While most artists would have a team of people handling their social media, I post things that matter to me, by myself.
(Author tweets @ruchik87)
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