Mona Singh on rumours of fight with Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain creator Ekta Kapoor: ‘We were laughing about it’
Less than three months after tying the knot with her investment banker beau Shyam Rajgopalan, television actor Mona Singh found herself in a lockdown situation with him, as coronavirus swept the country. In an interview with Hindustan Times, she said that spending all this time together has strengthened their bond.
“We never expected this to happen. We were supposed to go to Italy and Spain, which did not happen. Now, everything is in the house only. We are exploring and learning things about each other. In a way, it has been good because I have never been home for so many days. We cook, clean, watch TV shows, movies together, order online ice-creams at night or maybe even make them at home. We have been making cookies and baking things together, video calling our families... so it is fun. I’m not complaining at all. Sometimes, you do feel the urge to step out, but I’m sure things will get back to normal soon,” she said.
Mona is gearing up for the release of the third season of Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain, which will premiere on Saturday on ALTBalaji and Zee5. The new season promises to be ‘dark’ and high on drama, she said.
“In season two, Ananya realised that Rohit had cheated on her, and in season three, you will see that she actually walks away. She chooses a different path and starts all over again. She is pregnant, has a child, and has not seen Rohit for the last three years. It is dark in the sense that she has all these pent-up emotions and all the toxicity of all the bitterness that Rohit caused,” she said.
“Ananya comes to Delhi to change her surname and accidentally bumps into Rohit. What happens after that is huge drama, which I am sure people would love to watch. It’s too real and too dark, what Rohit and Ananya go through together,” she added.
Despite being the ‘other woman’ in Rohit’s life, Ananya was a far cry from a scheming vamp. Mona said that it was a conscious decision by creator Ekta Kapoor to portray her as ‘just another girl’.
“What happens is it just gets too typical ‘pati, patni and woh’, and that is the stereotype which Ekta wanted to break. She wanted to give a fresh character who is just another girl like us who happens to fall in love with a married man. That is exactly how Ananya was projected in the show. She wasn’t a vamp, she wasn’t planning and plotting to break Rohit’s home or do anything to him, his kids or wife. It was a big deal for us to achieve and build a character like Ananya, because most of the women shown in this light are seen as grey,” she said.
Mona has had a long-standing professional and personal relationship with Ekta -- their collaborations include Kya Huaa Tera Vaada, Kavach and MOM (Mission Over Mars). However, a few months ago, it was reported that they had a fallout and unfollowed each other on social media.
“No, no, not at all. I have read so many things about myself that are not true. I always laugh about it,” Mona said, rubbishing news of a fight. When asked if she talked it out with Ekta after the rumours first surfaced, she said, “There was nothing to talk about. I don’t know how this rumour just came up. I was wondering. We were laughing about it. There’s no such thing.”
Mona also gave her two cents on the crisis that the television industry is facing amid the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown has brought the industry to its knees, with shoots stalled since mid-March, and tens of thousands of people out of work and struggling to pay their bills.
At least two television actors -- Manmeet Grewal and Preksha Mehta -- are believed to have ended their lives due to financial stress and lack of work, with several others crying foul over non-payment of dues and even threatening suicide if their pleas go unheard.
“Television actors are also daily-wagers who earn per day and it is very tough for them to survive in a place like Mumbai, paying heavy rent and staying in the city without work or even knowing when things are going to get back to normal. You don’t know who is going through what personal crisis. Committing suicide is one of the worst things, but you don’t know what they are thinking at that point of time. I really wish their family members or somebody was with them to actually guide them and tell them that things will be alright. You have to have a positive state of mind, which is difficult during these times, but you have got to work on it,” she said.
“The government has given guidelines to shoot in Mumbai now. I don’t know how it is going to be or how they are going to manage. It is going to be a tough call, but fingers crossed. I hope things get better. I hope TV actors get their dues. It is very wrong on the producers’ part to not pay. People have been asking for their money even before this whole Covid-19 situation and lockdown started. They have not been paid for that also, which is really wrong. I’m hoping that there are some stricter rules and regulations for payment so that producers actually pay on time,” she added.
Mona is returning to the big screen with Advait Chandan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, which marks her onscreen reunion with her 3 Idiots co-stars Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan. She calls the experience of shooting with them ‘phenomenal’.
“I had a blast shooting for Laal Singh Chaddha. It’s not over yet; we had to come back on March 16 from Punjab but working with Aamir sir after all these years was like a dream come true. He is a fantastic actor and a fantastic person to work with,” she said.
“As a team, we all used to chill together after every schedule got over. Aamir sir used to make sure that he’s the best host at the party. Also, he sometimes used to watch my scenes sitting at the monitor and say, ‘Arre, Mona, very good! First shot, very good. Wonderful!’ These words coming from him is a big deal for me. There’s so much to learn and so much to unlearn from a man who is called a perfectionist, which he truly is. Our director, Advait, is very talented. Kareena has also been fabulous to work with,” she added.
Mona is all praise for Aamir for being ‘so open to suggestions’ from the rest of the team, despite being a superstar. “Just before shooting, we had a workshop in Panchgani, in Aamir sir’s farmhouse. He is so open to suggestions, which I really, really liked because once you reach that level, you don’t want other people advising you or suggesting something in the script. But he’s so open to it. Even when it came to music. Pritam da was there in Panchgani with other musicians, singing and writing songs. I loved the whole experience of people just writing songs at that very minute when you give them a situation. It has been a great experience for me,” she signed off.
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