Mithila Palkar: It’s a big deal to have your face on a poster! – From becoming a viral sensation with her cup song that increased her followers from 5,000 to 45,000 overnight two years ago to acting in web series to completing the shoot of her debut film Karwaan, which sees her sharing screen space with Irrfan Khan and Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar has come a long way. The 25-year-old Maharashtrian girl with her trademark curly hair is over the moon with the love she has received for her two web series, Little Things and Girl In The City, and for her role as Indu in the critically-acclaimed Marathi film Muramba. Now, as she readies for her big-screen debut in Hindi cinema, she tells After Hrs that she could not have planned her life better. Excerpts…
Whether it’s Meera Sehgal from Girl in the City or Kavya Kulkarni from Little Things, your characters have mostly been chirpy. Do you think you would be able to pull off a serious role?
I think that happens because I am like that in real life. But my films allow me to explore another side of my personality. Also, since it’s just the beginning, it’s exciting to explore whatever opportunities I get and fortunately, I have received enough of them. So, Indu in Muramba is not a chirpy, neither is the girl in Karwaan. Or for that matter, my character Ria in the play Dekh Behen was also not like that. They are intelligent, confident, and spunky girls, but they are different characters. So far, the audience has liked them.
You stay with your conservative Maharashtrian grandparents who, you had said, did not approve of your profession. Your roles in web series have dealt with concepts like live-in relationships and pre-marital sex. How comfortable are they with it now?
They have been large-hearted and have come around, just to let me be an actor to start with. They are aware that this profession comes with a lot of pre-requisites. They also know that I’ll not do anything that is not required.
In fact, before watching Muramba, I gave them a disclaimer saying Amey (Wagh) and I share a kiss. I know it wouldn’t have been easy for them, but they were very brave about it. Now that they’ve watched the film, it’s a big weight off my chest. I won’t say they are okay with it, but they understand.
How did you land the role in Karwaan?
I went through the usual process of auditioning. I have auditioned for the casting director Nandini Shrikent earlier and knew director Akarsh Khurana as well. They suggested I try for this role as they thought I fit the bill. I had to wait a long time before I was told that I had bagged it. It was such a nervous and exciting wait for me! I had done a supporting role in Katti Batti but this is my debut as a lead in a Hindi film. To put it simply, it’s a big deal to have your face on a poster.
How was the experience of working in the film?
I knew Akarsh from my theatre days, so even though I was extremely nervous about working with Dulquer Salmaan and Irrfan Khan, I knew there was someone around if I needed advice or guidance. Karwaan has been my favourite set to be on so far. My co-stars are such talented artistes. I was like a wide-eyed kid, constantly learning.
Tell us about your equation with your co-stars…
My equation with them was quite funny. I was really nervous but they were not intimidating at all. I constantly keep singing or humming, so, Irrfan sir called me Binaca Geet Mala, and Dulquer called me Jukebox. After a point, Dulquer was like, let me suggest songs to you, so I know what you’re singing because my list of tracks is really random. I’m an old soul so I sing old numbers, but I can also switch to 2000s or ’90s hits.