From Jassi to Made In Heaven,what a journey it has been for you! How do you look back on your career so far?

From Jassi to now Made In Heaven, my god, what can I say? It has been a spectacular journey for me. I’ve completed 20 years in the industry. And I’ve had the smoothest transition from TV to OTT and films. . So yes, here I am, and I plan to keep surprising myself, my loved ones with the work that I do. I plan to keep entertaining all the viewers, all the fans who have always watched me since 2002, and always supported and loved me. So, yes, my journey has been spectacular.

Was it difficult for you to break out of the Jassi and to find challenging opportunities?

I was very sure of one thing that I’m not going to take up any other daily soap immediately right after Jassi because people will always have comparisons. And I also knew one more thing that there cannot be anything bigger than Jassi on TV for me. On TV, yes. So I started hosting shows, I started participating in shows, TV shows and then I did a lot of theater and then the smooth transition to TV and OTT and films. But then, of course, I also did a few more serials but yes, that was after a long gap. And then I didn’tdo many serials and that was actually the thought behind it, to not do many daily soaps because also as an actor, it is very important to connect with the kind of shows that I want to do. I didn’t want to be a part of the Saas Bahu politics, kitchen politics shows and things like that. I think I’ve always done shows where it influences and inspires people and society

Would you say,the OTT is blessing for talented actors like you?

Oh yes, OTT is an absolute blessing for talented actors. Look at the kind of work we are getting to see, the kind of writing happening on OTT. There’s so many shows, so many Hindi shows that I’ve been watching and following. I love Tillotima Shome, I love Shefali Shah, people are giving me so much love and work. I’m so glad that people have embraced OTT in such a big way. People don’t have cable connections anymore to watch TV. Everybody is binge watching their favorite shows. It’s beautiful. It’s the best phase. And I’m so happy that I’m witnessing this beautiful transition in my life. It’s a great space that I’m in.

Do you finally have the luxury to pick and choose the roles you want to?

I’ve also been choosy because I’m not one size fit all actor. For me, when the makers cast me, my role has to be well etched out. So yes, I have been choosy. If you really look at my career graph, I have been pretty choosy. I have had the luxury of choosing. I have not been a part of all mundane shows or serials. I have not done anything and everything just because as an actor I need to be seen. I’ve never feared that. You know, this industry has taught me a lot of patience and I have waited it out. I have said no many a times to the roles that I don’t want to do, to shows that I don’t want to be a part of. And I’m glad that I’ve been choosy because here I am now celebrating my success of Made In Heaven. And now I think with so much work pouring in, I’m spoiled for choices, literally. I’m busy, I have six shows lined up. I’ve already had three releases from last year till now. Laal Singh, Kafas, and Made In Heaven, and three more shows coming up this year. So yes, I’ve been quite busy. But with OTT, people are exploring all different kinds of stories and content. And I think it is the best time for actors like me to be seen. So yes, people will see a lot of me.

Prior to Made In Heaven 2 ,we saw you playing a very different woman and yet in some ways quite similar,woman in Applause Entertainment’s Kafas?

I’m getting so much love for Kafas, and now so much love for Bulbul. But nobody has pointed out any similarities, and I myself as an actor, I don’t see any similarity between Seema Vashishtha and Bulbul Johri. Seema Vashishtha was grey, she was vicariously living through her son, she was literally pushing her son to be in the industry and to become an actor. She wanted her son to fulfill her dreams, and somewhere I also feel that Seema Vashishtha wasn’t really a fighter. She got her wings a little later, she found the courage a little later. And yes, she was fighting for justice for her son for what had happened. But as far as Bulbul is concerned, she was totally sassy and sleek and shrewd and a proper business woman, street-smart and courageous and gutsy, and very very intuitive. That was Bulbul, completely different from Seema Vashishtha. So I would disagree with you on that.

How did you get the chance to play the utterly fascinating Bulbul in Made In Heaven?

How did I get the chance to play Bulbul? I remember it was 2021, it was lockdown, my husband was down with COVID and we had actually taken up a place in Goa. So we were staying here and I got a call from Tiger Baby Productions and Excel and I just couldn’t believe my ears. I was like, Are you serious? You’recalling me for Made In Heaven? Because, you know, as a viewer, when I watched the show, I was thinking why am I not there? I need to do such shows and I need to work with these makers. They’re the best in the business. And then, of course, I auditioned for Bulbul and the audition was on Zoom Link, which was so new for all of us. And I auditioned for two scenes, one was an emotional one and one was the petty one, the sassy one that Bulbul is. And within a week I heard back from Nandini, our casting director, welcoming me on board. And yes, that is how organically I landed up playing Bulbul.

Your forthcoming projects?

My forthcoming projects, well, I have a show releasing, I think, in October on Netflix. It’s being directed by Sameer Saxena, one of my most favorite directors. I’ve worked with him in a web series called Yeh Meri Family, which did really well and got a lot of love in Season One. Even that was on Netflix and on TVF. So this show, this is my second show with him. It’s called Kaala Paani, and it’s a thriller and something that I’ve never done before. Again, all out there and experimenting. I’ve also done a movie which should be releasing next year. I’ve done another show, which should be coming out in December. I’m sorry, I cannot give out too many details because they have very strict NDAs that actors have to sign these days. And currently, as we speak. I’m shooting for one more series. And like I said, it’s going good, it’s going beautiful. So I am busy and I’m excited about my forthcoming projects, totally.