It is a dream debut on the web for actor Apeksha Porwal with Undekhi the Applause Entertainment created web-series that streams on Sony LIV.
Apeksha who has been a model has won the Miss India Delhi and Miss Teen India International 2009 pageants. She has had a great first outing as actor with the series.
Apeksha plays the role of Koyal, a tribal girl who witnesses a murder!!
Says Apeksha, “I loved to shoot for Undekhi from the word go. From the audition stage, I was in love with the story. It is so powerful and gripping. It is inspired by true events and it is a tale made from that.”
Talking about her character, Apeksha states, “She is a tribal girl from Sunderbans. Koyal has gone to Manali with her sister to become a dancer. This character is totally opposite to what I am in real life. I am a city girl, born and brought up in Mumbai. Koyal’s childhood is so much more complicated, and the hardships that she has gone through are different. She speaks in Bengali and Hindi. So the character is very far from what I have experienced. So for me, it was a challenging role. I had to go without makeup. You would never see me like this. Koyal is a character who I really wanted to do justice to. So we had a lot of character preparations with Director Ashish Sir. I talked with Sidharth Sir too as he had written it. I watched a few movies from where I picked up nuances. I was trained for pronunciations in Bangla. Also, I used meditation with jungle sounds to understand the habitat of the place. I also had talks with my mentor and acting coach Jeff Goldberg. So yes a lot has gone into building the character.”
On the USP of the series, she quips, “Undekhi in itself is a very gripping and fast-paced show. Secondly, it is based on events that do happen around us, and we choose to move on after seeing it. This series and story should shake up the conscience of people. It will hold up a mirror about what happens around us. I think the USP for me has been the story and script itself.”
On the shoot experiences, she avers, “When we were shooting in Manali, it was incredible. It was a fabulous experience to be in the mountains for an entire month. Most of my scenes are in the jungle. That was a very different habitat; it was very cold. On the very first day of the shoot, it started snowing and we had to cancel shoot for three days. There are also sequences where I shot bare-footed in the jungle. It involved running, few stunts etc. It was cold, the path was thorny and we did a lot to keep my legs safe. We also shot at the Manali market where there was a huge gathering of people. These were out-of-the-world experiences.”
Elaborating more on her character, Apeksha explains, “She is a kind of a girl who does not say much, but her presence is there. It has a crazy character arc and will take people by surprise. For the rest, you will have to watch the show.”
“To be seen as a tribal girl, it was the most exciting part. I explored something that I had never gotten into. This for me was very exciting and challenging. Koyal as a character is beautiful and I wanted to play this part. I got really attached to Koyal as I shot for it.”
Apeksha is sure of Undekhi doing really well. “What will work for Undekhi is its story. It has an ensemble cast and every character has an arc. Koyal is part of all the crimes that have gone on to happen. I hope people love Koyal and love the show and script. I am very hopeful for the show and for my character.
On future projects and ideas, “I have something else coming later this year. And with the lockdown happening, opportunities are much more streamlined. I want to work on scripts that are challenging. I want to work with the right people and hope that the right filmmakers like my work.”
Last but not the least, she has words of appreciations to shower. “I have to put in a massive word for Ashish Sir for directing this series the way he has done. He has done a fabulous job of bringing the script to screen. Sidharth Sir and Varun Sir have done an amazing job by writing the script. Marzi Sir the Cinematographer has captured Manali in the best way possible.”