From A Suitable Boy to Kill  it has been  rollercoaster  ride for Tanya Maniktala. “The journey has taught me a lot and I am still learning from it but I am so grateful for all the experiences I’ve had along the way. There have been multiple projects which have happened post  Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy and all of them have led me to this now – KILL, so there is just a lot of gratitude. I think so far with the kind of reception my work has been receiving I’ve never been made to feel like an outsider but yes it’s definitely a little more difficult to get your foot through the door and little room for error. I started my journey with the celebrated  Mira Nair believing in me , so I really do not have anything to complain about. It was the most magical and surreal experience of my life! For a person who set out with nothing, this opportunity that just fell right into my lap was more than anything I could have even dreamt of. It truly was a privilege to work with the legends of the industry and to be at the helm of it all. From the auditioning process to the promotions it was a dream I was living! There was so much I was learning everyday on set and I was lucky because nobody shied away from teaching me. We were really a team who had set out on this great big adventure and were just lifting each other up through and through.”

  Mira Nair’s  A Suitable  Boy didn’t really open doors in Filmistan  for  Tanya. She disagrees. “wouldn’t say it didn’t. It did open a lot of doors for me and it was a lot of decisions I made that set off the course for trajectory, KILL being one of them. It did take a little longer maybe than I would have wanted but then again I had started with no expectations so it still felt like I was getting my due share and you’ve to just keep at it because you never know what might take off.”
In her  first feature film  Mumbaikar, Tanya   got to work with  some heavyweights. “I was working with Santosh Sivan sir, Vijay Sethupathi, Vikrant Massey, Sanjay Mishra sir and it was really just the right next thing I had taken up post A Suitable Boy. I had been watching and admiring their work ever since and to be now working with them was a pinch me moment. I remember the first day Vijay Sir had come on set when I was shooting, it was a night shift and we were shooting outdoors. I was about to get done when all of a sudden there were hoards of people who just showed up seemingly out of thin air and I got called in by Santosh sir to introduce me to somebody.  I could feel the buzz and excitement in the air but I had no idea what was happening and then I saw him in the flesh! Smiling his brilliant smile and his gaze locked in on the person he was conversing with. I had goosebumps when I met Vijay sir for the first time. His humility, his charm, his simplicity. I was in awe! And then it was Action and there he was! Switched up in a second. It was brilliant! I felt like I had watched a movie in those few minutes itself. He is a master in his craft and to experience that in person was exhilarating. That’s the kind of vision you envision for yourself.

 As for  KILL, “I was working on  the series  Toothpari at the time when I got a call from Kritarth from Casting Bay saying that he had a project that he wanted me to audition for, which happened to be KILL. He sent me the scenes and told me to take my time with it because it was an important one. I went through the scenes but unfortunately couldn’t go in to audition in person because of shoot schedules but the whole Casting Bay team was so supportive. They auditioned with me on zoom and then a little while later I got the call to tell me I’ve been shortlisted! After that was the script reading and meeting with Nikhil sir. It was being backed by Sikhya and Dharma so we knew it was no small feat and I had to give in my all to make sure that I justify my character and being a part of it.”

KILL  was apparently a very dangerous film to shoot. “I don’t think there was anybody on set who wasn’t injured… I had a chase sequence with Raghav’s character in which I am trying to escape and obviously because the setting is such there is not much room for movement. The production design had created this beautiful set which never even for a second felt like a set because it was so bloody well done! In the chase sequence I had to ram myself against one of the grills, fall on the ground and then get up and run again and of course there was an urgency to all of it. Since I was wearing a suit with a dupatta there were takes in which my dupatta would get stuck in the grills and pull at my neck and then the chain underneath would gash at the neck . Then in a few of the takes I rammed so hard in the grills I couldn’t move my arm post which I had to be taken in for an x-ray (everything turned out fine) but right after that was my action bit with Raghav Juyal. So it was quite an experience!”

She is all praise for  her director Nikhil Bhat. “I am just honoured to have worked with Nikhil sir because like Mira di even his eye for details is beautiful to watch! From getting the dialect right to how he had written out all the action sequences in the script! You know there is a genius mind at work when he could play out his vision like that in words and make everybody else experience it with him. He truly is worldclass!I have been working on a series with Reliance  Paan Parda Zarda which has been announced. So that’s all for now.I want to revel in the work that gives me  the most joy and give  my best to every project.”