Navika Kotia has blossomed into a strong individual today, and she carries the onus of playing the female lead in Zee TV’s newly launched show Kyunki Saas Maa Bahu Beti Hoti Hai. Navika has had a great grooming as a child actor. Kasamh Se, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Saath Phere, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, are some of the TV shows she was popularly seen in. She is also known very well as the onscreen daughter of Sridevi in the film English Vinglish.
In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Navika talks about her return to acting in a lead role, on her dreams and aspirations for the future.
From being a very popular child artist in TV and Bollywood to bagging the lead role in Kyunki Saas Maa Bahu Beti Hoti Hai, how has the acting bug treated you?
I started acting as a kid and later, took a break to focus on academics. I even worked in the corporate field for some time, just to get experience and decide what I want to do in life. After trying and testing almost everything possible in my calibre, I decided to pick acting as my full-time career. I am so glad that I did. It has been a year or so after I made a comeback. This is my first lead role after my return. I am happy about it. This is what I imagined doing, and I am grateful.
Do you think there is any startling change in the functionality in the TV industry when compared to your child days. Explain.
Not really, more or less it feels the same. Being on set, the working environment seems the same to me. As a kid, I used to do it as a hobby. Now, it is my passion and my career. So I think my focus on acting now, is more. I am not juggling academics and acting. My only priority right now is acting. I want to work on my skills and give my best.
Take us through the attributes that you like in Kesar?
I love Kesar. At times, I feel she is too good as a person. I look up to her. I wish I had that control over my emotions, anger etc. She knows what her goal in life is. She will keep that very clear in her head and make decisions according to that. I don’t know how she is so mature and sorted. But that is something I like about her. I love her styling, I like how Kesar dresses up. I like the Indo-Western touch in her attire style.
How easy or tough is this role for you?
Initially, it was a little difficult for me. Kesar comes from the royal family. She has a certain elegance to herself, is soft-spoken, and polite. On the contrary, I am more exuberant and bubbly. So I had to change myself a little bit. But now, I am all into the character. I am enjoying it. I have worked on the Gujarati dialect and made it better too.
Before starting this new phase as an actor, what is the learning that you want to keep in mind?
There were so many things. When you are doing a lead character in a daily soap on TV, it is a different ball game. I had to mentally prepare myself for it. I knew I was going to be super busy. Now I am living that. It does get tough at times, as you are working non-stop for 15 hours. So there is no personal life after that. My life is revolving on this show right now. But the environment on the set, the people, the cast and the crew is nice. I like the character I am playing. So I was mentally preparing myself for this phase, and I am loving it right now.
How is it working with the cast of the show?
This is the best cast that I have ever worked with. I really do not want to jinx it. We have amazing chemistry with the entire family. We all eat lunch together. We are always chilling on set when free. Nobody wants to sit in their rooms. Even the crew is hanging around with us.
What do you intend to take away from this valuable experience that you have got?
I am learning so much every day. Whether it is about acting or it is about life, everyone teaches me. From Kesar, I get to learn a lot about life. So I will cherish a lot of memories from this set and carry them with me forever.
What are the dreams and ambitions you harbour as an actor?
There are a lot of dreams and ambitions. Honestly, getting a show like this was also a dream. It feels surreal that it is reality right now. One step at a time right now. I am grateful for what I am doing. I have a lot of plans in mind and have a lot of places where I want to be. I hope they will turn out well for me in future too.
What is the response you have got till now for Kesar and the show?
It is a great response that we are getting, considering the time slot the show has got. On social media, I can see how fans are engaged with the story. I love all their love. I am happy with the response. It is a new show, the story is building up. So I am looking forward for this connection of fans to increase.
How is the reaction at home? Any advice that you have got?
Everyone at home is very happy. They knew that I had always wanted something like this. They are happy for me. I get advice all the time. My mom is someone who has taught me acting from childhood. My brother has been an amazing actor. So I always ask them to watch their episode and give me their feedback. Mom and Dad do that. My mom gets very emotional and keeps crying when Kesar cries.
Your message to viewers.
To the audience, I want to thank them for all the love. Keep watching my show Kyunki Saas Maa Bahu Beti Hoti Hai every day on Zee TV and ZEE5 when you want. Keep loving me like this always.