Well, if you read the interview you guys will come to know a shocking revelation about the real Snigdha Pandey...
Enjoy the read
What has been special in your career journey?
The whole journey has been so special. I fondly remember my theatre days in Delhi when I used to rush from my college (Daulat Ram College) to the Mandi House where our theatre (Act One Theatre Group) used to take place. The Delhi winters are something that I miss sorely. The he heady excitement of the proscenium plays and how it used to feel like and how our life depended on the day's show were exciting. I have had a very unpredictable and unexpected journey. I have changed cities where I went from Kolkata to Delhi and then from Delhi I came to Mumbai and I never thought that Mumbai will treat me so good. Getting my first show, Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain, within the first month of landing in Mumbai; then getting a foreign film and Bengali unexpectedly; and now Navya. The character is appreciated so much in spite of being Negative. All this is very special to me.
What are the earlier shows you have done?
I started my TV career with Angrezi mein Kehte hain on NDTV Imagine and then went ahead to do 'Jahan Pe Basera Ho' on Star Plus. I have also done Chhajje Chhajje Ka Pyar on Sony TV more recently. Apart from this I have done a foreign film (Uzbek) Muhabbatnoma-Legend of Love and a yet unreleased Bengali Film Blind Lane where I play the protagonist. The Bengali film comes under the genre of serious Bengali cinema and it's a film based on naxalism in which I play, a news paper columnist. I am waiting for this film to release.
What is so unique about doing Navya?
Navya is a very contemporary drama with which the younger generation as well as their parents will be able to identify with. The characters are very real and close to life. Like I play the main negative in the show but I am no where over the top or over dramatic. What is happening in Rama's life and how she is reacting to it with her limited way of thinking is very real and close to life. Siddharth Sir had talked to me about the character and asked me to keep it subtle and close to real life. Rama in herself has so many aspects to her character that it is very interesting and challenging to play her. There is so much to do as she is deploying all the emotions to get her job done. There is not even one emotion left out in her strategy; Saam,Daam,Danda and Bheda. She is familiar with all the ways of blackmail. I am so grateful to the producer of Navya that they have given me an opportunity to play Rama as she is an actor's delight. There is not one day that I come back from the shoot and Rama has not given me a fresh insight. This is by far the most interesting character that I have played and I just love it.
How did you get role in Navya?
I got a call from the casting department of Swastik Pictures last year; the same time I was shooting for my Bengali Film 'Blind Lane' in Siligudi. After returning to Mumbai I called them up to check if the casting was still going on and I was lucky that it was still on. I was called for an audition followed by a look test. We tried variations in the audition for how much dialect should Rama have and also tried many looks for her. A few days later I was called for a meeting with Rahul Tiwary sir and I signed the show.
How is it working with Swastik Pictures and Siddharth Tiwary?
Working with Swastik Pictures and Siddharth Sir is just so wonderful. Swastik Pictures is known for its social shows that try to give a message to the society. Whether it be Agle Janam, or Pitah or Phulwa; they all carry powerful social messages and are family shows providing clean entertainment. Swastik Pictures is a leading and fast growing Production house and I am proud to be associated with it. Siddarth Sir is a fabulous human being and a wonderful producer who gives his actors a lot of freedom to develop their characters. At the same time he gives valuable inputs for the building up of the role. After I had signed Navya, he met me personally and discussed all the nuances of the character of Rama Bajpai; her psyche, her background, her ambitions and what makes her negative. He also told me in detail how my character would develop with the show and explained the importance of bringing the character to life without exaggerating on her accent and mannerisms. I remember his words, 'keep it subtle, keep it real'. After that he gave me a free rein in developing my character and still whenever I meet him I always seek his valuable Inputs.
Your interests other than acting?
I am Interested in watching films pertaining to World Cinema (I am a huge film buff that I have watched three films back to back almost all my life on free days), reading books (last book I read was Roots tracing an African slaves seven generations after he is caught in Africa and brought to America), listening to good music like Sufi, Ghazals, Contemporary and I love Hindi film songs too. I also do a lot of creative writing like poems and stories in Hindi and English. I had written a full-fledged feature film script while I was in college.
People think you are from a Hindi medium. Comments.
People perceive Television to be reality. That is not surprising as they spend a big part of their day glued to their screens. This was something that I had to come to terms with when I decided to do a negative character and that too someone who was less educated and spoke in a dialect. People had their reservations about this kind of role telling me that I might be typecast and that people will think me to be like the character I play. Well, I always say that in any story if everyone plays the good guys how will the story progress and I have a special liking to be in the bad team for the simple reason that it is more exciting and interesting. Well, so far as being Hindi medium is concerned, my Hindi and Urdu are very good and so is my English. I am a Masters in Economics and very little of that was taught in Hindi medium. I am also fluent in Bengali and can manage a little of Punjabi, Marathi and Uzbek (after doing an Uzbek Film).
If not an actress?
I would be a script writer. I used to write scripts for Doordarshan while in college to earn extra pocket money. I also have aspirations to get behind the camera in direction.
Your favourite hero and heroine.
In India my favourite actors are Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan,Hrithik Roshan and actresses include Kajol, Vidya Balan, Madhuri Dixit,Sridevi
How is it working with Shaheer Sheikh and Soumya Seth?
The set of Navya is like a second home to us and we are like a big happy family. Both Shaheer and Soumya are wonderful co-actors and even better human beings. Shaheer is a lot of fun on the sets. He is constantly joking around, pulling some one's leg and basically entertaining everyone around. We are great friends and it is difficult to keep a straight face while doing all that heavy drama with him. There have been many a time that I have burst out laughing in the middle of a serious scene and have been scolded. There was a scene in which he comes to know that I am pregnant and I had to feel shy as he looks at me. I kept on laughing and it was so infectious that every one joined in. I canned this scene with a lot of difficulty. Soumya is quieter, but a very sweet girl. I wish them both best of luck.
Any prank incidents.
There was a scene wherein I am rushing into my room after I eavesdrop into the conversation between Anant and Mohan. Every time I would be about to enter the room Mohan and Anant who were standing behind me would call my name or tap me on the shoulder to distract me and on action I would enter the room laughing or smiling and end up getting scolded. But I still did not complain to the director as that would be not in accordance with the laws of friendship.
There was another scene where I am scolding my sister after she puts honey in Bua Dai's dress and Savita Chachi over hears us. It was a serious scene in which Chachi just glares at us with disbelief. On that day we had two back to back shifts after which all of us were dead tired and almost asleep on our legs. Suddenly Chachi entered and instead of glaring, she started laughing and dancing in front of us making fun of how Bua Dai would say 'Oh Ma, cheenti. We were all in splits and not sleepy any more. The whole team laughed their guts off and was refreshed.
Are you single or seeing someone? What kind of dream man you want?
Single. And I want someone with the inclinations of my heart.
How is it working with Mohan, your on screen hubby?
Mohan is a very good actor and that really helps in bringing out my performance. I have always loved every single scene that I have done with him. He really tries to bring out the performance of his co-actors. He emotes with sincerity even when his back is to the camera and his co-actors closes are being taken. When not shooting he is chilled out and fun loving and has a very good sense of humour. He keeps us all in splits.
What do you love to watch on TV?
I love to watch Films on TV. Due to shoots I am not able to follow any TV serial religiously but I do watch Navya whenever I can.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Right now I am very satisfied playing Rama as she is able to satisfy my creative urges. Hopefully Navya will break all records and be on air for the next five years. I am also looking towards building a special relation with Swastik Pictures and do more work with them.
What does fame mean to you?
Fame is when people know you. They are inspired or influenced by you. I want to touch people's life in a positive way by entertaining them and bringing a smile on their face.
What are the social causes close to your heart?
Children's education, clean Environment and helping senior citizens.
You are said to be passionate about photography. What do you love to click ideally?
I am passionate about writing and I write poems, stories in Hindi and English.
What are your career plans?
I want to play different roles that challenge and excite me. I also like the challenge of acting in different languages and have already done a foreign film and a regional film (Bengali). Acting in another language is being totally out of your comfort zone. That really leads to growth as an actor. I also want to dabble in script writing in the near future and get into direction some day.