WATCHING films with her parents growing up combined with a love of painting, sketching, dancing and music first connected Mrinal Navell to creativity. This led her towards pursuing a career in acting and starring in successful drama serial Yeh Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar.
She followed up that winning television turn by joining massively popular show Kundali Bhagya earlier this year. The rising star is looking forward to taking on more challenges as a performer and discussed her journey so far. She also spoke about her inspirations, Kundali Bhagya, future hopes and something not many people know about her.
What was the experience of working on Yeh Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar like?
It was amazing and a great schooling for me. I have a stage background, so working in front of the camera was different technically. Everybody was so patient with me, and motivational. I was the youngest and most junior, but nobody tried to patronise or belittle me. They always said good things about my work and criticised me in a healthy way, if they had to. So, it was a very good experience and great atmosphere to learn camera acting.
How does it feel joining popular show Kundali Bhagya?
Kundali Bhagya is a huge opportunity for me. I was looking for something good and fortunately, after a year break, I did get great work and a superb role. Kundali Bhagya will give me the popularity I need in my career. The cast and director are great. I looked back at the storyline so far and was impressed. I realized how they keep audiences hooked. It’s a landmark moment in my career. I’m really lucky and happy to be part of it.
Could you tell us about your character?
My character Kavya Arora is the daughter of the main protagonists Karan and Preeta Arora. She has come back after 20 years to her house. They have decided to get her married. She’s actually a good mix of both Karan and Preeta. Kavya is responsible and mature, but at the same time, she’s chirpy, spreads positivity and makes everybody happy.
Why do you think Kundali Bhagya is so popular with viewers?
It is so popular because they always keep the storyline so relatable to the audiences, including women and homemakers. Topics the show covers like marriage are relatable to everyone in some way. The diverse characters in the series are also relatable. The storylines are always interesting and keep you hooked.
What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I like all kinds of genres. I have two moods. I enjoy either artistic films and parallel cinema like Satyajit Ray classic Charulata or something very filmy. I’m a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan and enjoy his classics like Deewar and Kaalia.
Do you have a dream role in mind?
I don’t specifically have a dream role. I would really like to try all possible shades and characters of a person. That is why I became an actor – to explore different depths and layers of myself, and of human beings. I like to study human psychology and go deep into myself. I would like to try as many different characters and shades as possible, not just positive. I would like to explore negative or grey characters too.
If you could master something new, what would it be?
I joined pottery making classes a few months back and really enjoyed it. I don’t get time now but would really like to master it. Otherwise, I would like to learn a new language. I already learned writing in Urdu during and after lockdown.
What is the best advice you ever got?
I have got great advice at every point in my life and made the best use of it. My parents always told me that hard work always pays off and I believe in that. They always told me to concentrate on the work and not be worried about the fruit of it. And to let go of things that you cannot control. This is one thing I am still practising to inculcate in my life.
What about acting advice?
That being a good, hardworking, sincere person is more important than being a very good actor. That a very good actor, who is not a good person will never actually reach anywhere in life. You must be a very good person first, and then the acting can be improved. This is a very beautiful advice I’ve gotten.
Tell us something that not many people know about you?
People tend to think that I’m very extroverted and cheerful, but that’s not true. I’m very introverted and quiet when I’m on my own. I don’t like partying at all. When on holiday, I prefer sleeping, watching a beautiful movie, reading classic poetry and having a cup of ice cream. I’m a very homely kind of person. I’m kind of old-school girl.
What inspires you?
I still am looking for what inspires me. In terms of acting, a lot of actors inspire me. My parents, relatives and gurus inspire me all the time to be a good human. But what inspires me to keep living is something I’m still figuring out. I hope one day I’ll find it. Life is short, but we have to make it big. So, for now, I would like to make a difference in the world and spread positivity. I really would like to change the world a little bit at least, like maybe less hatred, less cruelty, less destruction. I guess I would like to do something in these areas