Bindass channel is all set to launch it's first ever fiction web series "Girl in the City," which will star Mithila Palkar in the lead role. Mithila, who took the internet by storm with her cup songs, is all set to debut as an actor in the web series.
The curly-haired actress plays the role of small town girl Meera Sehgal, who reaches Mumbai with an aim to make it big in the fashion industry. "Girl in the City" comprises 13 episodes of 15 minutes each and will premiere on Facebook on April 28. This will be followed by a television airing on Bindass channel and then reach out to a wider audience on YouTube.
In an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, Mithila opened up on her cup song videos, her debut as an actor in the web series and and her Bollywood dreams.
Here are the edited excerpts from the interview –
International Business Times: How did you bag the role? Tell us more about your character in the web series.
Mithila: Still & Still Moving Pictures are the makers of this series and Bindass is of course the bigger umbrella. I had earlier auditioned for Amritpal Singh and Anand Tiwari, the co-founders of the Still & Still Moving Pictures company and this was the role they thought I would depict decently and that I should come audition for it and see what comes out of that. They shortlisted some of the people and I was one of them and then I auditioned for it. I met Samar Shaikh, the director of the series who took my audition, and that's how I became a part of the series.
She (Meera) is a girl who comes from a small town Dehradun but is an army officer's daughter. So, she is somebody who has not even lifted a glass from the dining table. It is a lavish life essentially and she has come here to experiment and wants to live an independent life. She is someone who sets her heart at something and knows that this is what she wants.
IBT: Is there any similarity between you and your character Meera?
Mithila: Well, the one similarity is definitely the fact that she is not scared of trying something new and that's how I am; if there is something that I want to do I will definitely try to do it and not just let it go.
IBT: Web series is a new trend in India and is being well received, what do you have to say about that?
Mithila: I am one of those completely pro-internet entertainment business. I am pretty glad that things are coming up on the internet because even as a freelance artist it's just so easy and convenient for one to experiment with things and just put it up and get exposed to so many people at one point. Because internet is accessible to more people than television today. So I think it's an excellent medium, it also filters your audience and is very audience-specific. TV is for certain audience and internet is for certain audience.
IBT: How is a web series different from TV shows?
Mithila: Apart from what I said, I think the content is getting better (laughs). I personally feel that the content on web shows is definitely getting better. The most important difference is that web doesn't limit you, I can make a five minutes video, I can make a 10 minutes video or a 45 minutes video, nobody is stopping me from. So I think that's the most significant and important difference between TV and web because it gives you that much freedom.
IBT: Do you think web series will pull more viewership than TV shows in future?
Mithila: I think so. If you are on the go, and if you have a mobile phone with you, do you watch a TV or do you watch something on the internet (Internet of course). It's as easy as that (laughs).
IBT: Before venturing into web series, you appeared in song video and a movie; how was your experience?
Mithila: The experience has been fantastic. I am only one-and-a-half-year old actor. I only started acting in June 2014 so have doubled with a lot of different medium. I have done ads, films but internet of course overpowered everything in my life and I am totally cashing in on the internet right now. In fact, I started my internet journey with a comedy news show "News Darshan" with a channel called Filter Copy. I have also done two sketches with the same channel, one is the "Annoying Things Boyfriends Do" and "Confusing Things Girlfriends Say" and both these videos went viral, after which I did my cup songs. That was completely out of an experiment (cup songs) and I was not expecting whatever happened of it, I am of course not complaining but it came as a very pleasant surprise to me that it was received so well globally.
IBT: How did you make the jump from viral videos and movie to web series? What new things did you learn from each?
Mithila: I have mentioned everything that I have done and everything that I have essentially learnt. Like I said I have been cashing in on the internet so far. At least for now, let me see how things go and I have never been a part of web series and I thought come let's see how things go and this was another experience that I wanted to take.
IBT: Your cup song videos went viral on social media. What do you have to say on that?
Mithila: It's amazing. It is completely unexpected, you don't know what will go viral and how it will go viral. But it was a wonderful experience for me. Agar koi India me koi keh raha hai ki mujhe marathi samajme nahi aa rahi lekin mujhe gana pasand aaya (if someone from India tells me that they don't understand Marathi but are still liking my song), Italian aur America aur Kuwait se mujhe messages same aye ki mujhe kuch samaj nahi lekin (People from Italy, America and Kuwait messages me saying that they didn't understand the language but) we are humming the song. So, that was the great achievement. I honestly didn't start with an intention that I am a Marathi so let's promote the language. It was a very humble experiment. It's nice to know that I helped the language reach so many places. Many people didn't know that this language exists. So I think that was the bigger achievement.
IBT: What do you prefer, acting or singing?
Mithila: Definitely acting. I don't call myself a singer but that is a very tricky question. Because, if you meet me on the sets, I am constantly singing.
IBT: What's next — as a singer as well as an actor?
Mithila: Hey, let's see I will surprise you. But for now definitely actor; I would like to do a lot of different acting projects and agar usi bahane kuch gaane mil jata hai to (if I get to sing while acting then), why not? Today, so many actors and actresses like Shraddha Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt sing while they act. So I would love to do everything. I would love to sing, I would love to dance, I am training as a Kathak dancer it's been two years.
IBT: You have worked with Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut in "Katti Batti." How was your experience of working with the Bollywood stars and who do you intend to work with in future?
Mithila: It was fantastic. Imran is a sweetheart. I had a lot of scenes with Imran compared to Kangana. Kangana and I had two scenes. But Imran and I had a lot of scenes to do, very happy, very emotional scenes. It was a lot of fun working with him because he never really made me feel that he is "the Imran Khan." As for Kangana, I met her on the sets of "Katti Batti" after watching "Queen" and that was literally my fan moment and I was completely star-struck. The good part is that they were not intimidating; they were very cooperative and were very supportive of us being the new people on the sets.
And in future I would like to work with Ranbir Kapoor. Although I can't play the lead opposite Ranbir at the moment, as I am much younger to him, I can be a supporting cast or it can be a story of a brother and sister or it can be a story of two best friends of 10 years apart. I am not saying that I want to be somebody's heroine, I would also like to work with Madhuri (Madhuri Dixit Nene). I would love her to play my mother.
IBT: Say something about your Bollywood dreams.
Mithila: To be honest, I haven't really thought about it. When I started acting, I didn't have a plan. Everything fell into place on its own and I am not saying that I didn't work for it, I definitely did. I had to run around for a lot of auditions. I don't come from a school of acting and was essentially very new to the industry, so for me whatever good work came, I took it up.