Hello People! If you are reading this, then I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have mostly interviewed well known people but with this one, I got to interview someone who is well known, not for himself as an individual, but for the character that he portrayed in Netflix show Delhi Crime.
Mridul Sharma played the main accused Jai Singh’s role and won many brickbats from the viewers. Yes, brickbats! People actually got incensed by his act and felt like beating him up if they found him in person. Only when an actor performs his role remarkably well does the audience feel this way and Mridul falls in this category. He won brickbats for the “character” he played and eventually won the hearts of many people in real.
So, I would like to thank you all for giving your time to reading this interview. It’s time that you know a little more about Mridul Sharma. He is going to be very well-known face soon.
Sandy: Hello Mridul ji. Kaise hain aap?
Mridul: I am good Sandy! Ek dum badiya. Thank you.
Sandy: Could you let us know about your background.
Mridul: I belong to Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. My father worked for the State Government. I did my graduation in Mass Communications from Bilaspur itself. In 2013, I joined theatre and pursued acting from Central University in Wardha.
After my MA in Performing Arts and Film Studies, in 2014 I took part in the National Eligibility test in Theatre and passed it. I became so passionate about acting and films that I even completed my M. Phil in Cinema studies.
Sandy: Wonderful! It isn’t always that someone completes a “complete” education in Films but you did so! 🙂
Mridul: Yes Sandy! Even during school days, I used to take part in cultural and sports events. I used to score very well in my studies too. Bachpan se main Film Lover tha. I did not know that ‘hero’ and an ‘actor’ are two different things. Whenever I watched a film, I always wanted to be a ‘hero’, hahaha!
Sandy: How encouraging were your parents with the life choice that you made of being an actor?
Mridul: Not many used to do theatre in our known circle. I had no film background. Most of the families wanted their boy to do a typical government job, become a happy family and lead a hassle-free life. I belong to a middle-class family and my choice was different from the rest of the boys.
Once I chose my stream, I met a few theatre personalities in Delhi and Nagpur who motivated me. They asked me to explore opportunities in films and guided me to study further.
Sandy: How easy or difficult was your journey into films while your stay in Mumbai?
Mridul: Once I landed in Mumbai, I applied at all the known casting agencies that I knew. The first chance that I got was ALT Balaji’s web series called Bose: Dead or Alive which had Rajkummar Rao in it. I did a very small role and it isn’t that noticeable too. 🙂
I just stand in the background with a group of people. That was my first offer and I felt let me just be in it. I came to Mumbai in April 2017 and in December of the same year, I received a call from Mukesh Chhabra’s casting company. It was a branded casting company and I definitely wanted to give it a chance. I was called for the audition and was picked for the role of Jai Singh for Delhi Crime.
Sandy: What was your reaction when you learnt your part in Delhi Crime? It is based on the prime accused in the much talked about Nirbhaya Case.
Mridul: Yes Sandy. I was shocked the moment I read about the character. I did not accept it initially. As a general actor, I too was looking for only positive roles. I became nervous and couldn’t decide.
I asked my seniors and they told me that many aspiring actors try day-in and day-out for small roles and this chance that I was getting was of a negative lead, and that too in a concept which is so heartening and hitting.
It was around 8 months that I came to Mumbai and getting this opportunity was great in itself as there are people that I know, who are still struggling to get their first break. That’s when I decided to give it my nod.
Sandy: What went behind prepping up for the character of Jai Singh?
Mridul: It is a real-life character that I had to portray. I did a lot of preparation. I wanted to be a well-read artist and I took it as a responsibility to understand the character to the fullest. I learnt his psychology, what made him think in that way, what made him do the heinous crime that he lead and other minute details.
I checked YouTube videos about him, I saw Kiran Bedi ji’s Aap Ki Kacheri show about him. I got 15 days to prepare and I did what all I could in those 15 days. I used to watch videos featuring him on a repeat mode (minimum 5-6 times a day).
I mastered his vocabulary, body language and understood his alpha male traits. I felt very saddened with the turn of events that happened on that fateful night and while watching these videos, I felt gutted and really bad about what occurred.
Only because of the deep study I did, was I able to perform my lengthy monologue for which I received huge appreciation. Not only his, but I also watched videos of his family to understand everything about him as an individual.
Sandy: How has the reception been towards your work and the web series in totality?
Mridul: Bohot hi badiya Sandy. I got a lot of calls from people and am still receiving appreciation. Bohot accha lag raha hai.
Sandy: You worked alongside stellar performers like Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal and others. How was it working with them?
Mridul: For me it’s like a lifetime achievement award. Shefali ji is a superb actress and it felt fantastic getting to know her personally. Rasika Dugal is a very sweet person. Rajesh Tailang ji is a flawless actor, ek dum world class.
Quick Shot Round:
- Favorite genre: I love Biopics
- Best compliment that you received: Many! Shefali ji, Rajesh ji, Rasika ji and others complimented me on the sets itself. The FTII’s star batch of 2009 (Rajkummar Rao, Jaideep Ahlawat, Vijay Verma) has another great actor, Mr. Chandrashekhar ji. I used to meet him regularly and he is a very frank person. He said my work has impressed him very much
- Directors that you would like to work with: Many! 🙂 I would love to work again with Delhi Crime director Richie Mehta
- A film that you saw recently and felt like being in it: Sanju! I would have loved to play Vicky Kaushal’s character and I would have given my touch to it
- Delhi Crime: Chamatkar, much like an Aashirvad to me.
- Shefali Shah: World class actress
- If not an actor, you would have been a: Sportsperson, maybe a cricketer
- One good thing and one bad thing about the industry: I feel the talented individuals will be paid their due eventually. There will be roadblocks, but they will get their chances. The bad thing is that, depending on someone may not get you the results. Do not depend on anyone. Independent raho aur apni journey khud se banao. Sabki journey different hoti hai.
Sandy: What are your upcoming projects?
Mridul: I am doing a film called OM which is scheduled to release in August. I got this offer via Mukesh Chabbra’s casting company yet again. It has Jatin Sarna (Sacred Games fame) and Jatin Goswami (Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) in it. I also got 2-3 web series projects.
Sandy: Any advice that you would like to give to the film aspirants who are vying to enter the film industry?
Mridul: If you want to be a good actor, please come only after being trained. I have seen many people who came without any preparation and left within no time. Bas focus rakhiye aur kaam main dhyaan di jiye. There will be problems but just stay focused and continue doing your hard work.
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.
Mridul: Sandy, I loved blabbing with you. I have seen your writings and you also told me you like acting. Aap akela yeh interviews chalaate hain. Bohot hi badiya Sandy. I wish your talent reaches Bollywood people and you get your due. Aur yeh bhi kaamna karta hu ki kaash hum jald hi ek dusre ke saath kaam karein. 🙂
Editor’s note: I had received many messages from many people regarding Mridul Sharma. They loved his performance and wanted me to let him know about it. Mridul Sharma is a very talented actor and a very pleasant individual. He has done what others couldn’t. He played a character which not many would have dared to play. Wishing him a super hit film career ahead!
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)
Thank you: Sonia Bera (PR Coordination)