Hello, folks! In this week’s #BlabWithSandy, we have an actress who is the current sensation. Her recent release ‘RRR’ had her playing a small but a pivotal role that signifies the basis of the plot. If you have watched the film, you would have noticed the character of Loki, the young mother to the little girl named Malli. Loki’s character shall stay with you for months to come, and it was played by none other than Ahmareen Anjum. Let’s wait no further and dive into the exciting blab I had with Ahmareen.
Sandy: Hey, Ahmareen! Firstly, congratulations on the success of your latest release ‘RRR’, which has become India’s biggest blockbuster.
Ahmareen: Hi, Sandy! Thank you. Yes, it all feels magical.
Sandy: Even before we talk about ‘RRR’, could you throw some light upon your early background?
Ahmareen: I was born in Ranchi, Jharkand. I am the only child to my parents, wherein my dad is a retired senior central government official. We’d moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) and I grew up there. I did my education and, I’d graduated from Kolkata itself. My mom is a professional social worker & professor.
Sandy: How and when did acting interest you?
Ahmareen: I have always been fascinated by films. I used to mouth Shah Rukh Khan’s dialogues and used to watch cinema regularly. At the age of 12 or 13, I made my first short film. After completing my twelfth, I graduated in Mass Communication and Videography from St. Xavier’s. I did a course that had direction, editing, sound and everything related to film-making. I was passionate about acting as it was my first love. But I wanted to learn other skills as well which would help me in the long run.
I did my diploma in acting from Roshan Taneja school of Acting. I was also a part of late Usha Ganguly ji’s theatre group in Kolkata for a few years. After which, I felt confident about moving to Mumbai to try out my career with regards to acting and films. The first time I felt sure about becoming an actress was when I turned 15. Later, when I turned 21 years old, I felt the need to become one as I did not want to do anything else apart from acting.
Sandy: Inspiring journey! 😊 So, when did you get your first break?
Ahmareen: I had nobody in the industry as my parents catered to different streams of career path. I knew that I had all the talent, but I just need to polish it and also get an avenue wherein I could showcase my talent.
My first advertisement offer came to me after I had given auditions for more than 8-months. I had given myself a year’s time to get something fruitful but until the first eight months, I literally didn’t find any foothold. This first ad of mine was a public service ad which signified the importance of washing our hands. It was helmed by director Shimit Amin.
Sandy: Apart from acting, you are also into coaching people with the basics of acting. You also are inclined towards writing and direction. What is your acting company all about and how do you see yourself in the next few years down the line?
Ahmareen: During the covid freeze, almost all the artists were stuck at home. That’s when I and another actor friend of mine, Danny Sura, felt the need to start an acting company. It is called ‘Act with Confidence’, wherein we train aspiring actors via online acting workshops. I enjoy teaching people as we learn and grow together, and having a good cultural mix is a great opportunity to explore & understand human behaviour.
I would like to continue my acting career as of now but down the line, I am keen to direct films and showcase interesting stories to the viewers. I am confident about my skills; thus, I would love to conquer my talent in a way that I get to work on them and bring out some wonderful stories.
Sandy: Incredible! If we look at your filmography, you have had limited films but with huge impact. Each of your roles have been diverse in nature, and so where the films! How happy are you with your career graph?
Ahmareen: Be it ‘Sir’, ‘Tottaa Pataaka Item Maal’, or ‘Class of 83’, each of it had me playing a totally different role and I am happy to have had such films at the start of my career. For me, the length of the role doesn’t matter as much as the challenge factor that is present in that role. Even if the role is a small one, if that role has importance, I will go for it!
Sandy: Talking about ‘RRR’, the film has turned out to be a sensation and so has your character in it. How did you grab the opportunity of being a part of this magnum opus?
Ahmareen: I would say I am lucky to have received the chance to play the role of the young tribal mother named Loki. It was a simple process, wherein in 2017, I had given the audition for this project at Jogi Mallang’s casting office in Mumbai.
I had almost forgotten that I had given the audition, as after two years of it, I received a call stating that I have been finalized for the role of Loki in SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’. I was shocked but totally jubilant after receiving the news.
Sandy: What went behind preparing for the role of Loki? Though, you are seen for a limited duration, the impact that it created and the value that Loki’s role has in the film is immense!
Ahmareen: I didn’t have too much gap between being called for the role and getting to the location for shooting. They gave me my character brief and I understood that the role carries huge emotions of the Gond tribe. I had researched and understood the way the Gond people look and behave.
I very much relied on the emotions that were to be used whilst playing that role. I didn’t want it to be mechanical so I felt those emotions in the moment, and I am glad that it paid off so beautifully.
Sandy: How was the experience of working under the direction of SS Rajamouli?
Ahmareen: It was, indeed, brilliant! An overwhelming experience to say the least. I was nervous initially but when I first met him, he was so down to earth that it took me a while to recognize him. His entire family is very humble, and it shows on the set.
He had a clear vision of every frame that he wanted to shoot. The way he used to brief us about our roles made our work easier. I am proud of the fact that I got to act in SS Rajamouli’s film such early on in my career.
Sandy: What were the shoot locations for your part in RRR?
Ahmareen: I had shot my sequences in the wonderful locales of Araku.
Sandy: How have the accolades been for you after the release of RRR?
Ahmareen: Most of the appreciation has been coming in the form of memes, and I am loving it, hahaha! It’s like no one knew much about me before and after the release, the recognition has built up many folds higher. I generally love memes and I have been tagged in so many of my memes. It just feels surreal, and I am enjoying this phase. Real and honest appreciation is what an artist aspires for, and I am getting it in abundance.
Quick Shot Round:
- Your biggest fear: It would be any sort of a personal failure
- Imagine you being stuck in a lift with two film personalities. Who would you want them to be? Aditya Roy Kapur and Shah Rukh Khan! I love them
- Worst habit: I sometimes overthink
- Good and bad about the film industry: The good thing is that there are a lot of opportunities for all. The bad thing would be that talent isn’t always valued and one needs connections to succeed.
- NTR Jr.: He is an extraordinary performer
- Ram Charan: A person who has a fierce and an enigmatic personality
- RRR for you is? A dream which came true
- If not an actress, Ahmareen would have been a? Director
- Favorite holiday destination: Anywhere in the mountains.
- Directors you’d like to work with: So many! Shoojit Sircar and Alankrita Srivastava as the starters, hahaha!
- A film you watched recently and wished you were a part of such cinema: The main lead in The Great Indian Kitchen
- Dream role: I want to play a magical character, I am a big Harry Potter fan.
- Your biggest regret: I do not think upon regrets. I like to stay as happy as I can be!
Sandy: What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
Ahmareen: Nothing concrete! But there is one film script that I read recently which has a strong character for me. I hope it materializes and we get to start shooting soon. I worked on a short film called ‘Jal Daanav’ which is doing rounds at the festival circuit. I am again going to kickstart my ‘Act with Confidence’ acting workshops online in a few weeks from now and I am really excited about it.
Sandy: Anything that you’d like to say to all the people who loved ‘RRR’?
Ahmareen: I would like to thank the fans of NTR, Ram Charan, and Rajamouli sir for showing so much love towards our film. I garnered fans after the release of the film, and I must thank them for showing so much support to me.
Recently, one of my posts went viral and it clocked more than 40k likes, which is great! I shall be coming up with more films and roles that will surely be liked by one and all. Keep supporting me. Thanks once again for making ‘RRR’ such a humungous hit!
Editor’s note: It was great blabbing with the bubbly Ahmareen Anjum. She has shown her talent within a few frames of hers in ‘RRR’ and it is evident that she is here to stay and rule the box office in the coming years. We discussed many other things whilst chatting and it is going to be an exciting journey ahead. Wishing Ahmareen, a career filled with claps and bouquets! 😊
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy
Follow Ahmareen @ahmareenanjum