EXCLUSIVE: 'On OTT, Even If It's For One Scene, Every Character Is Pivotal' — Harshita Gaur On Mirzapur 2

Shubanka Sridhar , 04 Nov 2020

Mirzapur has been a show that has garnered a lot of fan appreciation and love through its run. And the best part of it is that each and every character on the show is so well written and brilliantly portrayed that they have a fanbase of their own. One such is Dimpy a.k.a Harshita Gaur. Dimpy Pandit is Guddu’s sister on the show. From being a naive girl in the first season to showing a very different side to herself in the second season, her character has grown distinctly.

I got a chance to chat with the lovely Harshita and she speaks about what she learnt from Mirzapur, nepotism and a lot more.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Your character Dimpy has had an interesting trajectory this season, but the length of the role isn’t huge even though it is an important one. Any regrets on that front because as far as screen time goes actors are greedy and rightly so?

Well, Yes, more screen time is something that everybody likes, and why not? I mean it’s not a bad thing to want but having said that trust me, this is what I’ve learnt through Mirzapur that even if it’s a role that’s not widely spread and doesn’t have too many scenes, the relevance to the entire storyline is what matters. It is a different perspective of Mirzapur that you see through Dimpy’s eyes, where there is some normalcy and it is important to the whole world of Mirzapur. For me Dimpy has been really interesting play to because if you go to see, this time she’s not on either fathers or her brother’s side or maybe in a way she’s on both the sides but what she decided for herself was purely, from the point of view of how she would want to lead her life in the coming years. And can she be violent? Can she kill someone? Yes, she can but does she want that? No, she doesn’t so that’s a very very personal choice. So for me that trajectory of Dimpy was very interesting to play and portray. And I really don’t have any regret or think about the length of Dimpy’s role, because ultimately if a series is doing well, trust me all the characters become important. Also when the audiences see the truth while you’re performing a particular character and relate to, it’s a win for an actor. Imagine, had it been opposite for example, if the entire show was about me and people didn’t like the show. I mean, that would have been really bad. So if a series is a hit every character becomes so important and endearing and a treat to watch and which my writers have justified to the team.

You have done television and now OTT- so not just the platforms, but the content with regards to this show is also very different. What did you unlearn for Mirzapur?

Yes, having done both OTT and television, I do agree the content was very different. As a character, I had to unlearn the manipulation that my character Sanyukta had in Sadda Haq because Dimpy is not manipulative. She’s very upfront and very honest about what she feels. As an actor, I think I had to unlearn the fact that what I have always been told earlier that there’s only one important character on which the whole show is and the other characters merely become just sidebars, but I had to unlearn the fact that for web at least, you know, it is not like that, even if it’s two scenes or three scenes, every character is pivotal. But if you are chosen for a web series, you definitely are important to the series and that’s why you’re there.

How was it working with Ali and playing his sister on the show? Anything you liked and disliked about his way of working?

I really like the fact that even if we didn’t read our scenes together before, when we shot for the scenes, it was effortless. Ali is just so good at catching instincts and that made it easy for me to deliver as well as a co-actor. I can only talk about the things that I have experienced with him, but definitely I’m totally sure there could be one negative also about his way of working which I’ll discover soon.

Nepotism is an ongoing conversation in showbiz- as an outsider have you felt the unfairness?

No, I have not really felt any unfairness up till now. I think I’ve been very lucky when it came to meeting the right people and getting projects. Yes, of course, maybe I don’t know about the unfairness that would have happened. I mean it’s not something that bothers me too much at this moment. My life has been good. My career has been going well. So nothing like a first-hand experience. The Nepotism debate is useless, as it happens everywhere. Even a clerk would feel that his son would inherit his job especially if it is a government one. When I wanted to be an actor, my parents never said yes please drop what you’re doing and go become an actor. My parents are doctors and they don’t know anybody from the industry, they would have ideally wanted me to be a doctor, since it would have been easier. Whether I would have proven to be a good doctor or not that would come later, they would have tried to fit me in somewhere. When I came here, I was fully aware that I don’t know anyone and my peers from film background will have better opportunities but I still came here anyway because this is my passion. I agree some people have personal experiences that are bitter. But I don’t think it’s right to take the whole industry down and discourage people like me or others who want to come and work and fulfill their dreams. Every profession has its pros and cons. You can’t keep discouraging people or put the whole industry in bad light just because you had a negative experience

You have recently spoken about your childhood memories and firsthand experience of guns and ghoonghat and Mirzapur – any specific incident you recall that has stayed ?

I really can’t recall an incident as such. I just know that I was probably like 11 or 12 years old when I saw a pistol in the house, and I saw women with ghunghat up till their waist and how they used to press their elders’ feet. So that I had seen, but yes, of course our family was asked not to go to Mirzapur. I’ve heard of things like you shouldn’t be seen in that area, because my naani had gotten death threats.

I think Harshita was amazing on the show and cannot wait to see more of the actress on screen in the coming times!

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