EXCLUSIVE: Manisha Koirala on Netflix's Maska, Karisma Kapoor's Mentalhood & Coronavirus

Updated on Apr 03, 2020 10:04 AM IST  |  2M
EXCLUSIVE: Manisha Koirala on Netflix's Maska, Karisma Kapoor's Mentalhood & Coronavirus
EXCLUSIVE: Manisha Koirala on Netflix's Maska, Karisma Kapoor's Mentalhood & Coronavirus

"Hi," goes Manisha Koirala and the magical tunes of R D Burman's "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga" find its way into my head. Manisha has starred in several movies, including 1942 A Love Story, Mann, Akele Hum Akele Tum and Dil Se, reminding us time and again that she pumps a unique sense of characterism into every role she portrays. Her role in Maska is no exception. The 49-year-old plays Diana Irani in the Netflix movie and it was a treat to watch her. She owned every scene she starred in. 

But how did she manage to nail every scene? Turns out, Manisha left no stones unturned to make sure she plays the perfect Parsi from South Bombay. In an exclusive conversation with Pinkvilla, Manisha revealed the preparation she underwent for the role, her take on the audience watching content on OTT platforms, Karisma Kapoor's Mentalhood and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. 

Here's an excerpt from the conversation: 

1. How are you spending time during the quarantine? 

Well, busy with watching Netflix, doing my yoga and Pranayam and trying to keep everybody healthy and safe in the house. 

2. Tell us about your preparation for Maska? 

Neeraj Udhwani (director of Maska) and the whole team came to narrate the script to me. Trust me, when I was hearing the story for the first time, I was enamored by the narration. In my head, I said if I have to do this movie, I have to take up the accent the way it was narrated to me. My whole thing was I should be able to get the diction right and I should look the part. How do I manage to do that? The whole process was actually very beautiful. The production team provided me with a very, very, very good diction teacher called Monaz.

3. Did you visit Irani Cafes as part of your preparation? 

We went to a lot of Parsi places; we went to see Irani Cafes. I learned a lot about the history of Parsi people, how the Zoroastrians travelled and what all they've done. They have done a lot for Mumbai; a lot for the society - the architecture structure, infrastructure - so much they've done. Parsi culture has contributed a lot. I went to a Parsi colony as well. Seeing how they live, what are the value system they carry, it was a beautiful and loving experience. I have had friends I have known for 30-35 years, but I had not peeped into the whole culture and tradition. This movie helped me get into the Parsi culture. 

4. How was it working with a few fresh faces? 

The young actors today are so well prepared, they are so focused. Prit (Kamani) has done such a wonderful job in the film. He's got a bright future. 


5. Have any of your friends and family watched the movie yet? What have their reviews been? 

I got a lot of messages on Facebook. My mother is mostly on social media connecting with our family in Nepal. A lot of my friends reached out to me and family members told me they've seen the film and they've liked it very much. It's a light-hearted film in grim days so I think everyone's liked it. It take your mind off the situation. 

When it released, all my family members, whoever is at home with me - my mom, my dad - we all said that 'chalo kaam bandh kar ke let's watch the film.' It was a joy to see it. 

6. You've worked in films with big Bollywood banners and now also have experience of working in movies for OTT platforms. Do you see any difference between the two mediums? 

I feel there even the big productions of Bollywood have large viewers. I enjoyed going to theatres and watching movies as well. I love my popcorn and I love spending my Sundays with friends. Now, I feel viewers also have an option to sit at home and watch anything from across the globe. Films like Maska on a platform like Netflix releases in more than 100 countries. For everybody, it is such a win-win situation. The talents get a chance to perform, they get a chance to showcase their work across the globe. And the viewers get so many options, sitting at home, at their leisure and come back to watch it again. The OTT platform is great. 

7. Many 90s stars are moving towards the OTT platform. Karishma Kapoor recently did Mentalhood. Raveena Tandon announced she is writing and producing a web series. What are your thoughts on this? 

If you are talented and you're going to work hard, it is time for everyone, it is a space for everybody. Actually it is a great time for creative people, it is a great time to work, it's a great time for people who want to work. So there are opportunities for all of us. Whether you are young, whether you are a 20-year-old or whether you are 40-year-old, it really doesn't matter. It is a great time for entertainment, it's a great time for artists. 


8. Have you watched Mentalhood yet? 

I haven't seen it but I would love to see it. 

9. What are your thoughts on the Coronavirus outbreak: 

At this point of time the most I do is reach out through Facebook, WhatsApp, my social media and basically ask them to follow the government's rules and follow the guidelines, be self-quarantined. Everyone need to take this stuff seriously. We've seen big big places, developed countries in challenging situations. Keep up with the world news and just be careful and take care. I haven't stepped out of the house for a long time now. I just hope and pray that this situation has given us enough time to rethink. I feel this whole situation (has brought us) very close and together. 

This pause was needed for the earth to heal. I have seen in the news that dolphins are coming to Mumbai shores, cleared sky, less pollution, and all that. In good time, this forced pause, I hope we come out of this stronger, kinder and better human beings.

Stay tuned to Pinkvilla for more updates. 

ALSO READ: Maska Review: Prit Kamani, Manisha Koirala's Netflix film is smooth as maska; Jaaved Jaaferi is cherry on top


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2 years ago
Like it so so much,such a freshness in it.