Suchitra Pillai joining the cast of psychological thriller Hello Mini is one of the high points of its latest season. The seasoned actor plays a cult leader KD Maa in Hello Mini 3, also starring Anuja Joshi and Mrinal Dutt. The Goldie Behl production is currently streaming on MX Player.
Suchitra, who shot for the MX Original Series soon after the lockdown was lifted last year, said she found her character interesting as she wasn’t loud and did things subtly.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Suchitra got candid about reuniting with Goldie Behl after 20 years, exploring the cult world in Hello Mini 3, and the opportunities that came her way in the digital space.
Is it difficult to find your mark when you enter an already established series?
Hello Mini is a known series, so you know people will come back. That was one big draw. Also, it was not a risky prospect, because you want to add your bit to something that’s already created waves. There’s so much going on in this cult business today. We are not putting down anybody, but we are trying to show the reality that it’s going on everywhere in this world.
Your character brings a mysterious twist to the story this time.
Goldie Behl directed me in Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai and introduced me to Bollywood. This was even before Dil Chahta Hai. Then after 20 odd years, he came back to me and said, “it’s time for us to work again.” He said my character is very strong, someone who people would sit up and take notice of. Goldie gave me a free hand in the way she would walk or talk. I’m glad the look was very simple and believable, just adding some highlight to the eyes, because KD talks a lot with her eyes. And when she talks, people listen (laughs).
It was a good break from the bad mother-in-law or the irritating girlfriend that I’ve played. I’ve been shouting in a lot of other stuff but KD had a composure.
Was there any inspiration for you? Such characters can become stereotypical after all.
Ofcourse we all have seen so many international documentaries but we didn’t model KD on anybody. Subconsciously, you might feel bits of this or that person. It’s a character who can exist in today’s age, having her ulterior motives. But I would say it wasn’t a conscious effort. Goldie was very clear about it.
The first day of shoot was this meditation sequence with my disciples, and then we all start going wild. In the end my director Arjun Srivasstava comes to me and says, “You really like this kind of stuff, don’t you?” That’s a positive for an actor on the first day of shoot.
Will you ultimately unleash the stranger?
Who knows, three (Hello Mini 3) might be the lucky number for Mini (laughs). On the first day of shoot, I kept asking Goldie whether I’ll be in season four. He said we’ll talk if there’s going to be another one. Let’s just say, people are not going to be disappointed.
You are experimenting with character roles in your projects off late, like Betaal and Hello Mini. Are you happy with the turn of things for you in the OTT space?
Frankly, the OTT platforms have given all of us a new lease of life. We are getting to do roles we’ve never done before. People are experimenting a lot more with the storylines. So, it’s been very interesting for me especially. Whatever platform I’ve worked on, the roles have not been repetitive. If I’ve played a bad aunt or a mother-in-law in TV serials, and I’m playing the same on an OTT platform, it’s still very different. Post the lockdown was lifted last year, from September to December, inclusive of two movies – one international and one Malayalam, I’ve done 6-7 projects. So, you’ll see a lot of me this year.
What genre you’d like to explore more?
Comedy, and I think that’s one area people need to tap on as far as OTT platforms and myself are concerned.
And after Goldie Behl, is there any other filmmaker you’d like to reunite with?
Farhan Akhtar and Pradeep Sarkar