What has been your reason for accepting the role of “Indira” ?
I am not interested in doing roles only for money…I want to be a real actress…I love acting…I love to get into the skin of a character and live her life when I am portraying her on television … Indira’s character is based on the lives of many young girls in our country. I am sure that almost everyone will know someone like her or would have atleast come across such a person once in their lives. That is why I accepted the role of Indira. Though it has been a challenge to maintain such a grim demeanor throughout the day, it has certainly had its rewards. Though the show has been on air for about a month now, people already associate me with Indira wherever I go. Even in Delhi, I have people on the streets refer to me as ‘Hitler’. It is quite a high to have your work recognized in such a short time.
You had once mentioned that you are not the type of actress to do a saas-bahu show in future. What are the kind of roles that interest Rati Pandey?
After having done a saas –bahu drama once in my career, I would like to explore other types of roles. As long as the show has a different concept, I am open to doing it. I don’t like Saas-Bahu dushmani, Rona Dhona type serials. I think they’ve had their moment under the sun, they’re outdated now. They project only two done-to-death stereotypical images of a woman … They’re either the evil, ever-scheming, ever-plotting breed or they fall in the category of the demure damsels perennially in distress. There are so many other aspects to a woman’s character. I like shows that feature women as well-rounded individuals with depth of character, rather than painting them as limp, uni-dimensional caricatures. That is one of the main reasons I took up the role of Indira – because while she has had to face some difficult circumstances, there are also several lighter aspects to her life that are brought out on the show. Beyond my current role, I would also love to do reality show someday, but the show should be music related.
So, is music your passion ?
That’s true. I can’t live without music. Music is like relaxation therapy for me. Right now it’s just a hobby and I am not yet talking about getting into it as a professional. But I would like to go down that path someday!
Are you a good singer?
How good I am as a singer, only time will tell. In fact I was to come up with an album of peppy numbers with Piyush Soni but there was an inordinate delay in the project. In any case, I prefer to go slow and steady instead of zooming to the top overnight and crashing down with a thud shortly.
Indira in Hitler Didi is a very no nonsense person. What is Rati like in real life ?
Indira and I are poles apart as individuals. Unlike Indira, I am a complete extrovert and love making friends. I am also very possessive about my friends. But I don’t like making friends randomly to just fill in the gaps when I have nothing better to do. I feel that rather than making many friends just for time-pass, we can have fewer friends but they should be very special .
Tell us something about your co-stars and shooting in Delhi, Mumbai and now Macau? Where is Hitler Didi going next?
The entire unit is warm and friendly and often there is a lot of fun and masti on the sets which is primarily initiated by Sumit (Vats) who is the master prankster on the team. I get along really well with Smita and the rest of the actors on the show. We are like one big family. The people of Mumbai are broad minded and that’s what I like about them. Macau was a great outdoor shoot. And while it was a lot of work, Macau was also a lot of fun. It’s a beautiful island. We managed to do a little sight-seeing and shopping as well!
Considering that you also hail from a small town, was it tough to convince your parents to let you take up acting?
I may have been born in a small town but the fact is that I have been brought up in a very liberal family where I was actually treated like a son by my parents.
As an actor, are you open to do negative roles in serials?
If I am offered a role which is not only noticeable but also challenging to the core in a serial, I am game to do even a negative role. However, let me reiterate that I do not want to be yet another vamp in yet another saas bahu serial
Why do you have this aversion to playing the vamp in a saas bahu show?
I do not wish to play the vamp in any saas bahu show for the simple reason that the actresses playing these roles are required to not only wear loud make up which I find obnoxious, but are also expected to ham ridiculously, resorting to all kinds of exaggerated mannerisms and facial contortions. Strictly avoidable!
Are you looking at a career in films too?
Yes. I am open to act in films too… I have gained some experience as an actress by working in TV serials. I have already acted in a few Telugu films. But, I feel that cinema is an altogether different ballgame.
How apprehensive are you as far as the casting couch is concerned?
Though I concede that working in the television industry is very safe as far as girls are concerned, I’d also say that how you are perceived or thought of all depends upon you as an individual. In any field, you will automatically fall a willing prey if you show desperation of any kind. As far as Bollywood is concerned, I am waiting for good offers from big banners and the casting couch is absoultely ruled out.