Mithila Palkar, the young and vivacious actor, never failed to impress her audience with her charming smile and acting chops, irrespective of the medium or the language. She became an overnight sensation with her version of the Cup song in 2016 and got her own series Girl in the City. She also worked in the critically-acclaimed Marathi film Muramba and featured in Bollywood film Karwaan along with Dulquer Salmaan and Irrfan Khan. Currently, she can be seen in Netflix’s Chopsticks. “The internet has given me my identity and with all the love that I have received from the audience, it is truly overwhelming,” she says.
The 26-year-old actor says that her goal was always to be an actor. “My journey has been a mixed bag of emotions where it was both fun and hard but always an exciting one. It feels good to be loved. The kind of support that I have received from people across the globe is the best part about being on the internet because you are so easily accessible,” she adds.
From acting in web series to acting in films — how do you manage to make the gear shift from one medium to another?
I was here to be an actor and I am still here to be an actor. My goal is to be a better actor than what I was yesterday. That’s what I strive to do and it will remain my goal 10 years from now. I basically lap up whatever opportunities come my way — whether it’s a film, a web show, an advertisement or theatre, I like to be everywhere and make the most of all of these mediums. It was not really a strikingly different gear shift; I was simply acting wherever I was.
Chopsticks was very well received and people appreciated your performance. How does it feel?
I absolutely enjoyed doing Chopsticks as it let me break out from my regular girl-next-door roles and characters. I was able to explore something else which I had never done before so that was very exciting. Also, to play the character of a naive and under-confident girl was completely out of my comfort zone and I took this opportunity as a challenge where it was quite fun to be playing the character of Nirma.
Working with Abhay Deol was obviously too much fun. On day one of the shoot, I went in working with him as a fan and today we are good friends. He has no qualms or airs about himself; communicating with him is easy.
What were some of your learnings from your co-actors Irrfan and Salmaan in Karwaan?
Irrfan Khan and Dulqueer Salman are two of the most talented actors we have in our country. It was like a school of acting in front of me and I have said this enough time on the sets of Karwaan and I am saying this again: I was like a child left in Disneyland! That was my film school and I was in awe of everything that was happening and with everyone working on it. Every day was a learning experience and I looked forward to going to this school.
Mostly, you have played the chirpy, girl-next-door kind of characters. Did you have the fear of getting typecast?
I don’t know if I fear getting stereotyped as, honestly, I am more or less the girl-next-door. But it hasn’t stopped me from doing new things and it also hasn’t stopped me from taking up these types of roles as well. Obviously, I, as an actor, would like to explore a lot more characters if possible.
I relate to my characters more or less and there have been characters that I don’t relate to at all. However, when I don’t relate to the characters, I get exposed to a different perspective which is very important and interesting.
How tough is it to handle success at this young age?
I come back home every day and that’s how I stay grounded. I stay with my grandparents and nothing has changed. Nobody treats me differently at home and I am so thankful for that. My school friends or even my best buddies don’t treat me differently as well. I am glad that all of these people help me stay grounded. Outside my door, the world is very different but once I come home, that’s my reality.
What are your thoughts on the growing appeal of Marathi films among Bollywood stars?
The growth of the Marathi film industry is fantastic and I cannot stress enough on the fact that it is an interesting time to be a part of it. This is because everything right now is seamless whether you are working on the internet or you are part of the regional or Bollywood cinema, everybody is everywhere and that is such an exciting thing to know and to be part of a time and age where there is no limitation. Where one is not just a Bollywood actor or just on the internet or not just a part of the Marathi film industry, you have the liberty to take up whatever opportunities come your way and be a part of it. You will find different people at different times in the various mediums that I have mentioned and this is the most amazing thing happening lately.