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Rediff.com  » Movies » Why She Is Worth A Kill

Why She Is Worth A Kill

By SUBHASH K JHA
July 08, 2024 16:09 IST
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Photograph: Kind courtesy Tanya Maniktala/Instagram

From A Suitable Boy to Kill, it has been rollercoaster ride for Tanya Maniktala.

“The journey has taught me a lot and I am so grateful for the experiences," the actor tells Subhash K Jha.

"With the kind of reception my work has been receiving so far, I have never been made to feel like an outsider. But yes, it’s definitely more difficult to get your foot through the door and there is little room for error. 

"I started my journey with the celebrated Mira Nair believing in me, so I do not have anything to complain about. It was the most magical and surreal experience of my life. For a person who set out with nothing, this opportunity fell into my lap and was more than anything I could have even dreamt of. It was a privilege to work with the legends of the industry.

"From the auditioning process to the promotions, it was like living a dream. There was so much I was learning everyday on set. I was lucky because nobody shied away from teaching me. We were a team who had set out on this great big adventure and were lifting each other up."

Did Mira Nair’s Web series open doors for Tanya?

"Yes. A lot of decisions that I made also set off the course for trajectory, Kill being one of them. It did take longer than I would have wanted but then again, I had started with no expectations so it felt like I was getting my due. You just have to keep at it because you never know what might take off.”

 

 

IMAGE: Tanya Maniktala in Kill.

In her first feature film Mumbaikar, Tanya got to work with some heavyweights like Director Santosh Sivan and actors, Vijay Sethupathi, Vikrant Massey and Sanjay Mishra.

"It was just the right next thing to take up post A Suitable Boy," she says.

"I had been watching and admiring their work and then to be working with them was a pinch-me moment.

"I remember the first day Vijay sir had come on set when I was shooting. It was a night shift and we were shooting outdoors. I was about to get done when all of a sudden, there were hoards of people who just showed up seemingly out of thin air. Then I got called in by Santosh sir to introduce me to somebody. I could feel the buzz and excitement in the air but I had no idea what was happening. Then I saw him in the flesh, smiling, his gaze locked on the person he was conversing with. I had goosebumps when I met Vijay sir for the first time. His humility, charm, simplicity... I was in awe!

"Then, it was 'Action' and there he was! Switched, in a second. It was brilliant! I felt like I had watched a movie in those few minutes itself. He is a master in his craft and to experience that in person was exhilarating."

 

IMAGE: Tanya Maniktala in A Suitable Boy.

Tanya says she was working on her vampire Web series Toothpari when she got the called from Kritarth Sethi from Casting Bay for Kill.

"He sent me the scenes and told me to take my time with it because it was an important one. I went through the scenes but unfortunately, couldn’t go to audition in person because of shooting schedules but the Casting Bay team was so supportive. They auditioned with me on Zoom and a little while later, I got the call to tell me I’ve been shortlisted.

"After that was the script reading and meeting with Nikhil (Bhat, Kill Director) sir. It was being backed by Sikhya Entertainment and Dharma Productions, so we knew it was no small feat and I had to give my all to make sure that I justify my character."

"I don’t think there was anybody on set who wasn’t injured," Tanya says about Kill's shooting experience.

"I had a chase sequence with Raghav’s (Juyal) character in which I am trying to escape and because the setting is such, there is not much room for movement. The production design had created this beautiful set which did not feel like one because it was so well done!

"In the chase sequence, I had to ram myself against one of the grills, fall on the ground and then get up and run again. Since I was wearing a suit with a dupatta, there were takes in which that would get stuck in the grills and pull at my neck. Then the chain underneath would gash at my neck. Then in a few of the takes, I rammed so hard in the grills that I couldn’t move my arm. I had to be taken in for an X-Ray -- everything turned out fine! -- but right after that was my action bit with Raghav Juyal. So it was quite an experience.”

 

IMAGE: Tanya Maniktala with Lakshya in Kill.

She is all praise for Director Nikhil Bhat.

“I am honoured to have worked with Nikhil sir because like Miradi, even his eye for detail is beautiful to watch -- from getting the dialect right to how he had written the action sequences in the script. You know there is a genius mind at work when he could play out his vision in words and make everybody else experience it with him."

So what next?

"I have been working on a series called Paan Parda Zarda. That's all for now. I want to revel in the work that gives me joy and give my best to every project.”

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