The 38-year-old took over the show in 2015 after the exit of long-time host Jon Stewart, and quickly established himself with his own brand of comedy
Bollywood actor Mrunal Thakur has found herself in the epicentre of romance by playing characters that are deeply in love; be it Dr. Ananya Prabhu in Farhan Akhtar-led sports drama Toofan, Vidya Rao in another sports drama Jersey starring Shahid Kapoor, or in the recently-released Sita Ramam, in which she portrays Princess Noor Jahan alias Sita Mahalakshmi.
Out of four, three of Mrunal’s latest film characters are in love, so when the Bollywood actor was in Dubai for the first time on Wednesday, we asked her what love means to her. “Love is rare to find,” she says, “Sometimes we are hallucinating, we feel like this is right, but we have to be extremely alert.”
For Mrunal, love is not complicated, but “blind, it makes you do things for that one person in life.” People say they fall in love, but the 30-year-old actor feels it's important to “rise in love.”
“If you have the right partner, you will grow with that person. Not just old, but grow in your career, finance, personal, professional and social life, and everywhere,” says Mrunal, whose latest film Sita Ramam is an old school love story starring Dulquer Salmaan.
The film, currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, marks her Telugu debut. And for Mrunal, a Maharashtrian, learning the dialect was difficult. “It’s not like everyday Telugu,” she said. “Since it is a period film set in the 60s, it was a little poetic. I had to use particular words in a particular tone. It was difficult but I am really happy I was able to do that.”
That was Mrunal’s biggest challenge for Sita Ramam. And the actor feels loved with all the response she’s getting from the film. “The Southern audience just embraced and welcomed me with wide arms and gave me so much love,” she says, adding that she has “immense” respect for her co-star Dulquer.
The Kurup actor’s ability to speak multiple Indian languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu as well as Hindi, makes him, in a way, Mrunal’s inspiration.
Mrunal was happy to share details about her upcoming projects, Pippa in particular because “it is going to change things for the way Indian actresses are looked at.”
“I want to change that stereotype where an Indian (lead) actress cannot play the (lead) actor’s sister,” she says, pointing out how she played the role of a mother at a young age in Jersey.
Nevertheless, Mrunal wants to be a part of good stories irrespective of what relationships her characters have with the hero.
Pippa, a war-drama, is directed by Raja Krishna Menon. It also stars Ishaan Khatter, and is slated to release later this year.
Gumraah, a crime thriller, and Aankh Micholi, a comedy, are also in the line-up. “I can’t wait for you guys to laugh, enjoy the murder mystery, and be patriotic,” said Mrunal, in reference to her upcoming films.
Mrunal will also be seen sharing screen space with Huma Qureshi in a film titled Pooja Meri Jaan. Helmed by Navjot Gulati, the film is co-directed by Vipasha Arvind and written by Kanishka and Navjot Gulati. As per reports, the actors have wrapped up shooting. Mrunal had earlier shared the announcement video on her Instagram account and mentioned that Pooja Meri Jaan is extremely close to her heart. Vikram Singh Chauhan and Vijay Raaz are also a part of the film.
Coming back to Mrunal’s maiden visit to Dubai, she’s in the city for the cover launch of a Middle East magazine. For Mrunal, it was the "dream" and she’s “overwhelmed” to be in the city and meeting all her fans. One thing that took the actress by surprise was how some people here spoke Marathi, her native language. “So it just feels like home,” she said.
An avid foodie and traveller, Mrunal looks forward to trying various cuisines, especially Arabic food, exploring, and buying perfumes because she has heard she "will find the best perfumes in Dubai.”
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