Avantika Dassani on her debut Mithya

‘A lot of my work ethic comes from striving to be even half as talented as my mother. Which I know comes from relentlessly working, trying and testing things and being open,’ says Avantika Dassani

That’s quite a debut in Mithya! Was your character Rhea a tough not to crack for you? Especially as your maiden performance?

I think the excitement took over the nerves when I was getting into Rhea’s skin. It wasn’t easy but challenges and roles like these are what an actor yearns for. Also being a series we didn’t have the luxury of time like you do when you’re shooting a film so there was constant learning, and risks that I took not knowing how it would turn it out, since we didn’t workshop or prep much before shoot, but I’m overwhelmed by the welcoming response towards my performance. I’m also grateful to the whole cast and crew for making me feel comfortable and supported throughout our shoot.

How did this role and series come your way and what was your initial reaction to your psychotic character?

I was in the middle of different auditions when I heard about the part and thought I should give it a go, because it seemed like an exciting challenge, it was also one of my first zoom auditions and I was nervous but we tested a couple of different things and it clicked immediately. Then when they told me they’d like to sign me on I went through the script, the original BBC series and got a feel of the character. We did a break down of the pros and cons and I won’t lie there was a little hesitation because I knew it would be a risky debut, if I got it wrong, I would fall flat on my face, but as an actor I was really excited to be thrown into the deep end in the very beginning because it would allow me to learn, grow and showcase my abilities.

Let’s go back a bit. How and when did your interest in acting begin?

I was very interested in the performing arts and the creative space in general as I was growing up. Every time I would watch a movie and fall in love with a character, I would dress up like that, raiding my parents’ closets, getting into my mom’s make-up – and getting myself yelled at for the mess that I created. As I grew up my interest and education steered me in a different direction but somewhere down the line I began my workshops and went through the process of an actor and I realised how much I love it. And realised that this is what I’m really passionate about and pursued it wholeheartedly.

What do you know about your mother’s stardom? Have you seen Maine Pyar Kiya? What are your thoughts on it and the level of stardom that it brought to your mom?

Growing up we saw that anywhere we go around the world, Mom was showered with love and praise even after 30 years of its release. It is a reminder of the fact that when you do something so amazing, you have the chance to touch people’s hearts through your work.

Looking ahead is OTT the best option for you? Or are you also aiming for a movie career?

The landscape of Indian cinema has drastically evolved over the last 2/3 years. Today OTT platforms are where audiences come looking for the most exciting stories, characters and I’m really glad to start my journey by being a part of this change! It’s all about the content. I would want people to concentrate on Avantika the actor more than anything else whether it’s OTT or movies.

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