Mandy Takhar’s journey in the Punjabi film industry has been full of surprises and successes. With movies like Mirza – The Untold Story, Sardaarji, Ardaas and more, she has carved a path of her own. In conversation with Team TLJ, she gets candid and talks about fashion, movies and her recent hit, Rabb Da radio.
How did a high school athlete in UK end up becoming Mirza’sSahiba in Punjab?
I have always wanted to be an actor since I was eight. So I moved to India in 2009 and got my first film,Ekam in 2010. It went well and got me a call for Mirza.
Having done Punjabi, Hindi and Tamil movies, how hard was it to shuttle between different languages?
I have done only one Hindi and Tamil movie. So, I don’t have the full-on experience of those industries. But I have done nine movies in Punjabi. So my belonging, my sense of being, is in Punjabi cinema
Who is Mandy behind the camera?
I am pretty much the same-ish. I am probably more serious in the films. The characters that I play are more serious and mature, whereas I am reasonably immature and more childlike in comparison. I can be a bit of everything. I can be really shy if I have a really bad crush on somebody and I can be really outspokensometime when I really feel like I have a point to make.
Out of the characters that you played, which is your personal favourite?
The personal favourites are Sahiba from Mirza and Naseeb Kaur from Rabb Da Radio. I like Sahiba because it was always my wish and dream to be a Juliet or Laila or Sahiba or Heer. Sahiba is an epic romantic character. I like Naseeb Kaur because it was very challenging and intense and far different from who I am in real life. So for me, it was like I had to act every bit of that character as there’s nothing of Mandy in Naseeb Kaur.
Is there any character in Punjabi film industry you wish you could have played?
There is no character that I wish I would have played, but there are character types. For example, I would like to do something different like action or comedy. These are challenging scenarios for an actor. So, it would be very different for me.
What is your definition of fashion?
I think what most people say in interviews, to sound good – whatever’s comfortable (breaks into laughter). So for me, I wouldn’t go by what is in fashion. If I don’t like it, I wouldn’t wear it. I need to feel confident in it. There are certain things I know I won’t wear, and there are certain things I feel confident and comfortable in, like long dresses. I like very elegant and feminine attire.
What’s your pick – street style or couture?
A bit of both.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like traveling. I have been planning to go fortrekking for a while now.I like being amidst nature. I enjoy reading, catching up on all the movies, trying new restaurants, spending time with family and friends.
What do you think about Chandigarh?
I love Chandigarh. It is a peaceful city and a good break from the humdrum of fast paced life in a metro.
What is that one thing that people don’t know about you?
There is a lot of stuff people don’t know about me. (After a momentary pause) Whenever I go to some place, I like to mess with the things, like the center pieces of tables or flower decorations; I like to play around with the arrangement.
Any message for your fans?
I am genuinely thankful to my fans for all their love and support because it is encouraging and keeps me going. I wish that the audience will support Punjabi cinema with more love and watch our movies in greater numbers with their unconditional love and support.
The first word that comes to your mind when we say –
Fashion – Is personal
Diva – Disco
Superstar – In the making
Food – Poisoning (She laughs as that is her current state)
Friendship – It’s rare.
Home – Wolverhampton, where my parents are
Love – Yourself
Destiny – Self-created
Director you wish to work with – Anurag Singh
Actor you wish to work with – Amitabh Bachchan
Favourite Singer – Beyonce
Song that you hum these days – Mercy by Badshah
Movie you are looking forward to – Rabb Da Radio, again