Meghana Kaushik is someone who wears many hats. Actress, model, emcee, Meghana can play every role to great perfection. She can be the girl next door you would want to introduce your parents to while she can also be sexy siren you would die to take out on a date. Soumya Bontra from Bollywoodwallah.com caught up with this beautiful soul recently for a freewheeling chat.
Your web series Love Lust Confusion is doing very well and people have responded positively towards it. Were there any apprehensions or expectations in your mind regarding your character Nikita D’souza?
I am thrilled it is doing so well. Initially, yes, I was a little nervous about playing a bisexual and an uninhibited singer who lives life by her own rules. But when I met Victor, our director, I got a sense that whatever he would put in the show, it would be very aesthetic and fun. Even though the character might sound intimidating at first, but when you see the show, you realize she is a super fun girl who is very positive in so many ways. She has a lot of layers to her part that we will now discover in the second season. We will see more of why is she the way she is.
On the other hand, it was something that excited me as an actor. I crave to do roles which are very different from me as a person and this was one. I love singing and live performances and the show had best of both worlds for me.
And right from the time I was onboard, I invested a lot of time in the part, whether it was putting together her look or the way she would say her lines, NIKITA did become like my alter ego. And I just wanted people who would watch the show, to love the character, which is what has happened. So am really grateful.
You have achieved so many feats in life right from being a talented actress, to a wonderful host, an author and also a Radio Jockey. How do you manage to balance all the aspects so wonderfully?
I love exploring new things as an individual and I feel there is so much inherent talent in each one of us as a person, so why hold back??
I want to pack my life with lots of beautiful memories, stories, experiences and adventures, and doing just one thing might limit that. Hence I channel my hyper energy in various ways, trying out new things.
Also I feel, the sense of balance comes from the way I was brought up. As an army brat, I excelled in not just my studies but sports and extracurricular too. So I have always enjoyed doing more with my time and that part of me keeps me inspired even today, to do more. Plus I feel there is so much more I have to learn about life. So like a hungry pig, I always scout out for varied opportunities to learn and grow as a person.
Talking about hosting, you have hosted live Sport events as well as Red Carpet events and Gigs too, among them which one do you love hosting the most and why?
Both are equally fun as I get to meet and work with such amazing people,both famous or otherwise.
While TV shows bring me visibility as an anchor and lets more people discover that side of me, live shows are more about reveling in the energy of the people I am interacting with in that one place, that one time.
TV hosting can be very challenging as you maybe in the middle of a crazy live crowd and yet while you are on the camera, you are being heard by people across the nation, so you need to keep your thoughts brief and impactful, where as in live shows, you run the show and have to manage the time and content accordingly. So there is more freedom. So no matter what, I feel cant choose because I love both formats.
Last year you acted in a short film, The Door which is based on a gay man marrying a girl due to family and social pressure. The movie is really beautiful and the topic indeed very unique. Can we know your opinion on the problems faced by LGBT people and also your reason for doing this film?
I am so glad you loved the film. It was made with all heart. Thank you. The story of the film came from my own interactions with friends and acquaintances over the past few years. Even though, we claim to be a progressive and an educated society, it is unbelievable how tough it is still for a homosexual to find acceptance in their own homes or at work. They are constantly treated as a different category citizens. And especially so in more affluent circles. Yet I wanted to tell the story from the point of view of a woman of today, who is both independent and strong. In a dire scenario such as this, she wouldn’t go running to her parents but rather understand how she can empower another life, if that’s a possibility. And giving someone courage can, sometimes, be the best gift you can give them. I have learnt that from a few very special people in my life. Especially my director, Gaurav c Bhat, who came on board to support a first time writer because he too believed that this story needed to be told. And he worked so hard to put this story together and so beautifully at that. And that helped us put this film as a message out to the youth.
I feel very strongly that as a youth of a growing country like India, there is so much I can do to contribute positively to the society. And by making films and telling stories that deal with unspoken or often hushed under the carpet issues such as this, I can initiate change in my on small way. I am working on more scripts, some that are ready, which are also on issues I feel strongly for, and I am looking for likeminded people to collaborate with and take this forward.
Cinema is a powerful tool, and definitely has potential to impact the minds of people across various strata. And I want to use that platform judiciously, and encourage the youth to stand up for what they feel is right and make that change happen.
You hail from an army background, so as a child or teenager were you ever keen on joining the forces and serving your nation?
Thank you for this question. I am glad you asked. It’s a beautiful one. Yes when I was very young, maybe in 3rd or 4th standard, I was very much in awe of my dad and others in uniform. I was sure that when I would grow up, I would also join the forces. But with time, I realized I wanted to serve my country differently. Then by the time I was in 7th, I wanted to play tennis professionally and represent India. I used to love that game. I wasn’t bad at it too. But given that we moved cities every two years, I couldn’t keep up with the practice as the new station had other sport facilities and not tennis. So plans had to be altered again. But yes, I can say that without a doubt that the desire to serve my country and bring back laurels as a proud Indian is still alive. And I would want to do that by becoming an actor par excellence and working on big, meaningful scripts internationally. And who knows, I will win an Oscar one day!!
If given a chance would you prefer doing a movie or rather be doing theaters? Why?
Theatre is a great teacher but films are my ultimate goal. I feel I can always go back to theatre to learn more and experience the rush of a live performance but the technicalities and the challenges one faces doing a film are something else. Even the smallest of scenes have so much detailing involved in a film sometimes that its just so much fun being on set and exploring that. I find it fascinating how so many different behind the scenes artists work together in tandem to create that ultimate vision of a director that we see on screen. So much creativity and technical finesse is packed into each frame.
Also films are forever. All your hardwork as an actor, memories and stories come alive even after years when you watch it. And most importantly, the recognition a good film brings to an actor is unparalleled. And I truly want to work towards creating a legacy of substantial & meaningful work.