Bubbly, energetic and the pretty face of Indian television MINI MATHUR has recently made a debut in Bollywood with director Kapil Sharma’s I, Me Aur Main. One of the very few anchors in the small screen today who keep the audience spellbound, Mini began her journey in the glamour industry with Tol Mol Ke Bol and is recognised as one of the most successful VJs on MTV, travel, talk and reality shows today.
What was your experience with I, Me Aur Main?
I have been resisting doing films for a while because everyone only wanted me to play stereotypes. I really liked the strong characterisation of Shivani in I, Me Aur Main, besides the fact that the director Kapil Sharma was very persuasive and committed. I was very excited for this movie, but not nervous at all with the fact that this was my first Hindi movie. I enjoyed my acting experience... people tell me I was good so I’d like to explore more roles, but no stereotypes please!!!
As far as bonding with co-stars is concerned, John I know well...he acted in two of my husband’s (Kabir Khan) films - Kabul Express and New York. Prachi and I were in the same season on Jhalak Dikhlaja, so we were comfortable. Chitrangada and I had the maximum interaction and we got along so well because we have a lot in common. We shot this film over a period of time and all I remember is laughing a lot. In fact John and I fought and teased each other mercilessly like real siblings.
Difference between a film and a TV show?
As a TV host, I drive the energy of my shows. It starts and ends with me, but in a film there is a lot of waiting... everything is worked out before hand. I’m more of a spontaneous person and even in the film, the scenes in which I used my spontaneity turned out well.
Will we see you acting in the near future?
Nothing I do is full time. I do as I please depending on my state of mind and creative phase. I host shows for the sheer love of it. Since my days at MTV I have been offered many acting roles. But all the roles were that of a bubbly girl, which I don’t want to play. I have many interests, but I would certainly like to direct a movie in the future. As far as television serials are concerned, it is the lack of spontaneity that keeps me miles away from them. Today telly-serials are so regressive. I can’t imagine playing a weepy bahu, sleeping in heavy saris with tons of make-up. Our makers should realise that what they show is gospel truth for 70 pc of the Indian junta. Give me something like ‘Tamas’ and I’d happily jump into the fray. Till then, I’m content doing reality shows.
Do you think a TV host’s job is underrated?
Totally. It’s one of the most taxing and technical jobs in the business. You need to be well read, educated, funny, articulate and honest to be able to bring reality from the set to the camera. Hosts are the glue that keep the show together. Outside India, the more experienced and seasoned you are...the more valued you are as a host. Oprah, Ellen, Jay Leno all are in their 50’s...Sadly in India, it’s still considered an easily replaceable part of a show.
What’s the secret of your confidence?
I read a lot. And I advise anybody who wants to take on anchoring as a profession to complete their education seriously and raise their awareness levels to an optimum level. You could be asked to interview anybody and the challenge is your viewer should not make out you are not conversant with the field. The basic attributes of an anchor are spontaneity, personality traits and a special charm only you can have. One has to read, observe and imbibe a lot to be a successful TV presenter. One needs to carry the show beyond the script and without it at times.
Tell us something about your education and career?
Though I was born in a family of chartered accountants, I had my share of toil. After passing out from DPS, RK Puram, I did graduation in English Literature from Lady Sriram College and then got enrolled in MBA at IMT Ghaziabad. I started anchoring for a lark, but after a while it started becoming repetitive. I came to realise that to make a mark in this field, you have to evolve. It is a world of measured words and opinions. But one thing I always followed, I didn’t copy anybody. Originality is a must to survive in this field and there is no substitute for good education.
So what’s keeping you occupied at the moment?
Nothing much really. I’ve done large format reality shows and don’t want to just mindlessly anchor something for the sake of doing work. I don’t wish to just fill in the blanks but be the word!