‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’ star Anchal Singh: Shah Rukh Khan is my first love; I haven’t missed a single Kajol and Govinda film | Hindi Movie News

Anchal Singh has been garnering praise for her brilliant portrayal of the beautiful-yet-menacing Purva Awasthi in the romantic thriller, ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’. After the success of the first season, the actress has now geared up for the second season of the popular series. In an exclusive conversation with ETimes, Anchal spoke about how she steps into a character with negative shades, working with ace Bollywood actors in TV commercials, braving the odds in the industry and more. Excerpts…

‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’ and your character Purva made you the talk of the town soon after its release. Did you anticipate it?
No, I did not anticipate it at all. It never occurred to me how it would all look together. I was too immersed and involved in working towards my character, understanding her soul, and knowing the heart and the mind. The idea was to portray the character with utmost honesty. And I guess I did it well because people loved our series. I received such heartfelt compliments and validation for which I will always be grateful.

What is the best compliment you received for your performance on the show and from whom?
The best compliments will remain the kind of love that poured in from fans and our entertainment industry. In fact, it is still pouring in. I felt honoured when Ram Madhvani sir, Srijit Mukherjee sir, Anurag Kashyap sir, Taapsee Pannu and such senior people whom I really admire, appreciated my work.

What attracted you to the character and how much do you relate to Purva in real life?
Purva at first seems complex, crazy and fierce but soon enough you realise she is unabashedly unapologetically following her heart’s desire. In simple words, she is passionately and honestly in love with Vikrant. Her love is pure and true towards him. You can see it in her eyes, the way she looks at him and her demeanour are elegant and graceful. These different and diverse shades of the character and how her complexities and subtleties are depicted are what attracted me the most to her. Purva and I both are passionate people. Whatever I choose to do, I do it with utmost sincerity and love. I like to say that the sweetness of Purva comes from Anchal.

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The show also boasts of talented actors like Saurabh Shukla, Shweta Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin and Arunoday Singh. Whom did you bond the most with on the set?
Everyone on the set was a thorough professional because of which it was a very easy and comforting work environment. Working with Saurabh sir will always be special as I really look up to him and have shared screen space with him earlier too in a Tamil movie in which he had coincidently played my father.

For this series, Saurabh sir and I sat together and worked on certain character similarities (the way they lose their temper, the way both are strong-headed people). Though in the series, we have only a few scenes together, our father-daughter bond is established beautifully. The credit goes to Sidharth sir who has developed each character and their equations with each other so intricately.

Whether it was Shweta, Tahir, Arunoday, Surya or Hetal, I loved every single moment spent in their company. Bonding well always helps in exchanging creative energies which beautifully transcends onscreen too. On a personal and professional front, Shweta is someone I look up to not only as an extremely talented actress but also as a friend.

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You played a strong female antagonist in the show. What goes into portraying a character with negative shades?
To be honest, you don’t have to think that you are playing a negative character because whatever the character is doing, he/she believes in it completely. You have to prepare for your character in such a way that you can justify the actions of your character. Nobody does it intentionally in real life. We behave in a certain way or do certain things because it feels right at that moment. It is only how people from the outside view us that makes it morally wrong or right.

If you look at the story, it is Vikrant’s narrative, it is from his point of view. He is the one defining all the characters so I am the villain of his life. His life has become upside down only because of Purva. But if you look at the story from Purva’s point of view, somebody else will be the villain. I prepped thoroughly to get into her mind space. She is someone who has everything she will ever want but still she couldn’t make a man fall in love with her. I also kind of felt sad for her. But when I saw the series after its release, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this girl is crazy!’ This was after I had already disconnected from the character.

With the advent of OTT and its boom, content with strong female leads is receiving wide appreciation. How do you look at this change as an actor?
Honestly, this change is most welcoming and refreshing. I feel fortunate that the OTT platform came in because it has given many actors (such as me), writers, directors, cinematographers, technicians etc a chance to showcase their talent. I believe OTT content is mostly working because it is reflective of our society in most ways and hence relatable. I believe that women are the soul of any society as much as they are the soul of a family or home, and hence the representation and acceptance is more than gratifying through this dynamic content exploration. Also, ever since the pandemic, we have been exposed to such diverse content, be it international, national or regional content, that it has not only broadened our mind and exposure, but also created a thirst for good, real, authentic stories and characters.

You have also been a part of ‘Undekhi’ where again you essay a strong character. Has this been a conscious choice?
Both the characters that I have portrayed have their own strengths and weaknesses, different motivations, and different backgrounds. Labelling characters just strong is not a fair description I feel.

For instance, in ‘Undekhi’, Teji is constantly faced by challenges posed by her father, her husband and in-laws at different stages. She is oblivious to certain unspoken truths and unethical practices of Atwals but doesn’t succumb to the situations, rather in her own capacity she fights back. She exhibits strengths through her spirit to fight against the most powerful people.

On the other hand, Purva is born to a privileged family, is very influential and belongs to a powerful family. She is a queen of sorts. Her strengths lie in the way she wears her power up on her shoulders and has fixated focus to follow her heart. As an actor, I am greedy and I want to play different characters, be it something light hearted or serious or romantic, provided my character has a definite arc and journey in the storyline.

While Anchal Singh has become a household name now, very little is known about your personal life. Does she have anyone special in her life yet? If not, what is your idea of an ideal man?
Hahaha, see this is what ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’ series has brought in today. You are asking me this question. People want to know my personal life. Well, I’m just happy at being asked such questions right now.

You started your acting career with TV commercials and have shared screen with Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Hrithik Roshan and others. Who has been an absolute delight to work with?
Oh it’s been absolutely a wonderful experience working with everyone. Everyone has their uniqueness. Hrithik has such a larger than life sort of personality. He is very humble. I wish I could ask him which perfume he uses (laughs). With Ranbir, while filming the ad, I remember we had a shot in which we had to look into each other’s eyes. He has such expressive eyes. A quality I certainly tried to pick. I was very new when I shot with Priyanka Chopra. She has this overwhelming command and awe inspiring determination that I loved her working style.

Have you been a movie buff growing up? Whom do you idolise?
Yes I was a big movie buff. I haven’t missed a single Kajol and Govinda films. And Shah Rukh Khan is my first love!

‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’ left the audience asking for more. What can your fans expect from the second season?

The audience can expect more excitement and thrills in the second season of ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’.

With all that has been happening in Bollywood with the nepotism, insider-outsider debate and boycott cultures, what has kept you going as an actor?
I have faith in myself and in the God above. My job is to keep working hard. Hurdles are a part of everyone’s life in one way or another. And ultimately, the audience decides whom they want to see again and again. Yes, it’s a fact that to get an opportunity is difficult for someone who doesn’t belong to the film fraternity but it’s not something I didn’t know when I came here.

Also, I accept my journey fully and wholeheartedly. And I wouldn’t want it any other way too. My ‘no work phase’, rejections, failures have taught me that life is like a heartbeat. As long as you are living, ups and downs are part of it.

Apart from this, what’s next?
I want to do lots of work but good work. That can sometimes take time. So patience is the key. For now, I have ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein 2’ and another project about which I can’t reveal much. There are a few I am currently in discussion with.

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