Imlie actress Mayuri Deshmukh on working in pandemic, enjoying Friends, and what’s next for her character Malini

Actress Mayuri Deshmukh is a well-known name in the Television industry and Marathi film industry. She is one of the leading stars of the ongoing show Imlie which airs on Star Plus. The show premiered on November 16, 2020 and also stars Sumbul Touqueer and Gashmeer Mahajani in leading roles.

EXCLUSIVE Imlie actress Mayuri Deshmukh on working in pandemic, enjoying Friends, and what’s next for her character Malini

Recently, Mayuri Deshmukh spoke to Bollywood Hungama about the success of the show Imlie, her life in lockdown and more. Talking about the experience of shooting in the pandemic, she said, “The crew honestly surprised us. [It was] very, very pleasant. I was worried about a lot of things, safety, being away from the family, and the entire 'trying to transition from regular state to a new normal'. But, I think teamwork is the key, everything has been pulled off very well by the team. And hence, you end up having a good time because the entire crew is really nice and sensible after the pandemic took over.”

When asked if they faced any challenges while shooting away from their regular sets in Mumbai, Mayuri elaborated, “A new place comes with new challenges. It's all the small changes but the plan is that everybody is facing the challenge together – like everybody on set, everyone you know is dealing with the same thing. But some days, the weather gets bad. But since, we're outdoors and the entire cast is together everyone just bonds better, everyone is there for each other- it's a good time. The fun continues, it's ingrained."

Some Television show sets did get affected by Cyclone Tauktae. But, Mayuri said that there were few hiccups for the Imlie cast. “Not really! There were just small weather hiccups but where we're shooting, the cyclone wasn't bad. It didn't affect the place.”

Mayuri also quipped about the similarities between her character Malini and her, by saying, “Yes, it does! When you portray a character, you add your own touch. There's a lot of Mayuri in Malini because Mayuri is portraying the character. I cannot calculate to what extent but a substantial amount of Malini is Mayuri.”

Mayuri Deshmukh is a very well-known in Marathi industry as well. Reminiscing the time she did a Marathi shows and movies, she finds it almost impossible to pick between working in Marathi and Hindi industries. “Honestly, I really can't choose. With movies, it's a 30-60 days schedule where you have a script in hand and you know how it's going to go where in with TV, it's a new surprise every day. I believe if you're a flexible person and you can adapt and you'll enjoy both. With Television, I always say that you have to like the character you're playing as well as the people you're working with because it goes on for a long time. In my case, both the shows I've done in Marathi and Hindi, I've been very lucky where the teams were very good. My experiences on both platforms have been really good.”

The lockdown has given all of us so much spare time to kill, Mayuri talked about what she likes to do in her free time. "During my free time, I catch up on web shows,” she said, “I like reading a lot; I've been reading a lot. I started reading in Hindi, so that as well. I like writing as well, so I enjoy that. And recently, I've started going for walks; it's very refreshing.”

When asked if she would want to be a part of any show/movie or adaptation of a Book, she said, “I don't know if I would want to be a part of it but the show I love is Friends. I've watched so many shows, very intriguing be it Money Heist, Game of Thrones or anything but the repeat value that Friends has for me is amazing. I wouldn't want to be a part of Friends because it's a classic and I wouldn't want anyone to touch it. But I would love to be a part of anything of that caliber where you can just entertain people for centuries. Friends is a show that will entertain people for centuries to come not just these 10-15 years. And I am waiting for the reunion.”

With everything shutting down, it's difficult to find positives; Deshmukh piqued her interest in several things and finds work to be her biggest motivation during these days. “The fact that I have work is something I am very grateful for,” she added, “So many things have shut down because of the situation and the fact that I am getting to do something I love every day. I love acting, I chose to do it, and it didn't happen to me accidentally. Getting up and being able to do that puts me in a state of gratitude. The awareness that in these stressing times there's work and it is good work, the show if doing so well. There's nothing more I should be asking for; I am filled with gratitude."

Mayuri also talked about the changing dynamic between Aditya and Imlie in the show Imlie. “I like how Malini has chosen not be a second woman and opt for a divorce,” she said, “For me, Malini's journey has been so exciting. From a weak hearted and emotional girl who could hardly deal with any emotional shock but dealing with this major thing and coming out of it and emerging as a strong independent woman; it's a journey I am enjoying. From all I know, I know it's only going to better, how she's taken charge of the situation and her strength is great!"

She plays the role of a headstrong woman marching to the beat of her own parade. When asked about any quality she admires about her character, she said, "I love the fact that one she's come to terms with a situation, she doesn't react; she responds. She is not hasty with her decisions; she always gives the benefit of doubt to people. It's a quality I'd like to have- not jump to judgements, not hate anyone too quickly: like Malini doesn't have hate for anyone, not even Imlie and Aditya. Most people think it's too good to be true but I think if we can achieve that in our life, it's amazing."

“The fans really put it on the map. The fact that they recognized the show; it's such a unique show. It's not a typical show with a lot of drama speaks so much about the audience and their liking. I am glad the audience and the fans have accepted the show, it gives us the opportunity to keep coming with better and better shows,” she concluded.

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