In a freewheel chat with Neha Pande and Aparajita Jaiswal, Madhura Naik shares her journey in the acting industry. She is a brilliant actress, model and proud brand owner who has appeared in popular shows such as Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, Hum Ne Li Hai- Shapath, Tumhari Pakhi, Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji and many more. She is an extremely hardworking, optimistic and creatively talented sensation who is not just an amazing actress but also someone who is an inspiration for the youth.
Born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh; Madhura has been in the industry since 2007. Wanting to first be a Genetic engineer, Madhura moved to Bombay and has a degree in economics and Law. “Being an actress was never planned for me. I got discovered in my college campus for Universal and one thing led to the other.” For Madhura hardwork is the key ingredient for anyone. “I believe that every role I have played has had a memory for me. I was attached to Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani because we became a family on set and all of us are still great friends. It was basically coming on the set and having fun. I was just a kid, probably seventeen or eighteen, while shooting it.”
“From 2020 a typical day in my life starts with washing vessels and cooking in the morning. I work during the day. In the evening I like to concentrate on my fitness and at night I am usually chilling with my friends” Madhura says. “ I had to learn how to cook on a stove for ‘Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji’. “I love cooking and I think in the lockdown I discovered cooking all over again” she told us.
Madhura has been working for ‘The Ghost Thesis’ for an Amazon Web Series which will be released so keep an eye out for that. “When it comes to T.V I’ve worked with Star Plus, UTV, Sony channel, Life OK, Star One. It has been a great experience working with these brands and production houses. As far as fashion brands are concerned one of my most memorable experiences is working with Baume Mercier in Paris. I was very young when I was living in Paris so that would always hold a special place in my heart,” she said.
Madhura is an extremely creative individual. “I like to create new things. The monotony gets to me sometimes so I feel it is important to reinvent myself every now and then. That is something that is constant about me and keep up with the upcoming trends and keep learning new things.” Madhura also usually tends to improvise slightly when she cannot relate to the dialogues of the script.
As a kid Madhura aspired to be a genetic engineer but after she ended up in Mumbai she was discovered on her college campus for a music video with Universal and one thing led to another. “There is a huge difference working as a tv actress and a movie actress,” she says. “For tv sometimes you end up working fourteen hours a day. Films usually wrap up in fourth five days or sixty days whereas tv series go on for years on end. It’s a completely different ball game on tv because you have to put in a lot of hardwork and time. Sometimes the content you’re shooting is scheduled to release the very next day so you’re almost on real time. The pressure is far more on tv.”
Madhura stresses that hardwork is the key point for success in this industry. “I wish I had guidance as to what projects to pick up and which projects to refuse when I was starting off in this industry because I did not have a career plan. I wish today if I was starting off, I wish I had somebody to guide me on which projects to concentrate on and how to go about films as I did not have a film background.”
Madhura has created her own brand Lady M as she has always been inclined towards fashion. When asked what inspired her to dip her feet into fashion and creating her own brand she said, “I always like to dress well and see others dressed well and I feel it inspires you as a person when you’re having a bad day but when you step into the right shoes and clothes you feel really good about yourself. Fashion is not just about wearing good clothes but feeling good while you wear them. I wanted to also introduce new trends to my close friends and the actors but also it is also for the masses. I would love to also dip my feet into the makeup industry but fashion is more my thing than makeup.”
Every role I’ve played has had a memory for me.
Madhura did an advertisement in association with Bindass tv for PETA with Ashmit Patel against caging birds. “It was for a very good cause and I am completely against caging birds because their first instinct is to fly and it is very sad to have their first instinct being taken away from them. I feel sad seeing birds in cages and I would still like to talk about this because I want people to be aware of what they are doing when they are caging birds. The response to this ad was good and I feel like at least my fans would listen to me and not cage birds.” Madhura continues to work with PETA. “Whenever I see an animal suffering on the roads I always call up PETA and the team is very kind to take them in and take care of them.
Madhura has played both roles, protagonist and antagonist. “There’s a vast difference while playing the two roles. When you’re playing the antagonist you have so much to explore because the character has so many shades but when you’re playing a positive role there is just one boring side to the character. I personally prefer playing negative roles. Acting is all about how you train your mind. You just have to become that person so I do not think it is hard for any actor to pretend to be someone else and be in a character’s shoes.”
The most challenging part of the job, Madhura says, are the long hours because you don’t have a life and balancing your work life and professional life is crucial. “From morning to evening you’re engaged in the shoot and then when you’re back you’re so tired that you sleep and the next morning when you wake up you’re again gearing up for the shoot. People really need to know the hard work that goes behind the glamour. They just see the glamour and the exotic destinations. What most people do not realise is that while shooting we do not have time to explore cities even while shooting in Paris or London. I start my day in front of the camera and end my day in front of the camera.”
Her biggest inspiration is the hard work that Beyoncé puts into her work. “I always find Beyoncé to be a big inspiration because of the hard work that she puts into doing anything that she does, the process of creating from scratch to releasing the final video. She is always on her toes, always working round the clock and she makes it look effortless. She inspires her team also to work that hard so the blood and sweat that goes into her work is a true inspiration,” she says. “As an actress I find Deepika Padukone to be an inspiration as she always gets her characters point on and as a model I find Bella hadid an inspiration as Victoria’s Secret models put in a lot of effort into their bodies. The kind of training that they go through before going on the ramp is not easy. They play all sorts of sports and are grilled to have the perfect bodies. They follow a strict diet and I know how difficult it is to stay without water before your shoot. The fashion industry is quite cut throat.”
Hardwork according to Madhura is not the only thing that is the key to this industry. It is a combination of hardwork, talent and luck. Some people are lucky enough to land in the right place at the right time and find the right role. That is something I feel is destiny. I believe in destiny. No matter how hard work, destiny and timing has to be just right.” She feels that the one person that keeps pushing you forward is yourself.
“The toughest time I faced was when I got into a road accident while shooting pyaar ki ek kahani. I dislocated my shoulder and did not have enough time to recover before being back on set. For three months I had to shoot with a broken shoulder and my entire harness on.” Madhura says that it is tough playing characters that you cannot relate to. “This industry has been kind with the roles and achievements I have had till date so just being able to stand up on my own two feet and the financial stability and freedom has made me who i am today. I will always be grateful for that.”
“I just want to inspire people and fill their minds with positivity. I want to tell people not to take life so seriously because all you have is right now and life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Just enjoy who you are today.” This quarantine Madhura discovered herself as an artist. “I had a lot of time to read, sketched and rediscovered myself as an artist. I wrote, I sang, I read and it was a phase where I could bring back all my creativity. I personally like this book called Alice by Paulo Coelho.
Madhura continues to be an inspiration to our youth with her zealous personality, her creativity and her work. She brings in positivity and wishes her fans safety and to enjoy their life. Her most aspiration quality being that she has always reinvented herself for the better and continues to add creative aspects to her work and personality.