The Reason Why Ekavali Khanna Is Fit For Roles Older Than Her Age

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Do you recall Paromita Puri, who played Kalindi Puri’s stepmother in the Kareena Kapoor-starring film Veere Di Wedding? The beautiful lady who stole the scenes with her strange chuckle in the movie. We are talking about the incredibly gifted and multifaceted actress Ekavali Khanna, who has been a talk of the town for quite some time for her roles older than her age, whether it be in Veere Di Wedding or the film Angrezi mein kehte hain. Ekavali has consistently pushed the envelope and reached the standard of a top-notch actress.

Ekavali, who comes from a family that values the arts, never intended to become an actress. Call it fate or destiny that she has grown to be one of the most recognisable and respected actors in regional and Bollywood films today. Ekavali Khanna wore her heart on her sleeve while speaking with Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show about her upbringing, her personal struggles, the event that spurred her to become an actress, and the roles for which she has been lauded. In the interview, she discussed the advantage she holds, which makes her look good and ideal for even roles older than her actual age. So, folks, without further ado, let’s look at some interesting facts about Ekavali Khanna’s life.

Q: How Was Your Childhood, What Motivated You To Become An Actress?

Ekavali: Talking about my childhood memories, I was a happy in my own way, simple kid but somewhere lonely child. I lost my mother during childbirth. And I was raised by my father and my grandmother. They raised me with lot of love and discipline. They always encouraged me to do things which I wanted to do. As a child I experimented with a lot of things, Karate, horse riding, playing sarod, different kinds of dancing and also quitting, as I took something to learn but I used to leave it in the middle. As a child my attention span and my devotion to learn something was short lived. But, as I grew up, as an adult, now whatever I do, I do it with utmost sincerity. I had a regular childhood, otherwise, but, I went to school, I had lots of friends. I grew up in Kolkata. a happy and cultural city. So, it was there in me too. As a child I did everything I wanted to do. My father always supported me in everything. 

The Artistic Influence Of Her Father

She continues, “My father was a great lover of Indian classical music. He used to take us to Indian music concerts. But, as a child I didn’t value them as I do now. But I would say that the inclination towards arts started growing inside me during my childhood only. In fact, even after my board exams, my father gave me a list of movies that he wanted me to watch. That time there was no OTT, so he bought me CDs, DVDs. I watched a lot of films. I watched Pyasa, which was such a beautiful movie. He bought me a book by Sahir Ludhiyanvi after 10th board, and told me to read poetries which is a beautiful thing. So, I think my dad has a great influence on me. We had some great conversations even when I was young. I think, whatever I learn from him, I think I wasn’t even aware that I was learning, acquiring from him. But, now as an adult, I think, whatever I am, whatever my inclinations are towards arts, come from my father.” 

Actress By Accident, Know More About The Filmy Incident 

Ekavali Khanna never planned to become an actress. While talking to host Jay Kumar, she revealed the interesting incident which gave her the opportunity to showcase her artistic talent. She says, “I became an actress by default. There was a phase in my life where I was not in a good space in my personal life. I was struggling where I was. So, when you are really down, sometimes things happen in a way that opens new doors. So, one day I went to watch a play, I had nothing to do with acting at that time. So, while I was watching the play, there was a gentleman who was constantly looking at me. After some time, I started feeling uncomfortable. When the play ended, he came to me and said, “Look I am a very decent person. My name is Shantanu Bose and I am one of the directors at Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and we make student films. I was looking at you and I think you look very good through the camera. So, we have a student film in which we are looking for a woman for an army officer’s wife role. So, would you like to play the part?” That time I was extremely down, so I thought doing this would distract me. I said yes and went for the role. I read the scene, and they cast me in that student’s film. And one film led to another film. And after that I started occurring on screen. That’s all it started. Being on set, working with creative individuals, people who are trying to tell a story, it brought me a lot of joy, satisfaction and very soon I realised that it was something I wanted to do. There is nothing else that I can do. I love being on set. I love action and acting. 

I had no plans to be a part of films, but things unfolded in a certain way. Very interestingly, the time when I started acting, casting became very important in Bombay. My opportunity to do a role definitely became much more of a possibility. That way I feel, the projects I got, the directors I worked with I feel fortunate. So, opportunity is something one should be thankful for, and one should value them. 

Q: What Did Your Father Do? The Kind Of Influence He Had On You, So What Was His Profession?

Ekavali: My father was an artist. He was a painter. I lost my father in 2017. He studied in Lucknow, so he spoke great Urdu, so I think my urdu is quite alright. I have also done a Punjabi film called ‘Mast Qalandar”. It’s a beautiful story. That project was very interesting, we had a Brazilian DOP, OUR DIRECTOR WAS Indian, our chief associate was Greek. So, it was a very interesting international combination. That film has me and Md. Samad, who has won the national award as a child artist.

Q: How Come You Opt To Be The Mother Of Kareena Kapoor In Veere Di Wedding Film, As A Fact That Kareena Is Also Around The Same Age As Yours. 

Ekavali: Lot of people have asked me this question: how come you are so comfortable in playing older roles? Usually the pattern is that people try to play characters that are much younger. So, my point here is, I am not opposed to the idea of playing somebody younger provided I look the part, and provide a good meaty role. Even if the role is not a long role, it has to have some substance, it has to have some impact. And I am not going to forgo a role which is well-written and substantial and solid and has room for performance, just because I am portrayed as someone older. In Veere Di Wedding, I was playing Kareena’s father’s mistress or step-mother. It was such a fun character, such a quirky character, clearly they had portrayed the woman, the backstory was, she was a social climber and she had this peculiar laugh. So, the director gave me a very interesting brief. He said, “Here is a woman who comes very sophisticated today. She knows how to use everything, she knows her wines, her cheese, well-dressed, everything is great, She goes to the club everyday.” 

Fortunate Enough To Get Roles Of Every Kind

Apart from Veere Di Wedding, for the movie Angrezi mein kehte hain, people did ask me why do you want to play the role of Sanjay Mishra’s wife. You are never gonna get cast again in any other kind of role. So, you are kind of ending the possibilities by doing this role. But, I looked at it this way: it’s a great script, great role and great chance to work with someone of Sanjay Mishra’s caliber. I took it up and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And speaking of getting slotted that you get typecast to one kind of role. That era is gone. Right after Angrezi mein kehte hain, I did a film in which I was cast as a cougar and I was very glamorous in that. So, in one film I was playing as a housewife, and in another I was playing a role where the woman is a kind of boss who was seducing her colleagues. The point which I am trying to make is that things have changed, people are not stuck with those molds and patterns which they used to have. And I have never had that mindset that I consider myself and trying & struggling to be a heroine. I think the heroine is normally in her twenties. We all know that. “The idea is to be a good dependable actor who can also transform and I would say that I have been lucky and life has given me a chance to do different kinds of roles. Dear Dad, Bioscopewala, What will people say, Veere Di Wedding, in all these movies, I have different characters. So, I am quite fortunate and satisfied with the things the way they have unfolded.

And, I think “Angrezi mein kehte hain” has brought me the maximum amount of validation with regard to the audience. The kind of fan base, appreciation even from the critics, is great. This movie has put me out there in a certain way. It would not have happened if I hadn’t done this role. It was a good decision. 

This Is Why Ekavali Is The Perfect Fit For All Kinds Of Roles

Further, Ekavali Khanna talked how she has been lucky enough to get good roles and how she is the perfect fit for roles of even older age. She says, “Things are happening in its own way. If you have seen Bombay Begums, the character called Devyani Uniyaal is different from the role I have played in the past. So, opportunities come your way, And you have to try and reinvent yourself. You owe that to yourself as an actor. Try to surprise your audience in a good way. They are happy to see a new dimension of you, because after a time everyone will get tired of seeing the same thing again and again. So, I think, as a responsible actor you can’t be boring. So, I try to do different kinds of roles. And, I think I have one advantage, my face can transform very easily. It’s a physical medium, so, in this regard, it plays a very important role in what work you are getting? I can look very different with or without makeup. I look quite different with a little bit of change.”

Do you recall Paromita Puri, who played Kalindi Puri’s stepmother in the Kareena Kapoor-starring film Veere Di Wedding? The beautiful lady who stole the scenes with her strange chuckle in the movie. We are talking about the incredibly gifted and multifaceted actress Ekavali Khanna, who has been a talk of the town for quite some time for her roles older than her age, whether it be in Veere Di Wedding or the film Angrezi mein kehte hain. Ekavali has consistently pushed the envelope and reached the standard of a top-notch actress.

Ekavali, who comes from a family that values the arts, never intended to become an actress. Call it fate or destiny that she has grown to be one of the most recognisable and respected actors in regional and Bollywood films today. Ekavali Khanna wore her heart on her sleeve while speaking with Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show about her upbringing, her personal struggles, the event that spurred her to become an actress, and the roles for which she has been lauded. In the interview, she discussed the advantage she holds, which makes her look good and ideal for even roles older than her actual age. So, folks, without further ado, let’s look at some interesting facts about Ekavali Khanna’s life.

Q: How Was Your Childhood, What Motivated You To Become An Actress?

Ekavali: Talking about my childhood memories, I was a happy in my own way, simple kid but somewhere lonely child. I lost my mother during childbirth. And I was raised by my father and my grandmother. They raised me with lot of love and discipline. They always encouraged me to do things which I wanted to do. As a child I experimented with a lot of things, Karate, horse riding, playing sarod, different kinds of dancing and also quitting, as I took something to learn but I used to leave it in the middle. As a child my attention span and my devotion to learn something was short lived. But, as I grew up, as an adult, now whatever I do, I do it with utmost sincerity. I had a regular childhood, otherwise, but, I went to school, I had lots of friends. I grew up in Kolkata. a happy and cultural city. So, it was there in me too. As a child I did everything I wanted to do. My father always supported me in everything. 

The Artistic Influence Of Her Father

She continues, “My father was a great lover of Indian classical music. He used to take us to Indian music concerts. But, as a child I didn’t value them as I do now. But I would say that the inclination towards arts started growing inside me during my childhood only. In fact, even after my board exams, my father gave me a list of movies that he wanted me to watch. That time there was no OTT, so he bought me CDs, DVDs. I watched a lot of films. I watched Pyasa, which was such a beautiful movie. He bought me a book by Sahir Ludhiyanvi after 10th board, and told me to read poetries which is a beautiful thing. So, I think my dad has a great influence on me. We had some great conversations even when I was young. I think, whatever I learn from him, I think I wasn’t even aware that I was learning, acquiring from him. But, now as an adult, I think, whatever I am, whatever my inclinations are towards arts, come from my father.” 

Actress By Accident, Know More About The Filmy Incident 

Ekavali Khanna never planned to become an actress. While talking to host Jay Kumar, she revealed the interesting incident which gave her the opportunity to showcase her artistic talent. She says, “I became an actress by default. There was a phase in my life where I was not in a good space in my personal life. I was struggling where I was. So, when you are really down, sometimes things happen in a way that opens new doors. So, one day I went to watch a play, I had nothing to do with acting at that time. So, while I was watching the play, there was a gentleman who was constantly looking at me. After some time, I started feeling uncomfortable. When the play ended, he came to me and said, “Look I am a very decent person. My name is Shantanu Bose and I am one of the directors at Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and we make student films. I was looking at you and I think you look very good through the camera. So, we have a student film in which we are looking for a woman for an army officer’s wife role. So, would you like to play the part?” That time I was extremely down, so I thought doing this would distract me. I said yes and went for the role. I read the scene, and they cast me in that student’s film. And one film led to another film. And after that I started occurring on screen. That’s all it started. Being on set, working with creative individuals, people who are trying to tell a story, it brought me a lot of joy, satisfaction and very soon I realised that it was something I wanted to do. There is nothing else that I can do. I love being on set. I love action and acting. 

I had no plans to be a part of films, but things unfolded in a certain way. Very interestingly, the time when I started acting, casting became very important in Bombay. My opportunity to do a role definitely became much more of a possibility. That way I feel, the projects I got, the directors I worked with I feel fortunate. So, opportunity is something one should be thankful for, and one should value them. 

Q: What Did Your Father Do? The Kind Of Influence He Had On You, So What Was His Profession?

Ekavali: My father was an artist. He was a painter. I lost my father in 2017. He studied in Lucknow, so he spoke great Urdu, so I think my urdu is quite alright. I have also done a Punjabi film called ‘Mast Qalandar”. It’s a beautiful story. That project was very interesting, we had a Brazilian DOP, OUR DIRECTOR WAS Indian, our chief associate was Greek. So, it was a very interesting international combination. That film has me and Md. Samad, who has won the national award as a child artist.

Q: How Come You Opt To Be The Mother Of Kareena Kapoor In Veere Di Wedding Film, As A Fact That Kareena Is Also Around The Same Age As Yours. 

Ekavali: Lot of people have asked me this question: how come you are so comfortable in playing older roles? Usually the pattern is that people try to play characters that are much younger. So, my point here is, I am not opposed to the idea of playing somebody younger provided I look the part, and provide a good meaty role. Even if the role is not a long role, it has to have some substance, it has to have some impact. And I am not going to forgo a role which is well-written and substantial and solid and has room for performance, just because I am portrayed as someone older. In Veere Di Wedding, I was playing Kareena’s father’s mistress or step-mother. It was such a fun character, such a quirky character, clearly they had portrayed the woman, the backstory was, she was a social climber and she had this peculiar laugh. So, the director gave me a very interesting brief. He said, “Here is a woman who comes very sophisticated today. She knows how to use everything, she knows her wines, her cheese, well-dressed, everything is great, She goes to the club everyday.” 

Fortunate Enough To Get Roles Of Every Kind

Apart from Veere Di Wedding, for the movie Angrezi mein kehte hain, people did ask me why do you want to play the role of Sanjay Mishra’s wife. You are never gonna get cast again in any other kind of role. So, you are kind of ending the possibilities by doing this role. But, I looked at it this way: it’s a great script, great role and great chance to work with someone of Sanjay Mishra’s caliber. I took it up and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And speaking of getting slotted that you get typecast to one kind of role. That era is gone. Right after Angrezi mein kehte hain, I did a film in which I was cast as a cougar and I was very glamorous in that. So, in one film I was playing as a housewife, and in another I was playing a role where the woman is a kind of boss who was seducing her colleagues. The point which I am trying to make is that things have changed, people are not stuck with those molds and patterns which they used to have. And I have never had that mindset that I consider myself and trying & struggling to be a heroine. I think the heroine is normally in her twenties. We all know that. “The idea is to be a good dependable actor who can also transform and I would say that I have been lucky and life has given me a chance to do different kinds of roles. Dear Dad, Bioscopewala, What will people say, Veere Di Wedding, in all these movies, I have different characters. So, I am quite fortunate and satisfied with the things the way they have unfolded.

And, I think “Angrezi mein kehte hain” has brought me the maximum amount of validation with regard to the audience. The kind of fan base, appreciation even from the critics, is great. This movie has put me out there in a certain way. It would not have happened if I hadn’t done this role. It was a good decision. 

This Is Why Ekavali Is The Perfect Fit For All Kinds Of Roles

Further, Ekavali Khanna talked how she has been lucky enough to get good roles and how she is the perfect fit for roles of even older age. She says, “Things are happening in its own way. If you have seen Bombay Begums, the character called Devyani Uniyaal is different from the role I have played in the past. So, opportunities come your way, And you have to try and reinvent yourself. You owe that to yourself as an actor. Try to surprise your audience in a good way. They are happy to see a new dimension of you, because after a time everyone will get tired of seeing the same thing again and again. So, I think, as a responsible actor you can’t be boring. So, I try to do different kinds of roles. And, I think I have one advantage, my face can transform very easily. It’s a physical medium, so, in this regard, it plays a very important role in what work you are getting? I can look very different with or without makeup. I look quite different with a little bit of change.”

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