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Last Updated 21.07.2024 | 9:36 PM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: Munjya actor Abhay Verma on the film’s success, “Was waiting for this day for 13 years, life has changed”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Munjya actor Abhay Verma on the film’s success, “Was waiting for this day for 13 years, life has changed”

Abhay shares his jubilation at achieving success, playing the main lead for the first time, his experience of shooting with a CGI monster and a lot more.

Filmmaker Aditya Sarpotdar’s Munjya has become the biggest box office surprise of 2024. The movie, which is a horror comedy, doesn’t boast of big stars and it didn’t go through a huge marketing campaign. It has purely worked on the strength of its fine content that provides loads of entertainment. The film has also benefitted from a convincing performance by its main lead Abhay Verma, who plays Bittu.

EXCLUSIVE: Munjya actor Abhay Verma on the film’s success, “Was waiting for this day for 13 years, life has changed”

In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Abhay shares his jubilation at achieving success, playing the main lead for the first time, his experience of shooting with a CGI monster and a lot more.

Has your life changed since last Friday?

I was waiting for this Friday for 13 years. Every actor dreams about this Friday. When that Friday arrives, it becomes the most important day, more than your birthday and festivals like Diwali and Holi. Once that day arrives and if it becomes fruitful then… Honestly from my experience, I don’t remember my life before that (Friday). I have received so much of love in such less period. Like you said, life has changed. This is a confidence booster for every actor. I have realized how important public validation is.

How did your casting happen?

A lot of actors find auditions tiring but I don’t think that way. I feel an audition is like Gateway of India for every actor. If you cross that, then the sea is yours. Whatever happens after that, whether you swim or drown, but you need to cross the Gateway of India. I had given an audition. At that time, I knew that this was going to be a beautiful film. At that time, I had thought that irrespective of whether I become a part of it, the film is going to give a lot of encouragement to Hindi cinema. This genre hasn’t been explored much. I am happy that I started my theatrical journey with Munjya.

What was going on through you during the shoot? How much were you thinking about the box office?

Dil se kahi baat dil tak pohonch jaati hai. In my case, whenever I have thought about the result, I have failed. This is the case in everyday life. Whenever we think about the expectations and work while keeping the result in mind, we are unable to enjoy the process. This is because our focus is not on the process, it’s on the result. I feel we should only enjoy the process, so that the audience also enjoys that. We complicate a lot of things in life by overthinking. So, Munjya is a film about solving things, not making them more complicated. It’s a light film for the family.

How was it working with Aditya Sarpotdar? Was he like a strict taskmaster?

He was strict but he has a sarcastic way of explaining things, which I had understood. So we had developed a masti wala relation. He used to say something, then I used to say something. The good thing was that both of us were learning in this whole process. It was the first time in the film industry that a horror comedy with such CGI was made. So we both were learning respectively. When you are doing something for the first time in life, it has a different charm. We experienced that charm and developed a friend-like relation.

The monster Munjya was made through CGI. So, obviously he was created after the shoot while editing. As he wasn’t present there during the shoot, how did you shoot the scenes where you had to be with him and talk to him?

Munjya (the character) has received the maximum love. It was a tricky situation because in the movie I am conversing the most with Munjya. I knew that if this relation didn’t work, the film will lag behind somewhere. There were 2-3 things we needed to do. Firstly, the scenes where Munjya creeps behind my shoulder. Then comes my body language when Munjya appears. Thirdly, the change of voice for me after he arrives. So all this was imaginary for me. So there were a lot of things that needed to be done from my end. I had to imagine other actors’ performance also and act accordingly.

Generally, shooting action scenes is difficult and shooting normal scenes are comparatively easier. But in this film it was the opposite for me. Normal scenes were difficult and action scenes were easy. For action scenes, there were references on me getting hit. But in case of other scenes, there is no Munjya and you just have to imagine him. That was a difficult job. But I am glad that that has come across well and people are liking the compatibility and relationship that me and Munjya had.

The film shows a very sweet relationship between you and your grandmother, played by Suhas Joshi, who is a very senior actor

I would say ‘senior’ is a mild word. She is a legend now. I can refer to her and Mona ma’am as legends. They have shaped their careers from TV shows, ads and films. But they kept all that aside (while shooting). I call Suhas ma’am as aajji. So aajji is more of a kid than me. People might not know this. She used to become a child in front of me.

At the screening, I asked her how is she finding it. She said she is finding it good. So I said I am not talking about my work, I am talking about yours (laughs). This is how our relation is. It was a treat to work with her. Normally you do keep thinking that an actor is very senior. But the way she made everyone comfortable and created that friend-like atmosphere on set, it comes only through experience. I really love her from my heart. There can’t be a better aajji than her.

Sharvari plays your love interest in the film. How was your rapport with her?

We had earlier did an ad for Ponds. When I met her at Maddock’s office, I said that this is the best place where we are meeting. This is how we broke the ice. Our camaraderie is looking so good on screen and it is getting appreciated because off screen we are such good friends. We didn’t used to think much before giving ideas. We used to give cues to each other. So it was more like a friendship camaraderie rather than actors’ camaraderie.

You played a supporting character in Season 2 of The Family Man where you got known for the nickname of your character – Salman

If my 4-5 days’ work in The Family Man can provide me with so much love, I thought that if I do a full-fledged role in a Hindi film, I will get enormous love. Main toh pyaar ka bhooka hoon, main paison ka bhooka nahin hoon. The love that public gives, you can’t buy that. When you work dil se, the return you get is audience’s love.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: “Expecting Munjya to make Rs 100 crores would be silly of me,” says director Aditya Sarpotdar, crediting content over stars for success of recent films

More Pages: Munjya Box Office Collection , Munjya Movie Review


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