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Mouni Roy: My friends have made me an agony aunt

Updated on: 07 November,2023 10:30 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Ready to give her vishesh tipni to lovers facing relationship turmoils, Mouni Roy discusses her role on Temptation Island

Mouni Roy: My friends have made me an agony aunt

Mouni Roy

From Naagin to Brahmastra, Mouni Roy has shone in fantasy offerings. But now, the actor is trading the fantasy world for one that is driven by love, fidelity and temptations. Roy will be seen as the Queen of Hearts on her first digital reality show, Temptation Island. The JioCinema show is an adaptation of its international version of the same name. In conversation with mid-day, the actor talks about relationships, marriage and how her non-judgmental nature makes her perfect to play an advisor on the show.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Why did you take up Temptation Island?
I have a good understanding of people’s emotions and relationships. Since I was a little girl, my friends or relatives would always seek my advice. They probably thought I had an unbiased opinion. Even now, I get late-night calls from my friends when they need my perspective. I have seen the international format of the show. It’s a social experiment to see how [couples] deal with [temptation]. When I was asked to be the Queen of Hearts, I had no reason to [turn it down]. I was initially nervous. But now that I have shot for two weeks, I’ve found my feet.

Relationships are hard, why complicate it by involving a third party?
[Tempters] are a format of the show. Most couples who come to the show are in some sort of [conflict]; either the relationship is not going anywhere or they’ve been together for 11 years and don’t know if they wish to be together or not. On the show, you get to see if the relationship is strong enough. I believe when the relationship is strong, there is no space for a third person.

Isn’t it better to consult a relationship counsellor?
That choice lies with the people participating. When JioCinema [bought the rights] to the format, there were so many couples who wanted to [participate]. That itself shows their preference.

At any point in those two weeks, did you feel let down by trivial disputes?
Relationships are complicated. I am non-judgmental, that is why I find myself being a good fit in the mix. Everyone comes from a different background, their upbringing is different, so I can’t be talking to everyone uniformly. My first day of shooting was nerve-wracking because I didn’t know them at all. I handled it well eventually.

Did you have a script to follow?
The show cannot be scripted. You don’t know how they will behave or what they will say.

Would you call yourself an agony aunt?
I think I am one [laughs]. My friends have made me one over the years.

How do you resolve a conflict?
When I was younger, I used to be very emotional. With a lot of meditation and self-work, I’ve reached a place where if there is a problem, I try to find a solution. Of course, I have arguments with my husband, but we talk it out. I think after marriage, something changes; you know you have to be with this person for the rest of your life, so there is no point fighting. It’s easy to move on after a fight [once you are married]. If you hold on to it, I have realised that you hurt yourself more than the other person.

Given the opportunity, would you be part of the show?
I cannot be part of the show because I am married. It’s a prerequisite for the participants to be dating.

Do you think Brahmāstra changed the way the industry looked at you?
It gave me a lot of respect. People knew that I could act, but when they saw me play Junoon, they appreciated it. My character wasn’t shouting or screaming, I was wearing an outlandish garb and I was a bit nervous because my dialogues were in shudh Hindi. So, I didn’t know how people would react. The audience’s acceptance and love overwhelmed me.

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