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Aakanksha Singh on exploring the actor within

Updated on: 16 August,2022 07:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham | letty.abraham@mid-day.com

Aakanksha Singh on making a successful transition from TV to Bollywood and finding her footing in web entertainment as she headlines Rangbaaz season 3

Aakanksha Singh on exploring the actor within

Aakanksha Singh

While she wishes to change the pace of her career trajectory, Aakanksha Singh has no regrets thus far. She made a splash on television with 'Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha' and then vanished from the scene until we spotted her again in 'Badrinath Ki Dulhania' (2017) and 'Runway 34'. Singh forayed into digital entertainment with 'Escaype Live' and is headlining 'Rangbaaz: Darr Ki Rajneeti' on ZEE5.

Asked why she didn’t continue her television and Bollywood stint after Badrinath…, she says that people began to “typecast” her. “I didn’t want to be stuck in something I am not enjoying. In television, you tend to work for 30 days a month and [end up] doing the same thing for years. Somewhere, the actor inside me was not [satisfied] doing that. I was not willing to do any television show because they wanted me to play a mother to a 21-year-old again [after Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha].” Post Badrinath, where she garnered the experience of being on a Hindi film set, Singh was typecast again as the “heroine’s best friend”. “I wanted to run away from that. I drifted to the south because I liked the work that came to me.”

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Vineet Kumar and Aakanksha Singh in Rangbaaz: Darr Ki RajneetiVineet Kumar and Aakanksha Singh in Rangbaaz: Darr Ki Rajneeti

'Rangbaaz’s previous editions have been a success. It could have been easy to get bogged down by the pressure of repeating the success, but Singh — who joined the cast midway — never let it get to her. “I feel a sense of responsibility more than pressure,” says the actor, who plays the wife of a gangster-turned-politician. “The show focuses on three stages of my age — 20s, mid-30s, and early 50s. I did not have time to gain or lose weight for the role. I shot the older part before I shot the parts for the younger version of my character,” says Singh, adding that the physical transformation took a toll on her. “When I was playing the character in her 50s, the production gave me a bodysuit and dentures to wear. It was difficult to speak or eat wearing dentures. I was surviving on liquids. My jaw would hurt a lot because I could barely close my mouth and there was a lisp while saying the dialogues. To make it seem natural, I would wear the dentures hours before the shoot every day and practice talking in it.” While the different stages were a challenge, it was more difficult to get into the psyche of the character. Singh credits writer Siddharth Mishra for helping her understand Sana. The actor explains, “My character has subtle layers. She is madly in love with this gangster-turned-politician. She is strongly opinionated and is the only one who doesn’t flinch from putting Shah Ali Baig [played by Vineet Kumar] in his place. Furthermore, she is like his mirror. Siddharth helped me understand her mind better.”

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