Mahima Makwana, the actress of Salman Khan’s film ‘Antim’, talked about all the issues like her career, film, mother, chawl ke din, rejections. She said- I had not even imagined that I would become such a heroine.
Mahima Makwana, who started her career with the small screen as a child artist, did many popular shows on television, but her life changed literally overnight when she was transferred to Salman Khan Production House. Got a call to audition for the heroine of ‘Antim: The Final Truth’. The interesting thing is that she was quickly selected. Today, after the success of ‘Antim’, Mahima has many offers for films and web shows. In this meeting, she talks about all the issues like her career, films, mother, chawl ke din, rejections, future plans.
How much did you benefit from a Salman Khan starrer film like ‘Antim’? What kind of offers are you getting?
The biggest advantage was that I made my debut. I could only dream that I would work with Salman sir, Mahesh sir (director-actor Mahesh Manjrekar). The biggest thing for me in this film was that my role in this film as the protagonist was very strong, where there comes a scene in the film when she slaps Rahuliya (Aayush Sharma) for her self-esteem. It is known from this scene that the heroine is not just a name in the film. I am very thankful that I got appreciation from the audience and critics. The film also did good business in the conditions of Kovid with 50% occupancy. Today the film is on Zee5 and people have liked the film. For me, getting a chance in such a big and grand film was the biggest advantage. Right now I am getting different types of offers. I am constantly listening to scripts, giving auditions. I am ready for all genres.
In the film, your character Manda takes a stand for her self-respect. Has there ever been an occasion in real life, when as a girl, you raised your voice for yourself or for someone else?
I think my mom is a big inspiration for me in this matter. I was only 6 months old when my father passed away and my brother was 9 years old. My mom has been a social worker. His strong personality was important in the way he brought up me and my brother in the face of adversity. As a strong woman, I idolize my mother. In the society we live in, people look down on women and the challenges are innumerable especially for women who do not have husbands, who are single parents. Along with pursuing my studies, I got the strength to pursue my career from my mother. From the age of 9-10, I started working on TV as a child artist. I have always been conscious of my self-respect and rights.
After the death of your father, you spent your childhood in a chawl. Today, after becoming a heroine, I remember the days of Chawl, so how do you feel?
I believe that whatever I am today, my chawl’s upbringing has played a big part in it. I never forget those days. I still go there today. I had a chawl in Dahisar and I have no shame in saying that I grew up in a chawl. All I would say to people is that when I can make my mark, you can too. When you live in a crawl, you are very close to your neighbors. Be it a festival or a quarrel in the house, they are like your extended family. I still remember celebrating Diwali and Holi with my neighbors. I learned to value money and values in the crawl. Today my mother and I were able to reach here only on the strength of our hard work.
How did you get your chance in ‘Ultimate’?
I was the last cast member of the film, which was cast two days before the shooting. The shooting of the film was about to begin and I am called for an audition from Salman Khan Productions and Mahesh sir takes my audition. I am told that after two days I have a shoot. I had never imagined that I would become such a heroine because for a long time I was auditioning for films and web shows and nothing was working out. I was constantly facing rejections and I didn’t expect much from this audition. I was just giving my best. It was not much time since I came home from the audition that in the evening I get a call that I have been selected and I am shooting. I got only two days to prepare for my role. To be honest, till the time the trailer was launched, I couldn’t believe it was true.
Salman Khan is said to be a bit angry, how was your experience with him?
I met him for the first time when I went to promote my show Shubhaara in ‘Bigg Boss’. He had welcomed us very well and after a year I had to shoot with him in his film. Luck is also wonderful. A year ago I was waiting for him on the sets of ‘Bigg Boss’ and a year later shooting with him. I do we all grew up watching his movies. He has inspired me a lot. It was a big deal for me to be around him. It is also a pleasure to observe legend superstars like him. He was not angry at all on the sets. Inverse jokes were cracking. He knew that Aayush was also nervous and I was too. He tried to make all of us very comfortable on the sets. He was very supportive on the sets.
You have done a lot of work on TV, are you now open to OTT or will you focus on Bollywood?
-I am open to OTT. I have been a part of two OTT projects like Rangbaaz and Flash and I would like to work on this platform in the future also. OTT is a very powerful medium for an actor in today’s era. Not only does the reach of his talent grow, as well as the kind of content that is on OTT today, but it is also giving actors a chance to do very lively roles. OTT has become a game-changer today. I have auditioned for many OTT projects and I am looking forward to some good projects.
Which directors and actors in Bollywood would you like to work with?
My list is so long that it is not going to end (laughs) I have to work with all the stalwarts like Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir, Shoojit Sircar sir, Mahanayak Bachchan sir, SRK. It is a great pleasure to work with Aditya Roy Kapur in Young Lot. He is my big crush.