It is a decisive year for Mithila Palkar — after making a mark on the digital platform with her web shows, Little Things and Girl In The City, she is switching gears to the big screen. As she juggles her Bollywood debut Karwaan and the second season of Little Things, the self-confessed "grammar Nazi" talks about her love for acting and finding a reluctant supporter in her 90-year-old grandfather.
How did Little Things happen?
Honestly, things happened by chance. People wanted to see Dhruv [Sehgal] and me on screen together, and we thought a web series was the right way to go. Season 2 was always in the pipeline, it just took us two years to put it together.
Dhruv and you share a crackling chemistry.
He was the DOP of my first sketch of FilterCopy and the web show, News Darshan. He came on board Little Things when we didn't find anyone to play the role. Luckily, our chemistry worked. Off-screen, we are not best friends. Neither are we in constant touch, but we understand each other's thought process. I am a grammar Nazi and he doesn't care about grammar, so, we are at loggerheads over it (laughs).
Now that you are making your Bollywood debut, will web take a backseat?
After Karwaan releases on June 1, I'll start shooting for Girl In The City Season 3. Things have slowed down in the digital space for me, but films won't put a stop to it.
Were you overwhelmed when Karwaan was offered?
Of course! Nandini Shrikant, who I've auditioned for in the past, was the casting agent for the film. Once shortlisted, I had to undergo a look test and was brought on board. I was sold on the fact that Irrfan [Khan] sir and Ronnie sir [Screwvala, producer] are associated with the film. Who wouldn't want to act with Irrfan?
Your family wasn't keen on you being an actor. How did you convince them?
I knew I wanted to be an actor at the age of 12. But I kept running away from the idea because I didn't get support at home. I belong to a middle-class Maharashtrian family where nobody thinks of acting as a career. My grandfather was against it. He finally relented on the condition that acting will come second, first, education.
What has been their reaction to your work?
My grandfather was excited about my advertisements, but was sceptical of my work on the web. He didn't believe that I was working because he couldn't see me on television. But at 90, he learned how to use a smartphone, and now he watches my shows. Praise from him is humbling.