Her filmography is wide-ranging, from masala entertainers like Hero No 1 (1997) and Haseena Maan Jayegi (1999), to powerful stories in Fiza (2000) and Zubeidaa (2001). After over three decades in the movies, can any script surprise Karisma Kapoor? Yes, as it turns out. The actor cites the example of her upcoming web series Brown, exclaiming, “It bowled me over.”
Abhinay Deo’s directorial venture has become the first Indian series to be included in the coveted Berlinale Series Market Selects that kicks off today. Based on Abheek Barua’s novel City of Death, the neo-noir drama features Kapoor as Rita Brown, a cop investigating a high-profile murder case in Kolkata. While she was intrigued by the story, it wasn’t an immediate yes for the actor. Reason — she wasn’t sure whether she would be able to pull off the role. “She is so raw, human and flawed. I loved the character, but I thought, ‘Should I do it? Is this the right way for me?’ Abhinay and Zee Studios convinced me. Now, I am glad I did it. This is the kind of challenge that an actor wants to take up,” she says.
Brown reflects the kind of work that Kapoor wants to do, going forward. After Dangerous Ishhq in 2012, the actor took an eight-year sabbatical before returning to face the camera with the web series, Mentalhood (2020). Both her break and her eventual return have been solely her choices, she asserts. “I wanted to spend time with my kids. Doing movies, and being away for 100 days was a lot. So, taking a break was my choice, and I enjoyed that phase of my life. I don’t regret it. Now, I want to do different things. With Brown, I wanted to take up a challenge.”
Despite the initial hesitancy about doing the role, Kapoor says her instinct guided her to take on the project. It was always her instinct that shaped her career, she says, citing the example of Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) that won her a National Award. “Every actor had refused that role because they didn’t want to dance with Madhuri [Dixit]. [In contrast], I wanted to do this, being a Madhuri fan. It was on an impulse that I did it. I have always [followed] my heart. The same stands true for Brown.”
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