Actress Monica Chaudhary talks about gaining 20 kilos for her role in the web series ‘Salt City’, which also stars Piyush Mishra, Gauahar Khan, Divyendu Sharma, and Eisha Chopra, among others.
She talks about her role as Ela Bajpai and says: “It was one of the toughest decisions I have made in my entire life. The first and foremost requirement for me to play Ela was to put on 20 Kilos more weight.”
“Ela is stereotyped and fat-shamed throughout the series. There are scenes where she is running on the treadmill just to lose those extra pounds for her wedding so that she can look like the conventional pretty bride. In the series, we show how society’s harsh judgement affects and traumatises her,” adds the actress who was seen in ‘Apharan’, ‘Dark 7 White’ and ‘Rudrakaal’.
She continues: “For me at this stage of my career, putting on 20 kilos meant losing out on a lot of other work that was coming my way. But I decided to go ahead regardless as I fell in love with Ela’s character. Director Rishabh told me they will show different stages in her weight gain and weight loss journey and I’d have to prepare for the same.”
“I realised that it isn’t easy because it impacts your health negatively and you become lethargic. Now I’m back to being my normal fit self but have got stretch marks for life.”
Sharing about what prompted her to take the role, she reveals: “It was the ensemble cast as I have grown up watching movies of Piyush sir. When I met him, I told him how much I’d learnt from watching his performances.”
“Working with him was one item checked off my bucket list. And then there was Divyenndu whom I absolutely loved as Liquid in ‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’ and Munna Bhaiya in ‘Mirzapur’. I have always been a fan of Gauahar as well. When I met the director Rishabh, his narration of the series intrigued me and I wanted to explore this genre of family drama. So I said yes.”
Talking about her work experience with the entire cast, she says: “Working with an ensemble always gives you a lot to learn because every actor works using their own noteworthy style and method. And I’m that curious student who is looking to learn from everyone. I have been extremely fortunate that I have acted alongside some brilliant performers.”
“They have all been so helpful as well. I remember once I was in my own zone and wasn’t aware if my look was right for the scene. Guahar made sure of that, she fixed my hair. She is such an amazing and humble actor to work with. Also Divyenndu has helped me in every scene to bring out a fine performance. With Piyush sir, I used to ask him a lot of questions about his approach. So it’s always a learning experience,” she concludes.