Sushmita Mukherjee on seeking her comedy quotient

There is very little Sushmita Mukherjee hasn’t achieved in her four-decade career. An alumnus of the National School of Drama, the actor had a plethora of options at her disposal — films, television shows and web series. After her last stint on television, Jagannath Aur Purvi Ki Dosti Anokhi in 2022, it took a lot of convincing to get Mukherjee on board a new television show.

“I was not keen on doing television because I had just wrapped up a sweet show, which ran for four months. When they came to me with Meri Saas Bhoot Hain, I immediately said no. Despite their repeated efforts, I didn’t give my nod. Then the [channel’s] creative head asked me to reconsider the role as it was based on Aparna Sen’s Bengali film Goynar Baksho [2013]. That had me hooked,” says Mukherjee, adding that the daily soap is more mainstream, while loosely following the arc of the Bengali film. “I am playing the character originally [essayed] by Moushumi Chatterjee.”

The comedy-drama has Mukherjee playing a spirit who haunts her daughter-in-law. Mukherjee says comedy comes easily to her. “Being a theatre artiste, I have explored several genres. [With comedy], I am being myself. My family and friends call me a clown. My son tells me to behave, but why should I? I believe humour is an extension of me,” says the actor.

The veteran actor has witnessed the transition of showbiz, as television went from black-and-white to colour, from Doordarshan to digital entertainment. She says the key to sustaining a successful career is adaptability. “Change is the only thing constant. It is important to adapt with time, or you will be left sitting by the shores of the sea. I never chased money or fame. It was about experimenting with different roles. I didn’t come to become a heroine, so I didn’t have to compromise for quality [roles].”

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