In the entertainment industry, the popular perception is that an actress’s shelf life is only till she gets married, or at best till she has a child, unless she is the likes of Aishwarya Rai or Kareena Kapoor. TV actress Moon Banerjee, currently playing the character of Asha Bose in the popular Sony Entertainment Television soap, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, has a different take.
Having been in the TV industry for about two decades, the Bengali actress is enjoying her second innings since her comeback a year and a half ago with Zee TV’s Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani, after her son Rumeer turned 3 and a half.
“The day you decide to play a mother’s role after doing leads and second leads, you get more roles. Also, people are always on the lookout for new faces in mothers’ roles,” she tells SheThePeople.TV.
Passionate about acting, Moon’s foray into television was in the early 90s with Zee TV’s Campus, when she was in the 8th or 9th standard. As more roles and ad shoots poured in, she dropped out of second year BA to concentrate full-time on acting. Part of popular ads like Horlicks, Sunsilk and Tide, Moon has even acted in a Bangladeshi film.
Asked how difficult it is to make a comeback in the TV industry after having a child, Moon, who has acted in serials like Kasautii Zindagi Ke and Sasural Genda Phool, says, “Like I said if you are ready to play a mother, you will get roles. All leads are anyway played by teenagers or those in their early 20s.”
“Everybody wants to act these days, not because they are passionate about acting, but because they want to enjoy the fame,” she adds. ”I am the happiest when I get to act and I would love to do this till I die.”‘
So where does she see herself 10 years down the line? “Hopefully, I will set up a production house. I feel we need to give viewers more relatable, intelligent content,” says Moon.
On the kind of challenges she faces being the mother of a young son, Moon says, “Recently, I got an offer for a role that required extensive shoot in Delhi, which I had to turn down. I am ready to do roles that give money and exposure but I have to take care to choose roles that don’t disrupt my family life, specially that of my son.”
It helps that Moon’s husband Neeraj Sharma is in a related field. A writer-producer mostly for web series, he works from home and takes over when Moon is on shoots. “Because his work is chilled out, I can do what I want to do,” says Moon.
Does her son understand the kind of work she does? “Well, I try to explain to him the difference between what we see on TV and real life,” she says.
How has she evolved as a person over the years? “Eight years ago, I took up Buddhism. A dear friend, who is also into acting, introduced me to it and it has changed my life,” says Moon, explaining how from being a laid-back person, she turned into someone more calm and a multi-tasker. “Earlier, I used to react, but now I respond to situations. There’s a huge difference between the two,” she says, adding, “Buddhism changes your karma.”
What’s the type of role she’s looking for now? “Right now, I will be happy if I get to play the hero’s mom as so far, I have only been cast as the heroine’s mom. As the heroine gets married, the scene shifts to her in-laws and the heroine’s mom’s track gets shortened,” she says in a lighter vein. Here’s wishing her all the luck!