Did not face any bias: Youtuber Prajakta Koli on turning actor with ‘Mismatched’

Mumbai, December 3

Popular YouTuber Prajakta Koli says her transition from social media to shows has been smooth as her acting aspirations were never judged by people in the industry.

Known by her online name ‘MostlySane’, Koli earned recognition five years ago by making comedy sketches for YouTube and Instagram.

Though Koli made her acting debut with the short film “Khayali Pulav” earlier this year, the 27-year-old received acclaim with her latest Netflix series, “Mismatched”, co-starring Rohit Saraf, Rannvijay Singha, Vidya Malavade, among others.

In an interview with PTI, Koli said she never faced any prejudice because of her background as a social media content creator and was treated with the same respect as her co-stars on the “Mismatched” set.

“I didn’t face any bias. I never really had any discussion with anyone that I want to be an actor or how to go about it. Every inquiry that came in, I always went in for auditions. I didn’t feel any bias for a bit.

“On the set, I felt so warm thanks to my co-actors, directors and producer. Everyone was welcoming and there wasn’t a single day when I felt I wasn’t taken seriously,” she said.

The series is based on Sandhya Menon’s book “When Dimple Met Rishi” and is directed by “Karwaan” helmer Akarsh Khurana and Nipun Dharmadhikari, known for co-hosting YouTube talk show “Casting Couch With Amey & Nipun”.

Khurana also serves as a showrunner for the series.

While much of Koli’s independent work is rooted in observational comedy and requires the actor to perform, she knew with a series like “Mismatched”—spanning six episodes—the challenges were enormous.

“The school of acting for the show was very different to the kind of content I do. When I was doing the show, I knew that it’d be different. But Akarsh and Nipun were clear on what they wanted from me.

“I went through a screening process, where I auditioned and did a retest and that’s when we landed in a place where I got to do the show. So I haven’t experienced that (bias) and I’m hoping I won’t.” Koli said she was drawn towards the young-adult romantic series, penned by “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” writer Gazal Dhaliwal, purely for the “heart” it had to offer.

“It was a content that I was missing. I am a hopeless romantic, so I have always liked watching stories of friendship, love and cheesy romance which I was missing in the digital space and even in Bollywood.

“When the show came in, I, of course, wanted to do this as an artiste but also as an audience, this was something I wanted to watch,” she added.

Koli’s journey from working in a radio station to becoming a top Youtuber and now finally headlining a Netflix series might look unbelievable but for Koli, it’s a path that has taken her to a place she can call home.

While the digital medium ignited her passion to act—she would do theatre in college— it hit a peak with “Mismatched”, where Koli could experience and portray wide-ranging emotions with her character of an ambitious small-town girl Dimple.

“I remember feeling at home when I was doing the show. It wasn’t out of my comfort zone. Everyday came as a fair bit of challenge to me. It was new, I was learning. The fact that I was working with a team that was so efficient made a massive difference.” The actor will be next seen in Karan Johar backed “Jug Jugg Jeeyo”, featuring Varun Dhawan, Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Kiara Advani.

Koli said the way her career has taken off, she feels every day is a “blessing.”

“Every day of these five years have been a bonus. When I started making YouTube videos, I didn’t expect anything. No one saw this internet boom happening back in the day or the arrival of streaming platforms with such force.

“Today, I feel so blessed that I get to live this life where the possibilities are endless. Where I get to get up and have the liberty to constantly explore myself as an artiste,” she said. — PTI

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