Indian actor Ashmita Meghrajani opens up about her acting, assisting in a national-award winning movie and becoming a part of Sony LIV’s original series, Rocket Boys.
Entertainment has become an important way of telling stories and showing people the BTS of efforts that were put by people who went on to become historic. And it’s through these stories that we get to know about every person who played an important and impactful role, no matter how small in making them happen. One such story is that of SonyLIV‘s original series, Rocket Boys. While the story is about two of the greatest scientists of India – Vikram Sarabhai and Dr. Homi Bhabha, we’re also introduced to some female figures in their lives who had their own role to play in their now successful life story. Among them is Mridula Sarabhai, a devoted Gandhian, an Indian Independence activist, and a politician. Indian actor and director, Ashmita Meghrajani brings the renowned politician to life in the series and leaves her own mark among the audience.
Ashmita is a 25-year-old aspiring actress who has always dreamed of being an actor. A crazy cinema lover, she perpetually imagined herself being part of movies. Learning dialogues, re-enacting, and performing them in front of her family encouraged her to experience it on a bigger screen. Contrary to all the strong female characters that she has played so far she’s quite a shy person in real life. According to her, it’s the chance to discover the passionate, expressive side of herself through acting that makes her fall in love with this magic of filmmaking all over again.
She was recently a part of Rocket Boys, a story about the excellence, fervent passion, and endearing friendship of two of the greatest scientist India has seen. Ashmita had the chance to portray the role of Mridula Sarabhai, Vikram Sarabhai’s sister in the show giving us another reason to celebrate this incredible story. As Rocket Boys explores the story of the Sarabhai family; we understand how Mridula becomes imperative in the show to understand Vikram Sarabhai’s roots and his family’s influence on his own life. We had the opportunity to have a chat with the actor herself and understand her experience of being part of this story that spoke about India’s history.
The show is a success and the audience is loving it. What are your emotions? How do you feel right now?
I feel so good simply because of the number of people watching the show right now and reaching out saying how much they’re enjoying it. I was at a wedding recently and everyone was invariably talking to me about Rocket Boys. I can’t begin to tell you what it feels like to be seen, heard, and appreciated for what I love to do! It’s very encouraging and I’m feeling very optimistic about the future.
Tell us about your character, Mridula. How did you end up with the role?
Although Mridula Sarabhai was Vikram Sarabhai’s sister, she had some fascinating facets to her personality. She was an activist, politician, and a devoted Gandhian during the independence era. She was a real visionary, a strong and fierce woman. In the series, her character is instrumental in establishing the background and roots of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Her character is a window into showing the many aspects of the Sarabhai family. I had auditioned for the part during the first lockdown in 2020; it was one of my first self-tests. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get the part because I wasn’t sure if I was getting it right, I hadn’t even fully become comfortable with self-tests by that time. So, I had given the audition and forgotten about it. Then, I got a call a few days later saying I got the part! I still can’t believe my luck but yay!!
You said that you’re a shy person in real life. How do you prepare to open up and get into a character when on camera?
BELIEVE ME, I’m still trying to figure that out. I don’t know really. I guess normally I feel shy around new people but when acting, it’s a very personal time even though I’m surrounded by people. Something changes every time I’m in front of the camera or on stage. I feel comfortable and open and just at home, you know? Not saying that I don’t get nervous, I get very very very nervous before I begin shooting but it doesn’t last long.
Rocket Boys is about two visionaries who changed the fate of Indian science. What was your reaction to knowing that you will be a part of a show that tells their story?
Oh, I was over the moon! There was so much I didn’t know about the scientific history of my own country before I read the script of Rocket Boys. I was so surprised to know that not too many people know of these genius men. So, there was definitely a lot of excitement to learn more about them first and be a part of telling their brilliant story to the world!
You are from Ahmedabad and might have been exposed to the Sarabhai family. Were you aware of Mridula Sarabhai’s story before? How did you prepare for the role?
Yes, the Sarabhai family is very well-known here but I had only read about Vikram Sarabhai and his daughter Mallika Sarabhai. I knew he had a sister but I learned more about Mridula through the process of working on this character. The team had collected some material on her while they were researching for the show – her pictures with Gandhiji during the independence movement, even some of her younger pictures, articles that were written about her back then, and some books that mentioned her work vividly. All of this combined with my own research helped greatly in gaining insight into her personality. There weren’t any video references from the time so I just relied on instinct and imagined how I could bring her to life.
Can you tell us a bit about your national award-winning movie ‘Hellaro’?
Hellaro is a Gujarati feature film; it’s a beautiful story about 9 women and how a chance encounter with a stranger changes their lives forever. I worked as an assistant director in Hellaro, it was my first ever film set experience. I was so new and didn’t know anything but it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. Working with a great team is priceless. Hellaro set the bar very high for me, I’m always hoping to get the same kind of experience everywhere I go!
Do you plan to do more directing roles in the future as you have been an assistant director in the past?
I love acting, there is nothing else I love doing more! I have worked as an assistant director briefly but that’s very different from directing. It requires more management and coordination than direction. I have never directed; it’s fascinating but I really don’t know what it’s like.
Why would you suggest our audience watch Rocket Boys if they haven’t yet?
You know, Rocket Boys is about two science prodigies who created the biggest milestones in the scientific history of India but it’s also about two passionate, eccentric boys Vikram and Homi, and their friendship and love for science. I’m sure even if you’re not a science buff, you’ll connect to their humanness, their drive. At its heart, it’s a warm, human story that will give you goosebumps, pakka.
Any future projects that you’re working on and would like to share with us?
I’ve been auditioning left, right and center so I’m sure there will be something new to talk about very very soon. For now, there are lots to celebrate and lots to look forward to!
Have you watched her in Rocket Boys? Let us know what you think of her performance in the comments below.