Operation MBBS stars Sarah Hashmi and Anshul Chauhan talk about their experience working in Dice Media’s show in our latest interaction with them.
With audiences interest shifting from the movies to OTT platforms there are a number of interesting shows that are being produced on these platforms. And along with the shows, a number of talented actors are also gaining popularity through their work. Two of such actors from the cast of Dice Media‘s Operation MBBS are, Sarah Hashmi and Anshul Chauhan, who play two MBBS students in the web-show.
Sarah became a familiar face after her role in Dil Dadakhne Do and has done some other interesting projects including Bebaak. Anshul, on the other hand, made her debut in 2017 with a role in the movie, Shubh Mangal Savdhan and has since been a part of multiple projects including Netflix India‘s Taj Mahal. Both the Operation MBBS stars got candid with us and shared their experience of working together.
Here’s all Operation MBBS stars, Sarah Hashmi and Anshul Chauhan had to share about the show:
1) How was your whole experience of working in Operation MBBS?
Sarah: “It was great. Ever since we got our audition call after that the journey was so fast yet so much fun. You seldom come across a project where everyone on the set has the same vibe. And that’s what we found on the set. We all were on the same page, all the time. The director was great, he actually became our friend and now he treats us as his kids. He took us under his mentorship and we were just there. We had a couple of rehearsals and workshops before going for the shoot and that really helped us to come together as these three students who are friends in college. So that really helped us build our friendship. That was the starting point of it and after that, it was just amazing because where we stayed at the hotel, we were together all the time. Our vans were right next to each other. Anshul and I would undo the partition in fact.”
Anshul: “We wanted to have our own different space, but the doors were always open. So, sometimes my call time used to be an hour prior to hers and the vanity dada would ask me if he should open the vanity van. And after this web-series bohot ache relationships leke hum nikal rahe hai. That’s very rare and personally, this was by far the best experience I’ve had. Off-set and On-set. Because the positivity off-set was so much that acting in front of the camera became quite easy for us to establish those relationships. We were all in sync with the director, DOP, production, everybody.”
2) Given your characters, how different was it working for it?
Sara: “There have been characters that I have played that I can relate to very easily like what I did in ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, so that was something that came very naturally to me because at that time I was in that tomboy zone or baggy jeans and all of that. So, that was easy. But over here my character Huma has, I mean it is very easy to put her in that bracket that she is the nerd of the class but as you start seeing layers coming off her you will see that she is such a great character. And not just Huma even Sakshi and Nishant are great and that’s how humans are but that doesn’t mean it was easy to incorporate that. I have never been a nerd, I have been an average, above-average student but not a nerd. So, it was difficult because the kind of insecurities the nerd has is very different than that of a person who has scored something around forty on eighty. You always want to be the best and that comes with a lot of baggage from your friends and family. Apart from that maintaining and trying to be the best is also tough. So, yaa all of that is what I think was a little hard to wrap.”
Anshul: “I speak Marathi in this and I am from Noida. So, catching the accent and all the details were the only thing that was difficult for me. Apart from that, the kind of background she comes from it’s a middle-class, lower-middle-class family where they are not supposed to be a professional and they shouldn’t be doing what they want and sadly coming from such a family made it easy for me. But yaa playing a Maharashtrian was the only difficult part. Also, she is always jumping around, a very bubbly character so all the time before entering the set or 3 seconds before action I could take in to become Sakshi. Because now I know the energy level is like 8 if Anshul is at 4 toh action se phele yeh ho jayega. These are the small things I had to maintain, baki there was the writer, Praveen Yadhav on sets who would help me with Marathi constantly because being a North-Indian you might not be able to catch that exact Marathi accent. So, he used to send me voice notes, and he has his own different accent so he would request his girlfriend to record it for me.
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3) Are there any other personal challenges that these characters have faced in the show that you can relate to?
Anshul: Yaa I think so, because Sakshi is a people’s character like that. She will give you everything. So she has seen her friends getting jealous of her and this was something Sakshi was not prepared. Usske liye vo disheartening hai ki we are best friends how can you get jealous of me? That was something she was not prepared for. So, the same thing has happened to me in real life. Your own friends will start getting jealous of you or something of that sort.”
Sara: “I think Huma and her family are sorted. They are not a hindrance in any way in what she is doing in her life, but one thing that really hampers Huma is the competitive side. I mean competition is always good and it is healthy and you should be competitive but too much of it can really hamper you. And you need to be so careful because you know there are various levels of competition like to crack your NEET, to come first in class, there is competition everywhere. You need to have a certain frame of mind to be competitive and it can take a toll on you. That’s probably what happens with Huma. In my life I am a bit competitive but I try and keep it under check. Like it should not bother others, that’s when it becomes a hindrance. And I thought this is what Huma was dealing with very deeply.
4) Did you learn any new slang while playing MBBS students?
Anshul: So the full form of MBBS, I asked my doctor and even she could not say it. So the full form of MBBS is apparently ‘Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae’ that’s it. And we had all of these phrases just thrown at us right, left and centre. We also had those thick books thrown at us about body anatomy that talks about nerves and such big names. How do they even remember? We have even more respect for the doctors now.
5) You worked in a space with dead bodies. How was that for you guys?
Anshul: “We didn’t even know we will have to be in that room. And then people told us that this is where it happens. But I became very comfortable after a point of time because it looked like chicken. You might not feel it but if you go to the place you will be amazed at the way things happen. We became so comfortable.”
Sarah: “Yaa and we were sitting there with our green tea. After a point even the smell becomes familiar. There were buckets with kidney, liver all of that. Once you are there you are there. The students who were there with us in the class tried to scare the living shit out of us. That there are many dead bodies on the roof you should go and check it out. But it was fun. It was like Harry Potter and Lord Of the Rings with all of those scary creatures coming alive for us.”
6) What are you taking away from Operation MBBS?
Anshul: “Definitely being comfortable around dead bodies. I am not scared of ghosts and zombies anymore because I have seen everything. So, I don’t think I am scared of anything anymore. Apart from this what I am taking away from the show is Sarah.”
Sarah: “Yaa me too. I miss her on sets and being with her and talking endlessly. Like the whole experience. But we will soon get into it again hopefully. So, I think this time off will be good we will have a detox from all of this and then we will be back.”
7) Did you guys bond with Aayush as well?
Sarah: “We bonded with Aayush but it’s just that we have a lot in common. We did theatre, our colleges are close to each other, our teachers own each other, she is from Delhi I am from Delhi. We had a lot more in common but it was not like we totally side-lined Aayush. We all used to chill together, take care of each other. In the show we (Huma and Saakshi) stay together so we had more scenes together than with Aayush.”
8) What do you think the audiences are going to love about Operation MBBS and your characters?
Sarah: “I think the relatability. They are very relatable. Not just from the field of medicine every student or person who has experienced the student life will relate to it because it is just what the society and the societal pressure does to a student and how you deal with that is what the show talks about. And the friendship and all the fun times in college is also what everybody can relate to.”
Anshul: “The simplicity of the show, the packaging altogether. It’s very simple, it’s very relatable, as she said. This is a slice of life, we’ve all lived the college life with ur friends so when you watch the show you’ll remember them, you’ll be happy. You may even call your friends after watching the show.”
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This is a special 'Thank You' post for all the lovely people who are watching 'SOULMATES' and 'AAFAT' and taking the efforts to search me online and message me and wish me! I am so so humbled, and my bad that I am unable to reply to each one of you.. But I am reading most of the messages and I am so grateful to each one of you.. Thaaaaaankkssss Guyssss❤️❤️❤️❤️ #soulmates #soulmatesonzoom #aafat #mainhoonaafat #anshulchauhan Wardrobe ? : @_agarwalpooja_
9) What do you think about the OTT space? How it is changing things for artists?
Sara: “I think it is a wonderful time to be alive, to be acting, directing. It is a wonderful time for all the artists and creators around. Great content is getting churned out, however, there is some really bad content out there. I think the OTT space is at its initial stage so it will take some time for the bad content to be churned out and only the cream will be around. That will take some time because obviously it will go through a phrase. But yaa one has to hang on to the opportunity and grab them with both your hands because this is the time to be seen and make sure your voice is heard.”
Anshul: “There are a lot more opportunities for not just the actors but young writers, DOP, directors like that so it has become easier. And also now it doesn’t matter if you are living in Bombay. Whichever part you belong to it has become easy. Just show your talent and you are there. If you want to be in a bigger place like the films you can prove your self here, for example, Jithu, he is such a big example. You only get motivated and excited about seeing such people. For people like us, it was really hard. So it is becoming easy at least we would like to believe that it can happen. It is giving more hope to people.”
Have you watched Operation MBBS starring Sarah Hashmi and Anshul Chauhan yet? Go watch now!