Himani Shivpuri, currently seen as Katori Amma in &TV’s comedy show, ‘Happu Ki Ultan Paltan’, is renowned for her roles in several record-breaking blockbusters, captivating audiences worldwide with her exceptional talent. Her remarkable acting prowess has garnered an immense following and captured the hearts of millions.
In a candid conversation with Prateek Sur, the actress passionately expresses her deep affection for the art form and talks about what success means to her as an artist.
What led you to choose acting as your career?
My passion for drama blossomed during my time at the Doon School in Uttarakhand, and I actively participated in theatrical activities. During my MSC in chemistry, a workshop conducted by the National School of Drama (NSD) took place at our college. At that moment, I realized my true calling and decided that pursuing a career in acting was what I truly desired. It led me to choose to attend the prestigious National School of Drama, marking the beginning of my journey as an actor.
How do you personally define success as an artist?
For me, genuine success as an artist stems from the love and appreciation one receives from their audience. As performers, we strive to captivate and impress our viewers, and when they respond with applause, it signifies a remarkable achievement. Success is connecting with people and touching their hearts through our art and work.
What aspect of acting brings you the most enjoyment?
In my perspective, the ability to influence others holds tremendous significance. As an actor, I take immense pride in the opportunity to inspire my audience through my art across diverse platforms such as television, theatres, streaming services, and social media. It is a satisfaction to know that my performances can ignite a spark of inspiration and impact the lives of those who engage with my work.
Which role in your career has been your favourite so far?
Responding to this question is a challenge, for each character I bring to life on screen or in theatres has an emotional significance. However, I would be delighted to mention a few of my favourites. One such remarkable portrayal is that of Devki Bhaujai in the film ‘Humrahi’ where I immersed myself in a character filled with depth and nuance, evoking a range of emotions within me. Another cherished role is that of Razia Begum in the beloved classic ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun?’ where I had the privilege of portraying a strong-willed and influential character that left an indelible mark on the hearts of the audience. Additionally, the endearing character of Kammo in the timeless blockbuster ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ allowed me to showcase a delightful blend of innocence and charm. Lastly, I cannot overlook my current role as Katori Amma in ‘Happu Ki Ultan Paltan’. Katori Amma is perceptive about her son Happu’s moods, and they share heartfelt conversations. Their misadventures make for entertaining viewing. They form an unconventional yet endearing mother-son duo on Indian television. Each character has enriched my artistic journey and left a lasting impact on the viewers.
What is your preferred genre?
I do not limit myself to any one genre. I find great joy and fulfilment in immersing myself in various genres. Whether it's the light-heartedness of comedy, the intensity of the drama, or the suspense of a thrilling storyline, I embrace the opportunity to delve into diverse roles and showcase my versatility. Each genre presents challenges and demands, allowing me to constantly push my boundaries and evolve as an artist. The sheer range of experiences and emotions I can explore through different genres captivates me and keeps my passion for acting alive. It doesn't matter if it's a comedy, drama, or thriller—I adore and appreciate doing anything that comes my way.
Can you share the most challenging aspect of your work?
One of the most demanding aspects of being in the public eye is dealing with trolls and criticism. Regardless of your actions, individuals will always be ready to voice their opinions. While feedback can vary between positive and negative, I embrace both openly. Constructive criticism is a valuable tool for personal and professional growth, and I actively utilize it to enhance myself as an individual and a performer.
Who has had the greatest influence on you?
My late husband, Gyan Shivpuri, has been the most significant influence on my life and career. He was pivotal in pushing me beyond my comfort zone of plays and theatre, encouraging me to venture into the world of Bollywood films. His unwavering motivation and belief in my abilities inspired me to embrace new opportunities and embark on an exciting journey in the film industry.
Apart from acting, are there any other endeavours you wish to pursue?
In addition to acting, writing and directing are my true passions. I wholeheartedly dedicate myself to exploring new creative endeavours rather than confining myself to what I have already experienced. Hence, whenever I find the time, I fully pursue my passions.
Describe your initial experience in front of the camera.
Similar to any actor, I experienced a sense of fear and apprehension. Despite my proficiency in stage plays, the prospect of performing in front of the camera made me nervous. Nevertheless, I am immensely thankful for the presence of my director and supportive co-stars, as their guidance and encouragement helped me navigate through those moments of trepidation.
Tell us about your family. Who is your most dependable family member, and why?
My family has been an incredible pillar of support, standing by my side through both joyous and challenging moments. When I tragically lost my husband, my parents provided unwavering care, and my son became my source of inspiration, urging me to embrace life. Though the times were tough, my family played a crucial role in making them more manageable.