Television

It Took A Long Time But It Was Worth It: Karuna Pandey On Finding Fame With ‘Pushpa Impossible’

The wait was worth it, says actor Karuna Pandey, whose popularity soared like never before due to her TV show “Pushpa Impossible”. She says she has never experienced such a fan-following ever in her career.

Karuna Pandey
Karuna Pandey Photo: Instagram
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The wait was worth it, says actor Karuna Pandey, whose popularity soared like never before due to her TV show “Pushpa Impossible”. She says she has never experienced such a fan-following ever in her career.

In a career of almost 20 years, Pandey has played supporting to lead roles in many Indian television shows like “Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki”, “Yahan Mein Ghar Ghar Kheli”, “Bhaage Re Mann”, “Devanshi”, among others.

But “Pushpa Impossible”, which went on air on Sony SAB in 2022, made her an overnight star. In the show, she plays the lead role of Pushpa Patel, a feisty middle-aged woman.

“The kind of popularity and fame that ‘Pushpa Impossible’ has given me, the love of the audience... I meet so many people who share their stories, some women cry saying, ‘I’ve changed their lives.' When I go to the market, some women kiss me.

"It took me a long time to reach here but better late than never. I did ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ which I got because of the popularity of ‘Pushpa’. So, there are just add-ons, this show has given me a lot. It took a long time but it was worth it,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

According to Pandey, the reason behind the popularity of “Pushpa Impossible” is because many Indian women resonate with her character.

“A lot of women are either like Pushpa or they want to be like Pushpa. She does a lot of jugaad, she has this spice, innocence and at the same time, she is hopeful. She is not conventionally shy, she makes mistakes and has shortcomings as well. So all these things drive people towards us,” she said.

Pandey, who did masters in theatre from Chandigarh in 2002, said when she came to Mumbai, the aim was to join the movie industry.

She was set to make her debut with “Satte Pe Satta” fame filmmaker Raj Sippy’s movie “Cool Baby Cool”. But the film, also starring Vrajesh Hirjee and Rajpal Yadav, didn’t see the light of the day.

“When I came to Mumbai, I started out with a film, which unfortunately didn’t release. Then I took a turn towards the television industry in 2005. I’ve done a lot of characters -- negative, grey and positive. When I got ‘Bhaage Re Mann’ (2015), I was very happy because that was my first lead (role). The show did well and then I did ‘Devanshi’, in which I was the antagonist,” the actor recalled.

When she auditioned for the titular part of ‘Pushpa Impossible’, the actor had doubts about whether she would be able to bag the show or not.

"I was skeptical after giving the audition. I was not confident because I had done so many grey and negative roles. I was not sure if I’ll get the role of Pushpa. Getting a positive lead was not easy but I got it,” Pandey said.

The 43-year-old actor, who has appeared in movies like “Bollywood Diaries” and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer “Motichoor Chaknachoor”, said she is open to acting across all mediums but only if the role excites her.

“I would love to do films and web-series. If it’s a good concept and role, then why wouldn’t I do it? Cinema is my first love. If I get it (films), then good, and if not, then it’s okay. I’m satisfied as an actor, I’m content,” Pandey said.

Produced by noted actor-producer JD Majethia, “Pushpa Impossble” recently completed 600 episodes.

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