EXCLUSIVE: His Storyy actor Mrinal Dutt on playing a homosexual, comparisons with The Married Woman and more
In September 2018, the Supreme Court of India struck down the draconian Article 377 that criminalised gay sex. Ever since then, many stories have been made revolving around the LGTBQ community. Now, another web series, titled, His Storyy, is here to highlight the struggles of a homosexual relationship. His Storyy starring Mrinal Dutt, Satyadeep Mishra and Priyamani centres around a gay relationship.
The Ekta Kapoor beautifully brings out the struggles, prejudices and opinions of society. His Storry released on April 25 on Alt Balaji and has received a great response from the audience. Viewers are appreciating the sensible and sensitive portrayal of the subject and the actor’s performances. We, at Bollywood Bubble, got in an exclusive and candid chat with Mrinal Dutt, who plays the role of Preet in the show. We spoke to him about playing a homosexual character onscreen, intimate scenes with the same gender, his family’s reaction, OTT censorship, comparisons with The Married Woman and more.
Revealing why he took up the role, Mrinal said, “The point is to do challenging and good work. I’m most excited to have characters that are far far away from me. I was not apprehensive of playing a gay onscreen. I was in fact very excited to do it. Shooting for the show has been a great process, and I was very fortunate.”
Sharing how he prepped up to play Preet in His Storyy, Mrinal Dutt added, “It was important to get into the mindscape of the person. To feel the neglect, the unacceptance that he faced in society. Some people are open about their sexuality, while others are scared. Preet, the character I play is somebody who is out there and has accepted who he is. He is well-read, educated, and has exposure to all this. To understand the characters demand, I spoke to a lot of gay friends, other friends and had a brief discussion with the writers also. The writers wrote the characters beautifully, so it was clear how it needs to portrayed onscreen. I also added my essence and understanding to bring life to it.”
Does he feel the change in people’s perception towards the LGBTQ community now after scrapping Article 377? To which Mirnal replies, “We are moving towards a progressive nation, and our thinking is getting evolved with each passing day. As much as we talk about these topics, we will create more awareness about them. Earlier there was no dialogue regarding the LGBTQ community, but baat karna bohot zaroori hai. And we still have a long way to change our mindsets.”
When asked if he was apprehensive to do intimate scenes with Stayadeep onscreen, Mirnal said, “Doing the intimate scenes was not an issue, if the story demands it, it must be done accordingly. When I’m acting, it’s not me thinking, I think like the character. My motive is to keep my prejudices, choices, likes and dislikes at bay when I’m playing a certain role. That said, I was concerned that it should be done well and done as and when needed.”
Talking about his parents’ reaction to His Storyy, Mrinal shared, “Luckily, my parents are very cool, and they have seen my roles in other projects. They have opened their horizons, bohot pehele hi mene unhe cheezein dikha di thi (giggles). Yes, they have a subdued reaction, but they’re okay with it. My mother is very cool, my cousins have watched it, but my dad has not reacted to it as yet because he does not watch a lot of stuff. However, my mother liked it, and fortunately, there has not been a weird reaction from their end.”
Highlighting the aim of the show, Mirnal added, “Also, it is very sensitively done, very tastefully done, so people are able to connect to the story and the characters. The idea is to show, they are human beings and it is their love story. Let’s get out of the conception of ‘It is a man on man thing.’ It is very natural, and that’s what the motive of the show is.”
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The Married Woman starring Ridhi Dogra and Monica Dogra revolved around two women falling in love. The show released last month on AltBalaji and was critically acclaimed. As Mrinal Dutt about comparisons of His Storyy with The Married Woman, he says, “See that is okay, comparisons are bound to happen. The Married Woman just released sometime back, and did exceptionally well, and received a lot of love. Though it is about same-gender love, the plot in both stories are completely different. There are some similarities, but everything is unique in our, so I’m not really bothered or concerned about the comparisons.”
Lastly, sharing his opinion about OTT censorship, Mrinal stated, “If regulation happens, it should bring quality control, because there are stories made which are not pleasing to see. But, at the same time, it should not let people stop from telling stories. Where there is a need for a certain thing, liberty should be given, but there must be a responsibility of doing it well.”