Maanvi Gagroo has done theater and films. She now acted in the instantly viral Girlyapa video ‘Controversy Ho Gayi’. In the video, Maanvi and her crew tackle gender discrimination in an intense and humorous video. We invited Maanvi Gagroo at the TDH studios to know more about her and her video. Here’s the transcript of that conversation:
How different is it working in a film and a web series?
As an actor, it is the same. There’s not a lot of difference there. The major difference is the budgets. Then there is also the time difference. For a web series, you have limited time, as compared to a film. When it comes to indie films, you have less time compared to a big budget Hindi film.
How did the Girlyapa happen?
I have known the TVF guys for a long time, even before Permanent Roommates and Pitchers. I was aware about their stuff and I used to watch the stuff that they made. They called me for an audition and that was it.
Why do you think the video has gone viral?
I didn’t feel that it was that big a deal. But I feel that in small towns and even in metros, a lot of families tell their girls this. My sister and me have never been told to ‘sit straight’. But because of this video, I found that a lot of girls have undergone this. It is a daily thing for them. I guess it resonated with people across the country.
Did you think the stand that you take against moral policing would be problematic?
I was told that there will be two cops that will come in the scene of the video. When I first saw the video, I felt it was wrong because only one hardliner was shown. If you show all types of hardliners, then nobody feels targeted as they feel that we are talking about all types of fanaticism. I thought it would be a problem but nothing happened so I let it pass.
Have you ever faced gender discrimination in the industry?
We had gone for our film promotion, there were two guys and two girls, me, Shahana, Varun and Vishal. They were only talking to the guys. The minute we would start talking, they would interrupt us and then forget about us. They were talking about us in third person and taking the guy’s name while talking. There are a lot of other instances like in a restaurant, if I am with a male friend and we order wine and juice, I will always be given the juice, because the mindset is ‘how can she drink?’
Gender discrimination is a genuine concern and it is time that everyone, irrespective of gender or age speaks out about this. Kudos to TVF, Girlyapa and Maanvi Gagroo for coming up with such a video.