• Saturday, April 13, 2024


Tanishaa Mukerji: Dynamic dreams on the dancefloor

Tanishaa Mukerji

Mohnish SinghBy: Mohnish Singh

ACTRESS Tanishaa Mukerji stepped outside her comfort zone to participate in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa season 11 and captivated audiences with eye-catching dance performances.

Though her stint on the show has come to an end, she described her pride at having embraced the challenge of the dance floor.

Shortly after leaving the popular dance reality show, she talked to Eastern Eye about the exhilarating experience.

The actress also spoke about growing up in a film family with major stars like her mother, Tanuja, and sister, Kajol. She also revealed her dream role, details a new film and passions outside of work.

How do you look at your stint on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa?

I look at Jhalak… as a huge opportunity that allowed me to show audiences who I am now. It provided a platform for me to reconnect with my fans and, most important, to venture into uncharted territory by learning the art of dance. With the lifts and tricks, I challenged my own idea of what I could do and broke preconceived notions people had of me.

How did you end up on this long-running dance reality show and were you a fan of it previously?

I was aware of the show; in fact, I was initially approached right after my stint on Bigg Boss. However, I didn’t pursue it at the time.

Later, when I met the team again, I wasn’t expecting much, as there was a long silence after our initial discussions. I even assumed it was a closed chapter and went off to Kedarnath (a pilgrimage site in India) with friends. But then, that very evening, I received the call and, with tears of joy, I immediately accepted the offer.

Tanishaa Mukerji: Dynamic dreams on the dancefloor
In Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa

Had dancing been a big part of your life before Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa?

Yes, I do love to dance, but honestly, I am not a trained dancer. And dancing for these reality shows is a whole different ball game. It is so tough, competitive and demands a level of skill that’s truly exceptional.

It was an invaluable learning experience for me. I was fortunate to be paired with a choreographer who pushed me beyond my limits every week. He introduced me to various dance styles and elevated the complexity of our routines, especially with lifts, which were entirely new to me.

Were you surprised by how far you progressed in Jhalak…?

I think most people did not expect me to last as long as I did. However, I was a little sad and surprised to be eliminated, as I really wanted to go all the way to the finale.

But I completely get that it is a competition and the level of dance was getting tougher. I was very happy with how far I had progressed and how much I had accomplished by then. I made my mark. And that’s all that matters.

Who do you think will walk away with the trophy this season?

I have my favourites, for sure. They are such superb dancers and performers. So, my top three are Adrija (Sinha), Sreerama (Chandra), and Shoaib (Ibrahim).

Are there any specific routines or memories that you have created that will always stand out in your mind?

Wow, I would say my top three performances would be the horror act – it was my first time dancing with a bungee harness, so it was quite an experience. Next would be the emotional father daughter act, where I felt deeply connected to the dance.

And finally, the salsa routine, because my choreographers did such an incredible job with it.

Honestly, every act was memorable in its own unique way because each one was so different.

You belong to a family that has been in the limelight for decades. Do you see that as an advantage or a disadvantage?

I would say I will always look at it as an advantage because I am lucky that I was born to my mom. She is the best. Famous family or not, I am just so blessed to have her as my mom!

Tanishaa Mukerji: Dynamic dreams on the dancefloor
In Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa

You grew up with a lot of famous influences in your family. Did this impact your upbringing and you as a person?

I grew up with very strong women as my influences and I think that’s what has given me the courage to never accept defeat in my life, to always challenge and evolve and constantly keep growing.

You have always been honest about your thoughts and opinions. Did that get you into trouble?

No, I don’t think so. Or maybe it did. But if it did, it wasn’t anything significant enough for me to notice, or be bothered by. Maintaining my honesty is something I deeply value and respect about myself and it’s not something I would compromise for anything.

What are some of your favourite hobbies away from work?

I love watching movies in cinemas. I love crocheting. I enjoy getting out and indulging in physical activity. So, my workout is also my hobby, apart from outdoor walks, yoga and swimming. I love doing lots of things.

If you ever got to star in a remake of a film which originally featured your sister or your mother, which would it be?

I would love to do Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), but only if I get to play Rajesh Khanna’s character. Or I would love to play Kajol’s character in Dushman (1998) for just the acting experience.

What motto do you try to live by?

Live every day. Just live.

What else is in store for you in 2024?

I’m doing my first Marathi film, so that’s exciting. It will also be dubbed in various languages. So, it might be released in Hindi too. We don’t know right now.

What is the dream role you would like to play in a future project?

My dream role would be to play the Sridevi characters from Lamhe.

Do you have any hidden talents?

My hidden talent is crochet and I also write poetry.



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