'Rahul Vijay wants me to be authentic because, then, there's no burden of pretending to be someone. There's no facade. I'm thankful to him for that.'
A little girl from Dhule, Maharashtra, grew up with stars in her eyes. And multi-coloured dreams of becoming an actor.
But the journey from dreams to reality is not easy to complete. Many give up. Mrunal Thakur persevered. And, in 2012, celebrated when her first television serial Har Yug Mein Aayega Ek - Arjun hit the air.
When it came to success, however, she had to wait for two more years until, in 2014, she walked into everyone's hearts as the chulbuli Bulbul Arora in Kumkum Bhagya.
After working in the hugely popular serial for four years, Mrunal took a huge leap and made her big screen debut with the hard-hitting Love Sonia.
It was a brave move and a brave role, one that paved the way for Mrunal's successful presence in Bollywood today.
Then came Super 30; though it starred Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal's role was minuscule and she was severely trolled for playing Supriya.
She had a choice; she could get demotivated and move back to television.
Or she could continue.
And continue she did. After starring in movies like Batla House, Toofan, the Karan Johan directed-segment in Ghost Stories and even a few music videos, she walked back into the audiences' hearts with Jersey.
She is currently basking in their love through one of her most successful films, Sita Ramam, in which she played a princess from Hyderabad.
As she grew as an actor, the fashionista in Mrunal transformed as well, as could be seen in her movie promotions, magazine cover shoots and red carpet outings.
Mrunal -- who is also a Lakme brand ambassador -- spoke to Rediff.com's Mayur Sanap about how her personal sense of style has evolved over the years.
"Rahul Vijay," she says is the person responsible for her style makeover. "We would sit down together and brainstorm the entire look. He would tell that just because it's a red carpet, you should not wear a gown; you should set an example.
"He advised me that I have my own personality but that may not come across because of the kind of characters I'm seen playing on screen. These characters are very different from who I am. He wants to bring out that chicness, that street style...you know, the real Mrunal.
"He wants me to be authentic because, then, there's no burden of pretending to be someone. There's no facade. I'm thankful to him for that."
The hard work as paid off; in the last few weeks, she has walked as showstopper for Marks and Spencer, Swapna Anumolu and Rajesh Pratap Singh, who presented the grand finale at the FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Would you be surprised if we told you who inspires her?
"I've always been fond of Kareena Kapoor Khan!" confesses Mrunal, who absolutely adores Kareena as Geet in Jab We Met.
"While growing up, Geet was someone who inspired me," reveals the actor, who was 15 when Imtiaz Ali's film released in the theatres.
"I feel like she (Geet) is minimal, someone who would just wear some nice shades and look absolutely raw.
"I love her, I adore her and I always look up to her," Mrunal adds.
Check out her candid confessions in the video below: