Having worked in Bollywood, Tamil, and Telugu films, do you feel there are any major differences between these industries?
As you work, experience teaches you a lot. I feel all industries are pretty much the same. I’ve only grown with my experiences. We meet and work with new and different kinds of people. You eventually understand how every industry works. Now actors prefer to work on one project at a time and give their best to their character.
Were there any challenges you faced working in the Bollywood industry?
I faced a lot of challenges. I faced nepotism. I was offered a role and it would have been a game changer for my career. Nepotism prevails everywhere; tomorrow if my daughter wants my support in something, of course I will support her. I believe that what is in my destiny will come to me. I have to work hard, be persistent, look good and be talented. Looks fade, you will eventually grow old, but if you’re talented there’s always a slot for you.
What’s your hard work mantra?
I think I am just a very positive person, generally. Sure, I have my moments when I am disillusioned and disappointed, but I pick myself up immediately. I believe if there is night there is day as well. “It shall all end the day I no longer live,” which means that while I live, each day brings some positivity and I hope to continue the same way. I believe I am very lucky, as I find great moral support in my family and friends who are always around me to support and advise me for the best.
The mantra is keep going. If you’re stubborn, put your rigidness into something constructive rather than destructive. I feel there has to be a plan, focus and you should know how to execute it. I think that would be my mantra.
We heard that you’re trained in the martial arts, Taekwondo?
Yes, I have a black belt in Taekwondo, yes.
When can we expect you on the big screen again?
I’ve just completed a web series called ‘Fixerr’. It has just recently released and it is trending and number 1 everywhere right now. I am also working in a South film; the last schedule of the movie is around November/December this year, and it is planned for a 2020 release. I play a negative lead role in this action movie – a badass villain.And well, I am always open to good scripts. I don’t want to work just for the sake of working. There are a lot of things on my plate right now – the hospitality business, I am in politics for the BJP, I’m a mother, wife, so… yeah. But movies will always be my first love, of course.
If you were given a chance to be anything other than an actor, what would you be?
A producer. Because that way I could produce my own films and act in them.
What’s the most important work ethic rule for you?
To be punctual. Reach on time, finish your work on time and leave on time. Also, you need to be dedicated and focused to your work and give a full 100% in whatever you do.
We’re excited about Diwali. Are you looking forward to it, too?
Yes, I look forward to it because I love festivals. Whether it’s Holi, Diwali, or Christmas, I love celebrating festivals. I feel this is what our country has and it’s beautiful. I especially look forward to those 3-4 days in Mumbai during Dhanteras to Bhai dooj. The house is decorated and we do Laxmi pooja; meet and greet everyone. It’s always a great time.
How do you celebrate Diwali? Is it with your folks every year?
Yes, I celebrate it with my family and friends, of course. We also celebrate Karwa Chauth, which comes around the same time as Diwali. It’s all done in a complete filmy style; I love it!
What’s your opinion on bursting crackers? Are you concerned for the environment?
I have never liked crackers in my entire life, as I am allergic to smoke. As a child I used to crack a few crackers.Nowadays non-toxic firecrackers are out there but the problem is not just non-toxic it’s the noise pollution. Lots of animals out there who face so much trouble because of us. My dog is so scared during Diwali that he stays under the bed for 10 days. So yeah, it’s sad. There should be some decorum where people who celebrate the festival don’t hurt others or cause trouble to people who aren’t celebrating it.
All of us should save the environment, because at the rate at which population and traffic is increasing, it’s alarming. Our country is one of the most populated in the world, so we need to be very careful. We should aim for a neat and green country. Awareness is very crucial and they did a good thing by banning plastic,it’s a start, at least. – as told to Ishika.