Tell us about your latest project.
I have recently worked in an anthology that has 6 short films. My short film is ‘Adi Sonal’ and it is available on Voot Select. I am sharing screen space with Neena Gupta. It is a very nice and sweet short film.
What is the short film about?
Adi Sonal is about Sindhi folklore and revolves around their festival of Teej. It talks about cultures, relationships and focuses on families.
Tell us about your character in the short film.
I am playing Lavisha (Neena Gupta’s daughter-in-law). She is rooted to her family but also an independent and hardworking woman. She is not the typical housewife or daughter-in-law. She is fierce and wants to live her life on her own terms.
How was your experience working with Neena Gupta?
It was amazing. I remember watching her when I was growing up. Working with her was a dream come true. She is very sweet and calm. She is helpful, joyous and always cracking jokes on sets. She also helped me with my scenes. So, it was a very sweet gesture of her.
How did you begin your journey in Bollywood?
I was born and brought up in Nainital, Uttarakhand. I came to Bombay after graduation. I did a lot of theatre in Bombay because when you don’t know anybody in the industry, you have no clue where to start from! I started my theatre journey with Manav Kaul. He then directed his first film called ‘Hansa’ (2012) in which I acted. Manav Kaul is my mentor. He has always been supportive and a guiding force in my journey. Whatever I am today, it is because of him.
Then I did ‘Haraamkhor’ (2015) with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. My next one was ‘Afternoon Clouds’ (2017) which went to Cannes Film Festival. My next project was ‘Garbage’ (2018). So, I have done a lot of independent and festival films and not commercial films. But the journey has been really great so far and I have really enjoyed the kind of work I have been doing.
How would you describe your journey? Has it been full of struggles?
The struggle will always be there. It is never-ending. People struggle in every field and not just in Bollywood. Ups and downs are a part of life. I have been enjoying my journey. I have no complaints. I give my 100% in whatever work I am offered. I don’t crib about it.
You worked with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Haraamkhor. How was your experience and what did you learn from him?
He is a very humble person and patient. He used to talk about his days of struggle. When he is performing, you feel like you don’t know anything. But then you challenge yourself to match up to him. Everybody on the set was very helpful. We finished the film in 16 days.
Do you think that it is difficult for outsiders to make a mark in Bollywood?
I think that it is difficult even for the star kids. It’s just that their struggles are different from ours. I don’t believe in Nepotism. You see, if there’s a businessman, his son will also get into the same business. Mr. Ambani will not ask me to handle his business. He is gonna ask his son to take over the business.
Yes, the star kids get a break easily. But even their life is hard. It’s just that we don’t know about their struggles.
And now, with films, TV and web shows, we have a lot of options. Even the outsiders are getting a lot of work.
Have you signed any other project??
One of my films, ‘Wingman’ has been completed. It got a little delayed due to the pandemic. Hopefully, it will come out soon. Then I have done a film called ‘Aese Hi’ which won at Mami Film Festival. So, I am hoping that it would come on Netflix or Amazon soon. And I have just finished shooting a short film with Siddhant Kapoor.