For someone who made a foray into Bollywood in 2005, you have done a limited amount of work. In an industry where it is important to be seen on the screen often, don’t you feel that you need to catch up and do more work?
It is important to be visible and out there as it keeps you relevant. But I also feel that one must be visible through work that is good and well-appreciated because only good work is relevant. There is no point in doing a lot of forgettable work that doesn’t satisfy you as an actor. It is necessary to hold your ground and do the work you are ultimately convinced to do as a creative person. You may have to wait longer, but eventually, it will pay off. With the limited work I’ve done, I don’t feel left out. In fact, it helped me develop into a better artiste. That is why Soorma (her debut production venture) happened! It was a phase where good work wasn’t coming my way, and I came across this story, we focussed on its writing, pitched the film and worked towards putting it together. I love cinema as a medium, and I am happy that this phase made me explore my skills as a producer. I began writing in 2015. I have written a short film, which I really enjoyed writing. Earlier, as an actor, I used to think that short films only have a limited scope for actors, but now after writing one, I know that it is quite interesting to convey your message in such a short span. I am sure this skill I learnt has enhanced the actor in me, and that’s something more that I bring to the table now as an artiste.
When you say that you are waiting for good work to come your way, what exactly do you mean? What are the kind of projects that would excite you as an actor?
I mean a good script, director, co-actors and a great team working on the project. All these factors are extremely important for me because that’s when you are assured of a certain sensibility and quality of a project. I acted in Bob Biswas because Sujoy Ghosh’s name was associated with it as a scriptwriter. He was very clear that it is mostly Bob’s film and that’s why it’s called Bob Biswas. However, I trusted in him and the team, and I knew my character would be well-portrayed even though it was Bob’s film. I want to do something out of the box. I hope and wait for the day when filmmakers come to me with out-of-the-box characters. There are so many films of late that are set in the heartland of India. I wonder why nobody thinks of me for those parts. I am told that I come across as this glamorous person, but I never made an effort to build that image. I know I come across as someone very feminine or delicate, but hey, I have started learning kickboxing for a while now. I would love to do an action film and throw some kicks and punches on screen. Maybe, something like what Charlize Theron did in Mad Max: Fury Road.
This year looks like a packed one for you. Your digital project released recently, and you have another movie, Gaslight, lined up for release.
It’s not like I planned 2022 this way. All that I shot for, is now seeing the light of the day. Talking about my pace, I am just happy with the kind of work that has come my way, and the work I picked. I know it is great to be busy, but it is also important that you do the work you like. I enjoyed working with Sujoy Ghosh (writer, producer) for Bob Biswas and on my last digital project. I also enjoyed shooting for my next film, Gaslight, with Sara Ali Khan and Vikrant Massey. I think it’s a fantastic script. Projects like these gave me a high.
Your personal life has been a roller-coaster ride. You got married in 2001 and then made your Bollywood debut in 2005. You got separated and divorced from husband, Jyoti Randhawa in 2014. As a single parent, you are also raising a child. Did the upheavals in your personal life affect your professional life?
Amidst your professional journey, you have your personal life, right? You can’t stop living just because you want to focus only on your work. Life happens and you do the best you can to balance it. So yes, life happened, and I cannot say that I have lived a perfect life. There was nothing perfect about my life. Not that I am in any way apologetic about anything. I just feel a lot more complete today as a person. I think it is important to go through the lows and face those tough times to find a balance in your life. It makes you a lot more complete, emotionally. So, to answer your question, yes, I have been through all of that and it did affect my career. It definitely did.