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Exclusive chat: Our Line of Work is Very Uncertain - Rhea Chakraborty

By Armin S. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 05:15: AM

She has a certain charm about her. Almost in a non-obsessed with herself kind of way. She can talk in a matter-of-fact manner that is appealing. When I chat with her, it is clear she is focused, determined, and ready to make a name for herself. She has big releases this year and Rhea has the patience to go through the journey of films and life, just like she has in recent years. Here’s my exclusive conversation with Rhea: 




I want to talk to you a little bit about how you started off. You started off with a reality television show in 2009 when you were very young. What role did that reality show play for you in terms of whether you wanted to be in the entertainment industry?


You know, quite honestly, I had no idea that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Some of my girlfriends were going in for auditions for an MTV show. And that’s all I knew about it. I accompanied them to it. I didn’t intend to participate in it but I was one of the people waiting so they just asked me to come and do a round. I was making fun of the whole set-up. I was being all sarcastic. Then, I was selected for the show.


It just so happened that I was studying for engineering school. I was a top Sciences student. But there was this one exam that I wasn’t quite prepared for. This show opportunity came up and there was a lot of popularity going on because of the name I come with. People started sending me messages and giving me calls for casting but I had never thought of this as a career.


The head of Y-Films now, who was the head of MTV at the time, called me and asked me when I can join. I was like, “join as what?” He asked if I could join as a VJ. I said, “oh, okay. I’ve never really thought about that.’ Things just started to place. Then, I joined MTV. Auditions for films started happening. After auditioning a lot, I got my first film with YRF, which is Mere Dad Ki Maruti. I would go into the auditions and I realized that there are so many girls out there that are dying for the opportunity to audition for this part. I had to be sincere – and when I did it properly, I got the part.


When I was shooting for Mere Dad Ki Maruti, I realized about halfway I wanted to be an actor. I liked being on set, playing with your emotions….this whole idea of acting made sense. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience. Now, it’s the only thing I’d do.



What did you gain from being a VJ that has helped you as an actor?


Hmm, for sure the fact that the camera is not an unknown entity – you are very used to it. That is a factor for sure. Also, being on television, you understand things about yourself as an artist, whether as a host or actor – it gives you confidence to perform as an actor, whether it is a big set, or a difficult shot. The confidence element is definitely something I got from being a VJ.



I really enjoyed your film, Sonali Cable. But you’ve made choices that may be seen as risky, operating outside of the comfort zone of many newcomers in the industry?


I was told that when I was doing the film but I was sure I wanted to do it when I read the script. This is a film I want to do. Irrespective of whether it does well or not, I want to do this film and I want to do projects based on gut feelings, and not whether I should do and what I shouldn’t do. Yes, the film did not do as well as I thought it would. I’m quite proud of it. Nobody who has watched it questioned what I did. If Sonali Cable worked, it would have been a big jump for me. I will keep taking risks, and hopefully, one day, the risks will materialize for me.



You also played a pivotal role in Half Girlfriend and your short hair look looked lovely.


It was a bit tough. When I was growing up, I always had short hair. The grass is always greener on the other side, so I always wanted long hair. Then I grew my hair. Then, they said it would be interesting for the character to have short hair. I started enjoying it. Then, when it started growing out, it was nice because it was always varying lengths. I had inhibitions initially, but you have to eventually get over them.



Now, with Bank Chor, the marketing is really interesting – especially with the taking over the big movie posters.


I love it. I think it is so creative. I think, nowadays, the internet marketing is so big. It is a huge platform. It is so important for films. There is such a large audience just on the internet itself. If you create the curiosity and you make people laugh, people will come, because everyone wants to laugh. I’m very impressed with this whole marketing strategy. I think it’s hilarious.



You’re working with actors known for their collaborative effort and comic timing. What was that experience like and did you pick up any tips from them?


Oh, of course. I think comedy is one of the hardest things to do and it is very humbling. Riteish is really good at it. There are certain skill sets associated with him now. I see him turn on and off. I see him having a conversation with me one minute, and switching on the next, and I was like, “how does he do it?” It’s not easy to make people laugh. When I saw Riteish in all his comic glory on set, I appreciated the way he does what he does.


Even Vivek, he is a fine actor. His role is not a comic one. But he has a lot of charisma and charm. It’s just nice to see people who have done more work than I have and see how they operate on set. And what they bring to the film. It’s fun. I got that from both on this film.



You’ve had a versatile journey and we’re seeing a lot more of you this year. What is your learning lesson or your take away from the years here?


For sure, you can’t take your work for granted. You got to be patient, man and have faith – that’s what you got to do. At the end of the day, our line of work is very uncertain. One year you may not have any releases. Another year, you may, but they may not work at the box office. Nobody can tell you – if you do this, you will definitely succeed in terms of whether your film will do well. I have come to terms with that. Patience is the only way. Otherwise, you can go completely crazy and not understand what you’re doing right or wrong. Keep your heart in the right place and go with your gut – so everything can fly. 

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