Ihana Dhillon: A balanced perspective

Ihana Dhillon is all that and more. She started working in the hospitality industry before entering the entertainment industry. Soon enough, she debuted in her first Punjabi film, and went onto be in Hate Story 4, and, as they say, the rest is history.

We have seen in recent times individuals who seem to have an acting bug from early on in their lives, but end up in a completely different career. They then are able to carve out their own path and end up where they were always meant to be, it seems. Ihana elaborates, “[y]es, I was into hospitality industry before. Acting was always my favourite thing to do. In my childhood, I always used to stand in front of the mirror and copy other actors like Madhuri Dixit ji and Sridevi Ji but I never thought even in my dreams I will be seeing myself one day on the big screen. While living in the United States and working with the Crowne Plaza group of hotels, I started doing part time modeling and did a few crash courses in acting. Then I shifted back to India and did my acting course from Barry Jones in Delhi and got my first Punjabi movie offer and that’s how my journey started as an actress.”

Given the Punjabi film industry thrives on comedies and commercial potboilers, I wondered about her inspiration in choosing projects and how she struck a balance in wanting to do content-based cinema and commercial films. She advises that she wants to do different characters but emphasizes the importance of commercial cinema as well. 

Ihana states, “I shifted back to India and did my acting course from Delhi in 2012. That’s when I got my first Punjabi movie offer “Daddy Cool Munde Fool”. It was a commercial movie, it was comedy but had very good content. I played a very innocent girl character in that movie. People advise you to choose only commercial movies as it benefits the actors but I believe what benefits the actors is a good character and variations of the character.”

Many people today casually use the phrase “content is king” and it seems it resonates with Ihana as well. “As of now I have tried to do different characters in my every movie and because I feel satisfied, it’s working for me too. I’m looking for content-based cinema. I agree commercial cinema really takes you to that high and there is nothing wrong in that but you should also have variations.”

Speaking about the importance of characters, she says, “I am a very fun person but also a realistic person. While choosing the scripts I look at my character - how strong is the character and the variations. I don’t look at the length of the character. I look at the impact of the character on the audience. I prefer to play real and historical based characters but until now, I have not done that and I hope I get to play that soon.”

So, I ask the question if we will see her in Hindi cinema soon? She replies, “[y]es I’m doing a couple of Hindi projects this year and going to start shooting those - We will be doing the announcements soon. Besides that I’m still waiting for the release of Nastik, which is Hindi.”

Circling back to the beginning, Ihana states that she is happy with her journey thus far and she continues to take life as it comes: “[m]y journey has been very interesting. I saw lots of ups and downs but I learned a lot throughout. Also, I always go with the flow. I have seen from my experience - sometimes you plan something else in your life and something else happens. I’m very happy where I stand today and feel blessed.

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