Actress Sakshi Benipuri shot to fame with her performance as Ishwari, a Rajasthani widow, in the thriller 'The Great Indian Murder'. While she managed to impress the audience and critics with her acting chops, her road to success has not been a cakewalk.
In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Sakshi opened up on her initial days of struggle, her inspiration, doing bold scenes onscreen, and more.
Sakshi shares that she was a shy kid back in school and she had no medium to let her feelings out. "Later in life, I realised that all I was seeking was self-expression. That’s what films gave me back then. It’s how the heroine could just dare to express anything so easily and go after it, and I wanted to be the same," she says.
She further adds, "I am inspired by the kind of work Meena Kumari, Rekha, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Deepti Naval and Meryl Streep did. I aspire to do something like that someday."
Sakshi, who will be next seen in 'Delhi Crime 2', reveals that being an outsider in the showbiz, her initial days in the city were not so easy. "It’s crazy difficult. As an outsider, you have to be terribly good and show up at an audition not looking like a ghost even when you didn’t come in an AC car. All this, while earning your living, cooking your food and dealing with the plumber, electrician, the maid and also crazy roommates, and find the means, time and space to practice because hey, you have to get better at your craft. After this, you give the auditions and hope to crack it," she avers.
"There are 1,000 more steps for ‘the outsiders’. But, I am not complaining, I chose to do this. I am what I am because of how I got here. And I don’t take it for granted," she adds.
The 'Chhapaak' actress also reveals how she thought of giving up on a number of occasions but it was theatre that saved her. "Drama is like therapy. It was a safe space. It gave me expression and self belief and I started getting better. I realised you have to work hard instead of blaming nepotism or your circumstances," she states.
Sakshi grabbed eyeballs post her bold scene in 'The Great Indian Murder' but the actress feels she might not do it again. "Bold scenes are difficult for everyone and very technical. I was so apprehensive in the beginning but the team made me feel comfortable. I just trusted Tigmanshu Dhulia sir and went for it. Had it been anyone else, I would have said no. And I might not do it again," she reveals.
She adds, "Another reason I did it was because when I read the script, I knew Ishwari was meant for me. I just knew I would get it even before I received a confirmation from the casting team."
Without revealing much about her upcoming show 'Delhi Crime 2', Sakshi shares that she landed the part even before 'The Great Indian Murder'. She now wants to play more of nuanced female characters on screen, relevant to today's times and trying to break barriers.
On a parting note, she reveals, "My absolute dream roles are Meena Kumari in ‘Paakezah’ and ‘Sahab Biwi aur Gulaam’, Rekha ji in ‘Umrao Jaan’, ‘Ijazat’, ‘Khubsoorat’ and ‘Silsila', Smita Patil in ‘Bazaar’, ‘Gaman’ and ‘Mirch Masala', Shabana Azmi in ‘Arth', Deepti Naval in ‘Chashme Buddoor', and Tabu in ‘Viraasat'.