She lets her performance do the talking. Sonal Vengurlekar of Zee TV’s popular Yeh Vaada Raha talks with Dhrithi Sudhakar Gulvadi about her struggles, the truth behind casting couch and more…
To obtain a lead role in the industry is difficult for any actor. How did you manage to get there as the lead actor?
I never planned to become an actor. My father was into a catering business and hence I was interested in hotel management and enter the hotel industry. But my family was not financially strong and they were not supportive of this. I started working at Dominos in secrecy during my college days. I used to make pizzas and I worked there for almost two years. Later I told my parents that I had started working. One day I had a spat with my manager and I left the job. This left me thinking what should I be doing next. There was an event in a mall wherein a few girls wearing similar clothes were briefing about a Samsung phone’s features. I enquired one of the girls regarding the job that they were doing and the amount of money that were being paid. After knowing that she was getting paid Rs.700 per day, which was more than my monthly salary in my previous job, I asked her if she could fix me in this job and she helped me get the job. The job was for 15 days.
One day as we were partying I saw a poster of Buddy Project show. My friend then suggested that auditions take one through such shows. Hence, I contacted a few casting directors of the production houses and gave auditions. I did 2-3 cameos too. After a lot of struggle I signed the Buddy Project.
Is casting couch a truth or a fallacy?
It’s a truth, but most of them who talk about casting couch are fake. New and aspiring artists get duped by these fraudsters who promise to cast them in projects. I am born and brought up in Mumbai and hence I can understand this stuff. Whenever I was approached by a production house, I used to research about them before meeting. People may talk about a lot of references to help you to get into the industry, but that never happens in reality. Unless you go through an audition process no one can help you get into the industry. One has to work hard.
Do you think the industry is biased for the ones who have a godfather and for the strugglers?
For an example, Ranbir Kapoor is a very good actor despite of being a part of the Bollywood’s established family where every family member is an actor. Sonam Kapoor is only known for her style statements, but she isn’t that good as an actor. Alia Bhatt is a good actor and has done many different films. I think the struggle is for everyone. Even I’m a struggler and after this show I’ll have to again go through an audition process and meetings. And also try to bag a lead role in shows or films.
As you’re playing the lead for the first time, does TRP affect you as an actor and your future prospects of your on-screen presence?
After this show, I won’t be offered a show on the basis of TRPs of my past shows. If a person is a good actor then they’ll obviously pick him hence I don’t get affected by all these things until and unless I’m satisfied and convinced that I’m performing well.
Do you think actors participate in Bigg Boss due to lack of work and to constantly stay visible in the public eye?
I think I don’t have to do all these because my show has given me enough visibility that the audience has started knowing me. I’d like to be a part of Bigg Boss as I believe that I fight for the right thing and I don’t give up easily. I think I can sustain in that show and I wish if somebody approaches me to be a part of Bigg Boss (Laughs).