Shalini Pandey, who recently proved her acting mettle as a pregnant girl in Jayeshbhai Jordaar, a film that saw her share screen space with actor Ranveer Singh is on cloud nine. The actress is grateful that her performance in the film was applauded by critics. In a candid chat with The Free Press Journal, Shalini opens about how she wasn’t concerned about playing a pregnant woman in her very first Bollywood film.
An elated Shalini says, “A lot of people have called my big-screen debut in Bollywood a bold choice because I’m pregnant in the film. It is true that I had to be a certain body type to look convincing as a pregnant woman. It is true that most would choose a glitzier debut and look their best. But I’m not one of them. I have always focused on doing roles that have something to say, something to do or some impact to make. For me, the fact that my character is pregnant was not of any concern.”
Elaborating further, she adds, “It’s the character that matters for me because she has something relevant and important to say. I am very proud of this part, and I have given it my best. I’m here to make my destiny on my own terms, and I’m aspiring to be one of the best actors in the country. So, for me, what matters the most is that people have loved my performance. They have found me formidable on-screen and that too opposite someone like Ranveer Singh, who is truly a chameleon and probably the best actor of our country today.”
Shalini, who got noticed in her debut South film Arjun Reddy further shares, “I want to be known for my talent and not just how I look on screen or off it. It doesn’t excite me if someone says that I’m only looking good. I want everyone in the industry to say that Shalini brings something new on the screen. They should be excited to cast me because I can be a great performer. I’m devoting all my time to prepare myself for my next.”
She then opens up about not belonging to a film family. “I know that being an outsider, I have to make every opportunity count, and that’s a great motivator for me because I feel it brings out the best in me. I thrive under pressure. I was extremely challenged in Jayeshbhai Jordaar because I had to perform at the level where Ranveer was operating, and I’m only too thankful for all the love that I have gotten. So, as far as my debut goes, I hope I have managed to get the industry’s attention. Now, I have to keep delivering one performance after another to survive and achieve my goals as an actor,” she signs off.