Producer Anubhav Sinha is known for giving a platform to newcomers and one among them is Shraddha Das, who is a sensation down South but has only a few films t her credit in Bollywood. Here’s the actress on upcoming film Zid
I was born and raised in Mumbai and studied journalism. After that, I joined theatre and have worked with actors like Piyush Mishra and many others. It was theatre that attracted me to acting and the theatre workshops I did helped me understand myself.
Before theatre, I wanted to become a singer and did many shows across the country. I also wanted to release an album but the people I met told me that I should focus on acting rather than music. However, I was so much in love with music that I didn’t take their advice until I started doing theatre.
My first Bollywood film was Lahore. It was stuck in the cans for a long time before its release but when it did release, it bagged many National Awards. I played a Pakistani girl in the film and many people appreciated my work. After that film, I was offered Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji by Madhur Bhandarkar after he spotted me in Lahore.
While Lahore was delayed, I auditioned for both Bollywood and Tollywood films, and the latter happened to click. I got my first South break Siddu From Sikakulam in 2008, after which there was no looking back for me. In fact, when Lahore released after three years, my 10th film in South was also releasing.
I learnt a lot about acting while working in the South industry. We finished films in the given time, we did workshops while shooting and the director managed to get the best out of us. Some of my best work down South includes Arya 2 with Allu Arjun, and Nagavalli with Venkatesh. I have done more than 15 films and most of them have been successful. In fact, I am currently shooting in Malaysia. We will shoot for 12 days and then there’s a 20-day schedule. The film will release two months after that. So, everything and happens on time. I also worked with Jeet in The Royal Bengal Tiger, which was produced by Neeraj Pandey.
On struggling in Bollywood
During my Bollywood stint, I had my share of struggles. I probably auditioned for more than 500 roles and I was often one of the top two candidates but lost out to a celebrity kid. And after winning hearts in the South, I did not go all out to look for work in Bollywood. I considered only roles that I was offered.
I met Vivek Agnihotri director of Zid a few years ago and we were friends on social networking sites. When he was auditioning for the film, I happened to upload a few new pictures of mine which he liked and called me for the auditions. That’s how I bagged the film. I play the positive lead in the film. When I was cast, I knew the spotlight would be on the other actress (Mannara), who happens to be Priyanka Chopra’s cousin, and the film would be promoted like that. But the compliments I received after the trailer released came as a surprise.