Pooja Salvi launched her career with ad films and it was pure serendipity that her first advertisement was directed by Rohan Sippy. Now, Salvi is making her acting debut in Nautanki Saala, which has been directed by Sippy himself.
I had no connection with Bollywood but I always knew I wanted to act. Since I had no idea how the industry works, I went to the Balaji office to drop off a photo of me. Funnily, I took a passport-size picture. I wasn’t aware that I needed to take a portfolio. Thankfully, I met a model there, who told me I had to carry a portfolio and contact co-ordinators to get work. So I took some numbers from him and put together a portfolio before I approached anyone for work.
My first break was an ad for LUX with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, which was directed by Rohan Sippy. Rohan sir was the first person to give me a break in the ad world. After that, work gradually started happening and I started doing ad films.
After doing 50-60 ads, I realised I was getting stuck in a rut as there was no scope for growth. That’s when films crossed my mind. It was time to move on and try something different. I felt the next step was films.
I started my modelling career in 2007, and was on a roll once I started doing ads. But even if you get shortlisted for a film, in the end a producer’s or actor’s daughter usually bags the role. There was a time when I felt there was no place for newcomers. But Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma were both outsiders and they are now big names. The doors have started opening for newcomers. Now, if you have talent, you can survive.
When I started auditioning for films, I knew I needed a big banner to make my debut. It helps you create a base in the industry.
On Nautanki Saala!
I got a call from Rohan sir’s office for the audition. I bagged the role within 24 hours. He didn’t remember that he had directed me in my first ad but he was adamant that he wanted new actresses. It was a great experience working for this film as most of us were new or practically new.
Ayushmann Khurrana, who is just one film old, already has a huge fan following. Secondly, the music of the film is doing outstandingly well. The film has turned out really well.