Women are no longer glam dolls in Hindi cinema
It’s almost a year since Dabangg released and I feel I am in the middle of a whirlwind. Things are moving at such a rapid pace around me and it is sometimes difficult to take it all in. So, it’s been a good year. I am happy that not only people in the film fraternity but the common man as well, have accepted me with open arms. The Best New Comer Award bestowed on me at various award shows has only heightened that feeling.
It is said that an actor has arrived if she becomes a brand. This is reflected in the number of brands you endorse and the big films in your kitty. People have often asked me if I believe in that.
No, I don’t think of it like that. I want to do good work. I want to do films that my audience enjoys watching. In fact, I’m trying even harder to get more films. I’m working hard on myself and my looks. I want to work hard on my roles. I want my films to do well at the box office.
I would also like to believe that I stand for something in the industry. I stand for Dabangg, which has become a part of me. It has helped me carve a niche and created an identity for me.
Most importantly, the Indianised look I wore in the film has been appreciated and I have received very positive feedback. Thappad se darr nahi lagta... was instrumental in creating a whole personality for me. I didn’t write the line, I just said it!
The media has also been responsible for making me what I am but it could have gone either way. There have been times when the media has not been nice to a lot of people. I have been lucky that I haven’t given the media an opportunity to be less than positive. I was asked to act in a film and the film went on to become a hit. And when your first film is a hit, you’re suddenly put on a pedestal.
Does being in the news all the time help build your brand? I don’t know. I have stopped reading the newspapers and barely watch TV. I believe in letting people talk rather than them not talking at all.
There are so many publications and news channels; it’s like a monster that needs to be fed all the time. I’m so boring that I don’t have anything to give the press, so they make up things about me.
This is a male-dominated industry and it has been for a while. Accept it! But things are changing, like women taking part in other aspects of filmmaking. They are getting central roles, not just glam-doll roles.
My icons in the industry would be Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee. They are people who have established themselves as actors. They are an inspiration to young girls who want to become actresses. They are brands and my inspiration.