On Acting, its Inherent Privileges and Associated Challenges
As an artist and actor, there is indeed nothing more amazing and magical than seeing stories being brought to life, from script to screen. Over the multi- lingual (acted in Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and Tamil languages) and multi-platform projects, she has been lucky to see every part of that process in action wherein she have seen ideas being formed and moments being captured, innate magic being made in front of the camera and behind it. The idea of leading multiple lives through different characters/roles is a very intrinsic motivating factor and proffers enriching life experience(s) in terms of wisdom, maturity and smartness. One needs to be open for new and novel experiences and many at times they might be challenging at emotional and physical levels. Working outside the comfort zones is a prerequisite for all actors. Acting gigs in ‘Made In Heaven’ and Ghost Stories’ projects in the OTT sector and ‘Mothoon’ in films category were some of her favourite work challenges in her body of work so far.
How Reading Habit(s) made her a better Actor?
Hailing from a family of PhD holders, she admits of being a recluse, completely introverted and spending a geeky/tomboyish childhood with an inherent bias for reading literature books. This initial reading habit played a solid foundation in subsequent acting career. As filmmaking is a collaborative art and the entire process is open to interpretation and inputs, many times, she as an actress elevated the vision of a director and the initial script/draft of a writer, by contributing to the script nuances much better. Reading skills honed her acting abilities. Additionally, dabbling in other related art forms (like painting, writing and etc) is truly liberating and educative, for true personal growth is omni-directional and learning/learnability can come from many art forms.
Film Auditions and Character Building
Auditions are the litmus test and offer learning opportunities in both success and rejection scenarios. Giving 800 plus auditionsin Mumbaitaught me manythings about human behaviourand contributed to character building. Auditioning gigs became a way of life and this specific period taught many finer nuances about expectations, clarity about vision, inner strength and tested confidence in many rejections. The beauty of hunger (for success) and ‘never say never attitude’ were ingrained and the virtues of financial independence, personal discipline, self-honesty and self-awareness were learnt.
On transitioning from Modelling to Acting
After an eventful stint in modelling, she constantly felt the gap between real life and the glamorous life of modelling and the financial instability and unsustainability that comes with singularly pursuing modelling career in Indian context. After an initial period in the showbiz arena, she decided to start auditioning for parts in advertisements and began to learn Hindi as well and got featured in the Kingfisher Calendar for the 2014 edition. Contrary to the popular belief, modelling is not an easy gateway into Bollywood or other regional film industries as such. There is completely zero connection amongst beauty pageants, modelling and film industries, as they are very different and although fall under the broader entertainment business category.
On planning one’s Career and Focus
In spite of winning beauty pageants she did not go the usual way of debuting in a ultra-glitzy, commercially viable film and instead opted to star in the risky psychological thriller, Raman Raghav 2.0. There is a clear demarcation between being a ‘star’ and being an ‘actor/artist’, for both are two different paths. Occasionally, there might be projects and opportunities where one can be a great artist/actor and star at the same time, but very often, the career paths and preparation is wholly different in this duality.
Expert Bio: Sobhita Dhulipala is a model and actor who was born in Tenali and grew up in the quaint coastal town of Visakhapatnam, moving to Bombay for college during which period she took part in a variety of talent festivals and a beauty pageant (Femina Miss India 2013, Winner), following that with a brief but thriving stint as a fashion model before professionally starting out as an actor.She is a trained classical Dancer in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak.She has worked across diverse regional industries – Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam apart from a predominant career boost from the OTT vertical with acclaimed projects like Made in Heaven (2019), Bard of Blood (2019), Ghost Stories (2020)She has been nominated at the Cannes film festival 2016 in critics’ choice best supporting performance. Apart from nominations in film dare, Screen awards for most promising debutante, she has won awards in a variety of events like Grazia breakthrough performer of the year, GQ awards emerging star, Lokmat awards rising star, Condé Nast award for excellence in performing arts and other medals of a similar vein. A self-confessed nerd, history geek and passionate traveller, she believes that her greatest inspiration comes from curiosity about life and her appetite for risk-taking. Her upcoming releases include ‘Major’, ‘Kurup’, ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, ‘Sitara’, ‘Made in Heaven Season 2’
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