Interview By: HASTI DOSHI

Salony had no plans to enter this industry, yet she had the skills. She has been awarded as best actor for the debut Tamil film proves it all. Her short film ‘Kajal’ has been talked about for its strong & hard hitting subject on the issues faced by women increasingly in our society. She has a long way to go. Read on…

“Life after filming ‘Kajal’ has changed my way of thinking and looking at things.”

Your short film ‘Kajal’ is based on women empowerment and what they go through in their lives, what are your views on that?

I don’t necessarily think it’s for empowerment of women, they are powerful. But because of the DNA they have to go out there to make their presence felt that’s the reason the tag of women empowerment is put up for this. I feel ‘Kajal’ is a film and a story about finding your inner strength and inner happiness. Because we woman tend to give a lot and adjust a lot for family especially, men like father, husband or brothers. With that you start adjusting so much that you forget your own dreams and aspirations and that’s when someday in your life that voice come that I have not lived my life. I feel that we support men so much in every role of life, so that little push or encouragement from men will be helpful even though it’s not as gender bias but it should be equal for both for flourishment. Because of the suppression over so many years especially in our society, we have to come out and make feel our presence even in the industry.

Working on such project like ‘Kajal’, does that bring some change in you as a person?

I related to ‘Kajal’ in lot of ways. There were lot of changes internally in me after doing ‘Kajal’ and got lot of personal reference for my life. As the film is progressing each day I find a shift in myself as an actor as well as a person in general too. Life after filming ‘Kajal’ has changed my way of thinking and looking at things. I hope this film works out for women.

Tell us about your upcoming film ‘Forbidden’ and also your character in it?

I come from theatre background in Delhi, so I have always wanted to do performance oriented acting and something with the giving out of social messages from the story. So somehow I am blessed to get female driven character like even my first Tamil film ‘Sarabham’ was a female dominated story which you realize at the last. ‘Forbidden’ is a story of a girl who is from Indian origin but born and raised in America and she goes through certain incidences in her life that she has to follow her heart and it’s a true story. It’s a little shocking kind of story and when I read the script I was myself shocked. Even I go through lot of personal emotions in the film and personally I resemble lot of things like she is Punjabi and even I am. I even had to learn accent for the film as I don’t have American accent. So I am excited for film.

You have done few Tamil movies and short films, how has your experience been on that?

Honestly I love the theatre feel and somewhere it gave me that excellence to stand out in industry as I am not an industry kid and I have no one backing me up so I have only choice left to perform. That gave me strength to do what I was doing and theatre is very difficult as we don’t get breaks and have to continuously perform. While dong theatre the actor actually grows and I am an accidental actor, I never thought of getting into Tamil films as it’s also not my language. I went for audition in Chennai as somebody told me and I got it. I was blessed to get the film as it is such a hit. I had to learn the language because the story was so realistic that our director didn’t want to dub it, and language shouldn’t be a barrier. I had to work really hard to get their words but I am really happy for the kind of work I got in Tamil industry. The journey has been interesting but not easy though.

How did you get into this whole scenario of acting as a career?

You know what honestly, when I was growing up I just wanted to do something performance oriented but I didn’t know what exactly. When I went to study in London I saw the theatre performances, and I realized that acting is not that easy. My family didn’t accept this decision for long time and as I am from a lawyer’s family they expected something else from me. I kind of followed my luck and went on, as it was a very emotionally difficult journey but I kept on working and it was my inner instinct to do it.

You have also received best actor award, does that help you to boost your moral?

Yeah, when I did ‘Sarabham’ my  first film; I had never faced camera before I learnt things. I surrendered to the character and performed. And when I won the best actor without knowing their language and with all the difficulties I faced I felt may be I am on the right path.

What projects are in your pipeline?

‘Forbidden’ is going to come out very soon, I am working on a play and apart from that also working on other international films too which you will hear about soon.

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