When and how did you realise that this is what you want to do?
In my growing up days, I wanted to be a journalist, a news reporter. I never really wanted to be an actor. Infact, I also studied Mass Communication for that. But then in my college, MTV had come to our college and I won this model hunt and then considered first getting a graduation and then seeing how it goes. My mum and aunt had this condition, that I have to be a graduate first, if I want to try out acting. So, I always wanted to be in the media, but not particularly in the acting field. It was only post winning the model hunt, that I considered acting.

What were the hurdles you had to face initially to reach where you are today?
My struggle began after getting a break, after doing films. To be frank, no one had any expectations before I started out, but after doing a film, it was a struggle getting that break to sign the right projects, dealing with the highs and lows, dealing with the hits and flops, the insecurities, doing a good job of selecting the right projects, dealing with people, these were the actual struggles. To be honest, touchwood, I have been fortunate in getting a break initially. It was only post the break, that it got much tougher, compared to when I started off.

Please share some of the highpoints of your journey?
Seeing myself on camera was a big highpoint for me in my career. Being able to do that for a living and being able to make money from something that you truly like is the highpoint of being an actor for me and secondly being able to not be yourself and still having a good time and meeting some nice people and working on great projects is another highlight for me. Also, the adulation of the audience is something that I really considered a highlight in my life.

Celebrating Women’s Month, what in your view do women have that makes them what they are?
Why should we women celebrate Women’s Day only for a day. If you’re celebrating Women’s Day on one day, then it comes down to isolating a womanhood to one day. I do not believe in any particular such days, but yes ok if it’s a day of exclusively celebrating our being then why not, I’m all for that, if I’ve to look at it that way as opposed to the day being the only day for adulation for us. Women have a higher threshold for everything – from patience to multitasking, to excelling in everything they do. I don’t particularly view gender discrepancy at all.

How do you balance your work and home front so beautifully?
I work and chill. I still don’t have a family, so I don’t have enough things to worry right now. My sister is a mother, a wife, a daughter and a working woman, so she has a lot going for herself. To be fair, I haven’t been bogged down by judgements. I can’t make everyone happy. Sometimes it just bogs you down and bothers you when people say things, but I tend to not take it seriously. I know everyone will have an opinion and it may not match entirely to what I feel is right.

What’s your fitness and wellness mantra?
I started working out only recently. I have started eating the right diet and eating the right things. I’m also now being very mindful of the fact that I’m in front of the camera and I’m being paid to look good. So, it’s not just vanity in my case, it’s also an occupational hazard for me, so I have to keep these things in mind. I’m usually a very chilled out person and I love to eat, chill, watch TV, OTT shows or spend time with my nephew or go hang with friends. These are the things that make me happy. If you’re in a good frame of mind, you’ll be in a good state always and will perform well at work too. I have an extensive skin care routine, as I have a problematic skin. I have these fluctuating phases where sometimes my skin does very well, and sometimes it is very bad. I take care of my skin and try to drink a lot of water and eat food that’s good for my skin too. Apart from that I’ve left it to God and hoping that the bad skin days are over and the good ones are in.

What’s your fashion statement like?
Casual comfort works best for me. Either I’m a hobo or red-carpet diva. I’m not one of those girls, who put together all the time. You’ll mostly see me in shorts and t shirts and flip flops.

What does family mean to you?
It’s the reason for my existence. The reason for me working. My mum, my aunt, my nephews are the reason I am and this is what I want to be. I believe that no one can be truly happy being away from their family. They’re my world and the wind beneath my wings.

Do women truly stand up for each other, especially in the glam and entertainment field?
Yes, women do standup each other. As an actor and as a woman, I believe I do. Atleast in a particular situation, I do feel what others are going through, specially when there are hardships. I’m all not just for women, but for everyone, and I feel kindness could take us all a long way and help us improve the world around us.

What is in the pipeline in terms of your work currently?
Currently I’m working on three promising Telugu projects. I just wrapped up Odela Railway Station and it should be out in a month or so. The second one is Tellisinavali, a thriller, to be wrapped up by next week. The third is where I play and deaf and mute girl. All three have very strong content and something that I’m really looking forward to.

— By Namita Gupta.