She exudes radiance and charm, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Yami Gautam talks to Simran Ahuja about her life philosophy, how she’s evolved as a person, and the causes close to her heart.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I always wanted to get into films. I was one of those closet actors or dancers. But I also was quite studious and a bookworm. I used to watch Farooq Shaikh’s show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai and my friends used to joke that one day I would call them on my show. Once some family friends had come over and they insisted that I try out in the industry. They took some pictures from my mom and sent it to a production house. I started my career in 2008 with a daily soap on television, a brief stint that lasted nine or ten months. I was asked to record a few scenes for the show; they liked it and called me. My first ticket ever to Mumbai was a paid ticket—not having to shell anything from my pocket meant a lot. It was probably destiny. We don’t understand what destiny is until it strikes you, which only happens when you take up an opportunity.
Having no support within this industry can be tough. What has your journey been like?
I have parents who are godly to me (laughs). That is what matters the most. I’m not being philosophical. I’m proud of the parenting my siblings and I have had. My parents told me to never be desperate for anything in life. If you are worthy of something and work hard, you will get it—that is something I swear by. It has been challenging and will be so in the future too. Challenges may change forms, but they will always be there. But then, this is true for everyone in the industry. If you have famous parents, you face the pressure of comparison. If you don’t have a godfather, then the biggest challenge is that if something you do doesn’t work, your opportunities may be limited.
It’s been six years since you made your debut with Vicky Donor. How have you changed as a person and as an actor?
I might get too critical if I comment on how I’ve changed as an actor, so let’s not get into that. But considering the kind of choices I have made, or I am going to make, I have evolved a lot. If you don’t grow as a person, it will not reflect in your work. When I look back, I think I’ve become more comfortable with a lot more aspects of being an actor. I’m happy it took its own time to happen though. I don’t think anything will work if it is imposed on me. I’m in a phase where I’m happy and I’m enjoying it. I love experimenting with roles, shoots or even with what I wear.
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