Interview with actress Ananya Raj: Working in south film industry isn't easy like many people believe

Ananya Raj is a young actress who has worked in multilingual films. In the beginning of her career, she was appreciated for her acting prowess in films like '7 hours to go', 'City of Dreams

Actress Ananya Raj
Actress Ananya Raj
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Kumar Raviraj Sinha

Ananya Raj is a young and upcoming actress who has worked in multilingual films. In the beginning of her career, she was appreciated for her acting talent in Bollywood films '7 hours to go', 'City of Dreams and 'Ghost'. She comes across as a strong, versatile individual who has worked hard to climb the ladder of success and and has now made a place for herself

1.Tell us about your journey?

After class 12th , I enrolled myself into an acting school which helped me get into a theatre group. Though I found theatre (plays) too tough as it involves polishing each and every word you speak, delivering dialogues loudly as compared to camera delivery etc , it helped me gain confidence as an actor. My next step after this was joining a modelling agency that started sending me for auditions and it went on for years that way. Initial 2 years were difficult because I wasn't signed for any assignment.

2.Where are you born and brought up?

I was born in North India (Gorakhpur) and brought up in Mumbai.

3.You have worked in Bollywood, Tamil and Telugu industry, which industry was best for you?

Every industry has its advantages and disadvantages but Telugu industry is a blessing for a newcomer (female) as it does welcome many outsiders compared to other industries. Though working in south might be double the work due to the language barrier, early morning call sheet etc. But , you know whatever it is, my heart is in Bollywood and till I see myself doing well in Bollywood, I wont be satisfied.

4.Did you want to be an actor since childhood?

Well, no. Because It was a far-fetched dream considering I had no one around me supporting it. I did have interest for dance though, I used to take lessons in dancing during schooling and college days.

5.Whom did you get inspired from?

I grew up watching Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji etc. I was totally amazed by Preity’s charm and persona. I remember watching songs and clips of Karan Johar's Kal Ho Na Ho every day after my school. I in fact performed on her songs It’s time to disco, boomro (Mission Kashmir) , Salam namaste in school functions.

6. You have worked in different languages, so how did you manage that?

God has been kind that I could catch the words, dialogues in different languages. In fact I receive phone calls from my south crew members, co actors praising my ability to match the prompter properly. Working in south is not a joke or easy like many people believe. I salute actresses Kajal Aggarwal, Taapsee Pannu , Tamannaah who have pulled off huge budgeted films in south successfully despite not knowing the language during initial days. They too kind of inspired me .

7. What is your dream role?

Well there are a few. I would love to do biopics. It wont be an easy job but what's the fun in doing easy things in life!

8. How much support have you go from your family, since families usually don't want their children to get into this line...?

My family has been very supportive especially my mother and it comes from the fact that she too wanted to be an actor before marriage but her family, my grandmother never supported her dreams. I think that’s how the situation was during that time in every family.

9. What difficulties you have faced while entering the film industry?

Many difficulties, You name it and I have gone through it including casting couch, meeting filmmakers, coordinators with perverted mindset, false promises. Everything.

10. What are your upcoming projects ?

Two films down south, a web series for Hotstar and a music video.

11.Tell us a bit about the character you are playing in your upcoming film.

In one of the films which is in Telugu , I play an NRI, It’s a lead role and the second film is a trilingual film shot in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi simultaneously. In this film I play a deglam role, in lead again. It’s a role of a helpless young girl Sarita, grown up in the chawls of Dadar, Mumbai.`