Interview with actress Anupriya Goenka: My plan was to dabble in acting & then switch back to corporate job

Young actress Anupriya Goenka has worked in Tamil and Hindi films. Although she acted in many hits such as Tiger Zinda Hai and Padmaavat, she was appreciated a lot for her work in web series Ashram

Interview with actress Anupriya Goenka: My plan was to dabble in acting & then switch back to corporate job
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Kumar Raviraj Sinha

1. Tell us about your journey?

Right after school, I started working with my dad in his business. I was handling his business for a while. Alongside I was also working in call centers at night. Then I started working in corporates. We left Delhi as my family shifted to Jaipur and I to Mumbai. I was still working at call centers, my first job in Mumbai was at a call center. Then I started working as an executive assistant, which is a managerial profile, in different MNCs such as Go Airline, CNBC, under a group of CEOs, and then from there acting happened.

2. When did you decide to become an actor?

I didn't decide to become an actor in childhood, it was pretty impromptu. I had no idea that I will ever take this up professionally.

It initially started with me wanting to do something creative. Because of this I shifted my base to Mumbai. Now I am feeling more secure than ever and my life is much more stable. The plan was to dabble in this for a while and then move back to corporate job, but somewhere in between I fell in love with acting and now I don't want to go back.

3. So how did your family react when you told them about your career switch?

I have always been a liberal child and I have always taken responsibilities in my family, so I have received that kind of support and independence also. So the equation between me and my parents is very different. And they have faith in me in the sense that they know, whatever I do, I won't put myself in harm's way and I won't compromise on certain aspects of my belief system.

And for the first two years, they even didn't realise that I was acting professionally, they thought that this is a phase, and I am doing something creative for the sake of self-satisfaction.

I still remember, after two and a half years of me starting acting, my mother asked that if this is what I am really doing, and is this really what I want to do.

4. While acting for South films, how did you manage the language barrier? And how did you get this opportunity?

I was in Delhi and 3-4 months into acting, I was doing some ads. I was shooting for the same in Malaysia, and I got a call from a coordinator that there is a producer in Mumbai from the Telugu industry and they are making a movie and they want to test actors, because the initially finalized actors didn't work out.

After returning from Malaysia, two days later, I auditioned on Juhu Beach, it was sort of a look test, and they had to finalize it in two days. I also didn't have any idea, I was also very new, but it was clear that these people are decent and there is no foul play here.

The script was in Telugu and the Hindi narration wasn't available by that time, they had a huge script which I couldn’t understand, so they gave me a verbal narration, but I didn't really read the script. I got to read that one month down the line after I was already there at discussion with them.

So that's how my first Telugu movie happened. I spent some 9 months, and during that time I happened to do Potugadu.

5. So how is south industry different from Bollywood?

It's been a really long time since I have worked in South. I respect the work that they do and they are extremely welcoming. It’s easier to meet director and producers over there, even the audience also, and for that I am very thankful. Because I did south movies as my first two projects, I got a much required experience and exposure, and if I had tried to do the same in my first year in Bollywood, I probably wouldn't have gotten the same result, because to crack something like this in Bollywood is more difficult. In south they are far more welcoming, they are very easy to work with, the shifts are strict. And look at the kind of work they are doing now, it’s fabulous. In every aspect they are creating such wonderful cinema! I mean I would love to work with them again.

6. How was your overall experience working in Ashram?

It was very nice. I absolutely loved the team, I think Prakash Sir is one of the best director to get an opportunity to work with. He is such a beautiful human being, you can learn a lot from him and at the same time it’s also fun to be around him and he is just amazing. The whole team, the crew, the actors, our writer, Madhvi, our karta dharta, she is like a one point contact for everything under the sun.

I have always looked forward to work in the series since the 1st season, it’s always like a vacation, and I feel extremely comfortable being on the set.

7. What are your upcoming projects?

So Asur 2 is going to come out soon, I am very fond of Asur, it’s one of my favorites too and when I say so I feel season 2 is even better than season 1 in my view. I am really very excited about it and then there is a film I did, which might release some time this year. I am playing a very different character. I am a little nervous but also very excited. Then there is a serial I am doing with Hotstar. There again I am playing a negative character and we are still filming it so it will release in a couple of months and I am also doing a film right now which is a very different role and very different setup from everything I have done in the past and yeah, it’s a new experience and I am enjoying it.

8. Do you believe that Babas are actually like that as shown in Ashram?

I think it’s both ways, I feel there are people who are spiritually very heightened. They are likely to be saintly. They do have those higher power. I do believe the chances of finding an enlightened soul are there. We have seen them in past also, a lot of people have had some or the other experiences. Yes in India you tend to have much more because we are just so religiously, spiritually inclined all the time. But because of that and because, somewhere, we all keep looking for miracles through these spiritual beings, we tend to put in a lot of faith in someone because we want them to be able to do our work for us or we want them to be able to give us an easy solution to our problems or fix things for us rather than only for spiritual growth. It’s a two way problem. Somewhere you are expecting to give someone else the control over your life. I think there are very few disciples who go to saints or babas or ammas just because they want to grow spiritually or because they want to understand deeper meaning of life. I think most of us look for them because we want them to fix our lives and in that whole process it is easier to get manipulated, it is easier for you to find someone who is doing it only to gain money, power or some sort of control and they manipulate you so it’s equally the responsibility of disciple as the spiritual leader as the guru to not let the guru take control of their lives or their identity. It goes both ways. So yes to answer your question I am sure and I believe that there are those spiritual leaders around. But if by chance you come across fake gurus you have to see through it also and if you keep your eyes open, you will come to see it at some point.

9. Are you interested in politics, Indian Politics?

No, I have not given it a thought. But it is true that while growing up I used to think that politics is really dirty, and who would ever want to be a politician and it just seemed like an out worldly thing to do or seemed as if they are just different breed of human beings. But now I think, if you have it in you to serve and If you think you can survive and you want to see some change you have to make politics your own as well. I mean, to see a decent change in our surroundings we need to have the leaders come from among us. So I am not averse to the idea but I don’t think that I have it in me to be a politician but if I felt like it, I could be one if I can manage.

10. If you got a chance to join politics, then what would be your take on it?

I don’t know the answer to that question to be honest. As I said I don’t have it in me to be politician in today’s time and age especially in India or anywhere for that matter. I am too blunt a person, I am too on the face and yeah, I think you need certain attributes to be a politician which I might not have.

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