Shraddha Das is an exceptionally talented actress be it her acting, dancing, and Singing – yes you read it right. Not many are aware that she is a passionate singer. Shraddha has very well positioned herself within Bollywood and Tollywood industry with a huge fan base. She is known for her candid nature and her panache in dealing with people is startling. Shraddha, who’s originally from Bengal, was born and brought up in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She holds a mass communications degree. The actress is majorly seen playing roles of an urban sophisticated girl in movies and tidily plunges herself into reel characters.
Recently we had a prattle with the actress on various topics - her interest in the movies, how she deals with things in her life and choices, gender discrimination, and a few entertaining facts. She’s, as usual, forthright in answering the questions. Here are the highlights of the heart-to-heart conversation with Shraddha. There’s valuable wisdom you may acquire ;-)
Q: Namaste! First let’s start with something cliche, before moving on to interesting questions (laughter on both sides). Where did you study, what’s your educational qualification, and your life ambition?
A: I have studied at the SIES College of Commerce and Economics with a Bachelor of Mass Media degree in journalism (University of Mumbai). I started working in movies during my college days.
From the beginning, I enjoyed singing and have sung for many shows. I was keen to make a music album. When I went to shoot some pictures for the album, Dev Anand sir spotted and signed me for a movie. Soon, the training began. I auditioned for Hindi and South films. Then I worked for the National Award-winning film Lahore, which was distributed by Warner Brothers. I got a few opportunities in Telugu (her debut in Tollywood was with Siddu from Srikakulam co-starring Allari Naresh) and like that South happened.
Q: From what I have observed in these few minutes, your voice is apt for singing. What say?
A: (Laughter) I don’t really know about it. But recently, I joined Devi Sri Prasad on a tour for 45 days and sang a few Telugu songs on the stage. But I’m mostly into acting nowadays.
Q: Why did you enter the film industry? Please explain it in the format of Expectations vs Reality.
A: As a child, I used to watch Miss Universe shows a lot. When Sushmita Sen was crowned as Miss Universe, I was inspired by her, and wanted to have that kind of personality, you know, and was attracted to that profession. But my father as a typical Bengali father asked me to first complete my studies.
As for expectations Vs reality, I used to be extremely ambitious, but now it’s mostly like a job for me. I worked in like 5 languages... Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. I have been in the industry for over 10 years. It’s more like a job I enjoy now.
Q: What is your favourite movie in the ones you worked on?
A: (After a little pause...) I have acted in a lot of movies... it’s really difficult to pick up but let me think... Dil Toh Bachcha Hain Ji with Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and directed by Madhur Bhandarkar.
Q: You are known to speak your heart. How does it affect you in the industry?
A: I speak my heart. I speak what’s in my mind and that’s it. If I speak to please someone or other, then it’s not me who’s there. That’s a fake me. I don’t want it. I always speak from my heart.
I believe in speaking directly from my heart (Dil Se). I sidestep from speaking to please someone that would be artificial. I wouldn’t want that ever. I love to speak upfront and earnestly represent my true self.
Q: Who are your best friends in the industry?
A: I don’t have any friends in the industry, you know, it’s mostly like a professional relationship. My straightforward nature and unswerving tête-à-tête make many repugnant.
Q: You have entered the film industry in the year 2008. What changes you have observed in all these years. Then and now.
A: A lot has changed. The advent of OTT platforms has played a crucial role in discovering new talents, nurturing them, personify their full potential, thriving, and are being recognized too. It wasn’t so easy when compared to the past. Web series and films have given opportunities to explore different dimensions of acting. There is no need to run along with the trees and sceneries. Well-established and veteran actors & actresses are also getting enough opportunities. A lot of new and buzzing talent is getting on board. Yeah. I sincerely like this change that is for the betterment of everyone including the audience. This is the best time. Mindset of people changed for the better. It is more progressive than in the past. Still, a long way to go...!
Well, making a mark for oneself in the industry is not a cakewalk, and every actor goes through many ups and downs. Shraddha also witnessed many changes since the beginning of her career, but she overcame every hurdle that came her way and made herself stronger. Keep watching this space and read on how she evolved herself all these years. Read the second part of this heart-to-heart conversation this Sunday.