Rukshar Dhillon who has done a couple of films down South marked her Hindi film debut with Bhangra Paa Le opposite Sunny Kaushal. The film which released in the first week of January didn’t live up to the expectations.
When we spoke to the actress, she seemed very mature and forthcoming in her replies as she spoke about the failure of her first film.
You began your career with films down South. What made you choose Bhangra Paa Le as your Bollywood debut?
When I was working in the South industry, I used to fly down to Mumbai for auditions. I auditioned for Bhangra Paa Le. The outline of my character and the script really appealed to me.
Because you're a Punjabi in real life and Bhangra Paa Le has a lot of Punjabi culture in it, was it relatively easier for you?
It wasn't easier because even though I know Punjabi, I wasn't too familiar with the dance form which is Bhangra. We are Punjabis but we speak more of Hindi at home. So I wouldn't say that it was relatively easier. I had to work on it. Speaking of my character, I really liked it. It had a lot of colour to it. There was dance, there was emotion. I could relate to the character as a person.
Considering this was your Bollywood debut, you certainly had higher expectations, but unfortunately the film didn't do well…
See, I'm very passionate about films and whatever I'm doing no matter what it results in tomorrow in terms of the success of the film, the process means a lot to me. Even when I look back, when I think about doing a film like Bhangra Paa Le, what I learnt and what I gained in terms of the experience is what matters to me. So even if this film hasn't turned out to be as expected, it won't be that what I earned from this film will only be restricted to this film alone. I will definitely use what I have learnt and what I have gained from this film in my future projects too. For instance, I have used what I learnt in the South for my Hindi film. So it's a win, I don't think it's a loss.
As you speak about working in South and now in a Hindi film, any differences you note in terms of the working style in both industries?
No, because when I started working in South, the gap between the two industries was already filled. Today, when we look at films in India, we don't look at them as Bollywood or South, we look at them as Indian cinema. The gap has vanished and that’s because of the work that has happened down South. So many remakes of South films are doing well here now. So workwise, I haven't noticed any difference except for the language.
Box-office success or critical acclaim, what's more important to you?
I would say both are equally important. If a film needs to be a success, it needs to have both. It needs to appeal to the audience in terms of the box-office numbers. Similarly, it also needs to appeal to the critics, with its filmmaking, its performances. My motto while doing a film is to make a difference in someone else's life or at least entertain someone. You cannot take away the fact that Indian cinema started from films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Toh Pagal Hai which had their charm; the small details of the love story with the dance and emotions. We tried bringing it back with Bhangra Paa Le. In terms of its success value, it's not in our hands now.
Are you comfortable doing bold scenes on screen?
It depends on the demand of the script. I would be open to doing certain things but not by compromising on my comfort level.
Since you don't come from a film family, how easy or difficult was it for you get into films?
When I finished college, I wanted to explore acting. I never learnt acting as such, I had done a couple of workshops. Honestly, I just went with the flow. Many people think that South is the medium to get into the Hindi film industry but I never looked at it like that. I didn't even know how to give an audition. I solely built my own journey which I began from Bangalore because I lived there. I did a film there which didn't do that well but critically my work was appreciated post which I got offers from Telugu and there too my work was well received, so then I bagged Bhangra Paa Le in Bollywood and that turned out to be my debut here.
Finally, we want to know your opinion and your stand on the attack that happened at the Jawaharlal Nehru University...
I feel what has happened is extremely unfortunate. It's not the kind of environment where me, my parents or grandparents were brought up in. We really have moved forward in terms of infrastructure, education; we have expanded and grown so much as a country. To come down to something like this, is really heartbreaking. But, the good side of it is, when you see everyone come together irrespective of any profession, fighting against this. To cite examples of Swara Bhasker or Deepika Padukone, the fact that they are standing as one and fighting against this is something we need to look at. Because that actually executes so much power that we have. So that's something that's really admirable. And I hope justice is prevailed soon.
Image Source:- instagram/rukshardhillon12
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