Having started her career with Shoojit Sircar’s beautiful film YAHAAN, actress Minissha Lamba is all set to complete a decade this year! While she made her mark with some meaningful projects like BACHNA AE HASEENO, SHAURYA, WELL DONE ABBA, BHEJA FRY 2, she also willingly did second lead roles in CORPORATE, JOKER, ZILLA GHAZIABAD, etc. Now, she has turned to small screen and is a part of the biggest reality show of TV, ‘Bigg Boss’. While she had her share of ups and downs in her journey, with her strong will she managed to sail through it. As we chat with the pretty petite, she readily talks about everything that you put across: Here are the excerpts:
|MINISSHA LAMBA ON BIGG BOSS 8|
You will be completing a decade in the industry this year, how would you like to summarize the journey?
It’s been a fair and interesting journey, where I think I have learnt a lot about myself. I have been someone who has always been aggressive, very pushy and done anything to get ahead. I have been happy with the kind of work I did. I have done the work that has given me happiness.
Has your outlook towards the industry changed since you started out?
My attitude has been the same. I have always been extremely positive, happy. What changes is you gradually understand where you stand. And, especially, for female actors, they need to realize that there is going to be a time when the curtains are going to be down and that is the reality you have to face and deal with.
‘I stopped reading entertainment section’
How did you cope with all the negativities around?
Well I just sat at home, read a lot of books and watched TV shows. I stopped picking the newspapers. I think that’s the easiest way to disconnect yourself from what’s going around. I stopped ordering every newspaper at home, and reading entertainment section, specially. Trust me it helps. That’s what I found when I was going in a very down phase. I have just learnt to surrender now. I have learnt to be extremely happy with what I have because if I don’t have this also then life would be hell
How do you deal with the ever-growing competition?
There is competition in every industry, in every line of business. It’s cutthroat because people are thronging for work everywhere much more than the actual jobs are. There is a surplus of people in every field. Any line of work you choose, there is lot of hard work, and strain.
What really interested you to take up small screen and do a reality show like ‘Bigg Boss’?
Well it was a multi-layered thing. I thought TV was an avenue that should be explored. It’s a huge market now in our country with some amazing stuff on television. Seven years ago reality show wasn’t something that was thought to be feasible in India. People wouldn’t watch it but today reality shows are biggest draws of audiences. Doing Big Boss wasn’t switching to TV. The whole idea of taking up ‘Bigg Boss’ was doing a reality drama, showcasing your own personality and not doing a fictional character.
Besides, Salman Khan is also one of the major reasons because of whom ‘Bigg Boss’ is so huge. He is the one man army; he takes the entire show on his shoulders and takes it ahead. So he is phenomenal, he is everything packaged into one. I am a huge fan of his, because of him I started watching the show and now I watch it every year.
But ‘Bigg Boss’ forms a controversial image, weren’t you skeptical about going for it?
It could have been a risky decision but at the end of the day how my image comes out that totally depends on me as to how I behave in the house. I don’t think I can end up blaming a show for that. It will be my own behaviour and stuff that would define what my image is.
|MINISSHA LAMBA WALLPAPERS|
Post ‘Bigg Boss’, are you gearing up for the new innings in the entertainment industry?
Let’s see. It could be sure. But let the innings start first!
So, what’s your next step after ‘Bigg Boss’ – TV, Films, hosting reality shows or something else?
I think it will be a balance of everything. There is no formula that you can do only one thing here. Everybody is juggling between so many things. And that is what I think I’ll be also doing.
‘There is no right or wrong decision in Bollywood’
What are the offers that have come your way?
There have been one or two things that have come my way but I have been really very choosy in my entire career. There is no point in doing a film which I am not 100 percent sure or happy about it. Because I have a reached a stage where I want to do work which makes me happy and not do the stuff which I have to do because I don’t need to pay the bills.
But don’t you think being choosy limits your scope or horizon to expand?
I have really discovered that there is no right or wrong decision in Bollywood. At the end of the day you have to make a decision and live with the consequences and go ahead from that.
So, do you think the decisions that you took, proved right for you?
No. Some of them were wrong decisions about certain films to do, certain films that I didn’t do. But you make wrong decisions all the time. It’s not possible that you make right decisions all the time and going back, I know exactly where I made mistakes…Really, I feel sometimes I want to take a time machine and go back and undo all the mistakes and chart a different course from thereon.
|MINISSHA LAMBA PICTURE GALLERY|
Which were those wrong decisions?
No chance I am telling you. I knew that would be your follow up question…(laughs)
We didn’t really see you doing substantial roles post WELL DONE ABBA. You kind of did films which were not really your types.
Well, those are the decisions which one has to take because everything can’t go according to what you want only. You have to be sometime part of films that are ensemble cast, that are big films, where the role of a woman is less. If you look around, you realize it is the fact of life as well. Women are a secondary working force right now regarding everything. And it’s not that bad because if you are making a story which is generally about men, about crime, gang wars, so women will obviously have little space in that.
‘Women-oriented films need to be marketed well’
You also took a sexy and bold route, which is quite a norm, with KIDNAP but that didn’t really work for you?
It’s not that it didn’t work for me. I think if the film would have been a success that would have worked. It is as simple as that. Today, whatever is going to work for you depends on the success of the film. When the film is a success, whatever is part of that film or whoever is involved with that project gets to ride on that success.
Are you game for doing women-oriented subjects like MARY KOM now? Were there offers like that?
I would definitely love to do women-oriented film but it has to be from someone who knows to market it extremely well because even though women centric films are easy to make, to market them is a challenge. I am an actor I won’t say no to any kind of role. An actor is supposed to blend in every kind of role that you are given.
There have been offers. There were these well-intentioned films but I felt there would have been a lack between the films getting made and films getting released well. So, that was the biggest problem that I had seen. I did get offered decent scripts but then they had come from independent directors or producers who were looking to do itself, which I found very noble but unfortunately for an actor to risk having the film failed was too a big chance.
Do you agree that actresses need the backing of star power to survive here?
It’s very unfair to say that. Everyone works on merit out here. There are directors who are very keen on casting right for their film. Films have become such a big enterprise that you don’t want to cast someone who is wrong for the film. A director is going to be very careful as to who fits the role right. So, I don’t think any actor or director is going to take the film so lightly so as to cast their favourites.
|MINISSHA LAMBA CELEBRITY SPECIAL|
Where actresses prefer to work with Khans, Kumars and Kapoors, it is pending in your list?
It’s just my bad luck that it didn’t happen. I guess everyone has their individual luck and path. It has not been my luck to work with the biggest actors of the industry. It has been a journey something which I have struggled through, which I have navigated as much as possible to making right decisions and doing right stuff. But, I have worked with Ranbir Kapoor in BACHNA AI HASEENO and you can’t ignore that. You don’t get a bigger star than him right now.
How about getting into Salman Khan’s camp, since he is known as the ultimate godfather of the industry?
I would definitely love to work with him but I am a very shy person. I can’t go up to someone and approach that way. Mr. Khan is someone I have lot of respect for. Inshallah! one day we might work together.
‘Today turning a producer is just a fad and to up one’s equity’
Do you think actresses have a shelf life?
Of course they have. There is no doubt about it and right now that’s on high rate. I think what needs to happen is when the perception of audiences change, you have to change accordingly. In the west, you have Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, who are winning Oscars even at the age of 70s because they are getting those kind of roles which are specifically written for them, which means there is an audience to watch that film. So, unless you don’t have an audience, who are ready to see the dramatic films which are beautiful, which are great with an older woman being there as protagonist, you can’t make it. Until your audiences don’t change, your industry can’t change, despite making greatest flicks.
Many actresses are taking up production these days, are you also planning to don producer’s hat sometime soon?
I did toy with the idea of producing films but right now believe more of being a career it’s just a fad which people want to follow. It’s probably done from PR angle point of view, to get more credibility and to up one’s equity but it’s not easy producing a film. Making a film in Bollywood is the easiest thing but getting to release is the most difficult thing to do. We have too many filmmakers, actors and films to be released, too many producers with only 52 weeks in hand, where in you can release your film. When we look at this Maths and at the industry which is burgeoning, it’s huge. It’s lot of scary to step all of a sudden. I feel the market is already oversaturated.
as told to glamsham