The Made In Heaven and Ponniyin Selvan actress talks to Mallik Thatipalli about her journey on screen, and why she feels deep gratitude for every opportunity that comes her way.
Last Updated: 07.57 AM, Jun 04, 2023
As Princess Vanathi in Ponniyin Selvan II, Sobhita Dhulipala aced the role of the gentle, polite and charming royal, making an impression even with limited space among a stellar cast. From her debut in Raman Raghav 2.0 to Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, the actress from Visakhapatnam has made her mark both on screen as well as in the minds of moviegoers.
Ponniyin Selvan, the trained classical dancer admits, was a great experience in more ways than one: “I love to dance and the movie gave me a platform to explore my passion for the medium. It was my first Tamil movie and to work with a person like Mani sir is any actor’s dream come true,” she says.
For Sobhita, what she cherished was the nuance that director Mani Ratnam created for her character. “Anyone who has read the books knows that Vanathi is a very shy and timid person but Mani sir saw this very innocent character and redefined her innocence. It was never coy or cutesy. It was completely unfiltered, unabashed and childlike. For me the discovery that innocence can be interpreted thus and can be showcased so beautifully was a big takeaway from the movie,” she muses.
The actress is known for her unusual roles, be it in Goodachari and Major in Telugu, or Kurup in Malayalam. Intellectually keen, socially aware, and far from coy, does this make her a misfit for more quintessential roles that involve running around trees or playing a damsel in distress? “I would love to do silly roles,” Sobhita counters, and laughs. “I love to dance, I love action. Who doesn’t love humor or comedy? It would be great to break out of that perception of being a serious actor! Actors are transient beings and I don’t wear this very heavy hat on my head. I do my best, speak my heart and leave the rest!”
Recently seen in the Indian adaptation of The Night Manager, the actress believes there’s no difference between an OTT series and a big screen outing. She elaborates: “Work is work, be it a streaming series or a movie. Languages too; when you work on a movie, it isn’t that different. In a set on a smaller movie, the resources might be difficult to accrue so the style of working might be different. But, that is the only difference. That apart, passionate people tend to make everything they do interesting!”
As a young girl who had no filmi background to bank on, Sobhita says she looks back at her career in wonder. “I’m human… some days I feel great and some days I don’t feel that great,” she shares. “So actively and consciously, I try to practice gratitude every day. I mean, I’m a girl from Vizag who has no connection whatsoever with the film world. So every opportunity I get, every dream I fulfill, and every room I walk into that is filled with incredible people — it makes me go ‘wow!’. I’m just very grateful for everything, that’s all. It makes me wonder why did I think this to be such a farfetched dream?”
A series that got the actress much acclaim is Made in Heaven in which she played a wedding planner and along the way deals with the many stigmas and taboos that are part of Indian society. When can we expect Tara Khanna to return? “Very soon!” she promises.