The former winner of ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ was in an exclusive conversation with OTTplay
Last Updated: 12.46 PM, May 27, 2023
‘Divya Agarwal’ needs absolutely no introduction. Besides being blessed with ‘looks could kill’ kind of beauty, she has been the proverbial ‘go-getter’ since the word go. Even though she has participated in many reality shows, it was her stint with the first ever season of ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ catapulted her into seamless land of name and fame. She not only participated in the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ show, but also emerged out to be the ultimate winner!
Divya Agarwal, the former winner of ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ was in an exclusive conversation with OTTplay.
Divya, to begin with, were there butterflies in your stomach as it was a brand-new world out there… inside the Bigg Boss’ OTT house?
Since ‘Bigg Boss’ is quite a popular show, people do get jitters because it's a very different game. People enter the show with some different thought process and they come out with a different thought process. Even the perception of people changes. It's a very big gamble sort of thing. So obviously, jitters were there, but I was quite confident. And the best part was, it (‘Bigg Boss OTT’) was for just six weeks. So, it was cool.
Divya, how long did you take to adapt inside the ‘Big Boss’ house?
I think it was quite an easy walk because I've had some previous experiences where I've been a part of even more stricter and scarier situations. ‘Ace Of Space’ was way difficult than ‘Bigg Boss’, because of the circumstances and the way we all lived there. That’s why, I think that, ‘Bigg Boss’ was quite a cakewalk. At the same time, I was happy that it (the Bigg Boss House) had a garden to walk around! (smiles).
Since you were inside the ‘Big Boss OTT’ house and that you also know about the other Bigg Boss’ house, what difference did you see between the two set-ups?
So, the interesting thing about the OTT format is that, it's a shorter (in duration). Which also means that you are not away from your family and near and dear ones for the longest time. This also keeps your health in check. I am telling so because, ‘Big Boss’, as a show, is a place where it’s not just the participant who participates, but, it's the entire family who participates! For three-four months, everyone is into it and mostly people are exhausted stating away that long. But, with ‘Bigg Boss OTT’, the timing was perfect and also the duration tenure was perfect as well. You come out of the show and you feel that you have not missed much!
You mean to say that, ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ is the T20 of the reality shows?
Oh yes! Very rightly and perfectly put… it is indeed the T20 of the reality shows. (smiles).
How did life change you after the ‘Big Boss OTT’ experience?
I think I would suggest that if one wants to become an actor, obviously, there are many exceptions. But if one wants to become an actor, I feel, rather than being on a reality show, I think they should go for theatres… because, I think that's where my journey took a little turn.
And did life change for the best or the worst for you after your stint with ‘Bigg Boss’?
Life did change for the good. Honestly, because in the end, it's the craft that matters. In such projects, I think it's a difficult task for the actor to put that real diverse image out of their heads and then perceive me as an actor. But, after Bigg Boss OTT, I cannot deny that I enjoyed every bit of fame that I got after being on the show and I am glad that people saw my personality and that they know me now.
Of late, there were huge discussions and speculations about who will be hosting the second season of ‘Bigg Boss OTT’. Since you know them both, who, do you think will be a better host when it comes to hosting ‘Bigg Boss OTT’?
I think they both have their different and distinct styles and distinct attitude. And actually, it is that the attitude of the host which drives the entire show. And ‘Big Boss’s format is something people's personalities are put to test in the toughest situations. All of these are laced with whole lot of emotions… and in a very aggressive way, at times. I think, such handling is very much convenient for Salman. Handling such situations seems to come quite naturally to him. Whereas for Karan Johar, he is a fun host. He should be a part probably, perfect for the format for our OTT, because we had the partner sort of an arrangement, where you have to choose your partner and play in pairs. So, I think, for that, he (Karan Johar) was quite perfect. But as an individual game, I think it's a very good decision that Salman Khan is hosting the second season of Bigg Boss OTT.
During your stint with ‘Bigg Boss OTT’, many people felt that Karan Johar was extremely tough on you. Did you also feel the same thing?
I am also a human being. That’s why, there were times when I too felt that. But then, internally, I was quite happy because I knew I was confident that I could tackle that without putting anybody's reputation in jeopardy or stepping or overstepping on anyone’s attitude. And hence the tag of the winner as well. So, all you have to do is just handle things gracefully. And I think my life has taught me so much that this was like just like me compiling all my past experiences. And just being honest, I think that worked really well.
But you never felt that Karan Johar was harsh on you?
I think I'm glad that he was harsh on me. Because, you know, people saw the side which I think if Karan would have been very convenient, nice and pally with me… I don't think that side would have ever come out because I am a very different person. When I perceive such kind of energies thrown at this level, then, there's a different me (laughs).
In the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ format, there were talks about the ultimate winner will automatically qualify to be a part of the main Bigg Boss show. Was that true?
Very vaguely I remember, an understanding between everybody that the winner would go to the Bigg Boss’ main show. But officially, when I met the people from Endemol, they never wrote any such things in the contract. Or probably, even while discussing on an official level, it was never confirmed. Obviously, it's a creatively made show, where there are many creative changes that take place. And for a while, I was a bit confused about what was happening. But when I had a word with them, they said that, ‘you are rightfully a winner of a season. And, if that was the case, we would not have kept a finale…we would have just rolled it out. And this was the ultimate decision you won the show and it has its own charm. And we wouldn't like to mix the two’. And that, quite made sense to me.
Given a chance, would you like to enter the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ format again, or be a contestant in the main version of the show?
Be a contestant?... No way! That's never an option now. It's just played once and that one stroke has to be the masterstroke. I think I have played it quite right. But, always staying around the fraternity makes me really proud that I was a part of a big show. So, I like to be a part of it anyway. It’s like a memory that is etched for the entire lifetime. It's documented. It's a victory. So, it will always have a special place in my heart.
What has been the biggest takeaway from the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ experience?
The biggest takeaway from ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ experience has been me inspiring people in a way. I can say that I've made some difference with in the way the world thinks or how the world perceives… no matter how much you have to fight for it. If my journey had helped anyone, just even one person in any way in any sense, it would be really great for me.
Is there anything that you want to change about the ‘Big Boss OTT’ format?
I think the pairing part is not great. I think it's the individual personality. And they (the makers) should have kept it like that. I feel that ‘Bigg Boss’ is a show where a person really has to shine as an individual.
And how eagerly are you looking forward for the second season of ‘Bigg Boss OTT’?
Oh, I am actually very excited.
And since you have been the winner, obviously, there will be contestants (whose names are not yet revealed) reading this article. So, what are the tips that you want to give them to succeed in the show?
I would surely tell them that, that it's a short journey where you need to be smart in order to survive in it. And the pain won't be for too long. The advice I would like to give them is that, the only time they can shine is when they talk. And yes, when they talk, they have to make sense. Whatever they do, they should not to go overboard with their conversations. One needs to keep it short and sweet. The more a person tries to talk too much about a situation, the more people get confused as they don't get your ideas correctly. So, whatever your beliefs are… just put them nicely.
But, not to do anything for the cameras? Right?
You know what… from the second week itself, you wouldn't realize that there are cameras around you. If you keep in mind that there are cameras, people (the audience) will obviously see the hypocrisy. There's a lot of difference in that. That's why, probably, most of the people can't win the show, even if they have a lot of potential to do so.
While you were inside the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ house, how did you cope with the incessant fights, loneliness and other such feelings inside the house?
I think that, it’s from a person-to-person basis. I'm a very stubborn person in my life. I am a go-getter. And that’s why, I never let anything occur to me in that level and effect. I hate the sympathy thing. I was like, ‘Even if nobody's talking to me, I am better off myself’!
Did you, at any point, felt like quitting the show and running away?
I never felt like I wanted to quit, because that's not at all me… no matter how bad my game would have gone. Quitting was never an option and is never an option.
When you stepped out of the ‘Big Boss’ house, did you undergo any therapy? There have been instances of many people having done that…
I know what you are saying. I wouldn't blame the show honestly. Because it's a format and you go in with all your permissions and everything that you want. It’s all okay when people walk into the show, but once they are out of the show, it's not the show that gets them some trauma. I think it is actually the reaction of the people. And that kind of negativity is something which is not easy to bear.
What did you do the moment you stepped out of the ‘Bigg Boss’ House?
I did nothing…absolutely nothing. I, kind of, shunned the noises that come out of social media.
Who is on your wish list to see on ‘Bigg Boss’ this time or maybe in the future?
There are way too many people in my mind. But I would love to see Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan inside the ‘Bigg Boss’ House. They are so relatable with everything. They are doing really great for film’s promotions. It would be really great to see them inside the ‘Bigg Boss’ house for the fun and entertainment that they bring along with them.
Lastly, is it true that, you were one of the ‘background students’ in Karan Johar’s ‘Student Of the Year’ and that you were paid Rs. 800 per day?
(A bit taken aback). Oh yeah! It is true. Oh My God! How did you get to know that!
Did you tell Karan Johar about it during your stint at the ‘Bigg Boss OTT’?
Oh yes… I did tell him. But I don’t know if it was telecasted or not. He was quite shocked after hearing that. There was a time when I used to watch Karan Johar from far away… and after few years, I was sharing the stage with him!