Athiya Shetty says she took time off after her first two films to improve her craft as she is wants to be a part of movies that help her "break the mould" in Bollywood.
Her latest film "Motichoor Chaknachoor" opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui is something that she believes will "challenge her as an actor".
"I worked on myself as an actor. I would do a lot of workshops. There is nothing wrong in taking time off to better myself. In this industry, you can't decide what path you want to walk on. You can't plan things. I felt I need to prove myself to be here," Athiya told PTI in an interview.
"I had a great time working on 'Hero' and 'Mubarkan" but somewhere I was not fulfilled as an actor. This film gave me the opportunity to work hard and break the mould, challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. The idea is to feel satisfied and fulfilled as an actor." Athiya, daughter of Suniel Shetty, said she looks at competition as something that makes the job fun but does not look at what others are doing.
"If you concentrate on your work then your journey becomes easy. Everybody is struggling to do their best. Today there are different platforms and there is work for everyone," she said.
She plays the role of a small-town woman in the romantic comedy, which required her to go through workshops to get the body language, diction and nuances right.
"I speak Bundelkhandi in the film so I had to get the language and accent correct. I worked for about three to four weeks to get everything right as it has to be authentic and in sync with the film." The story revolves around a 36-year-old jobless man Pushpender (Nawazuddin), trying to find a wife and Annie (Athiya), who is looking for a husband. But she wants to settle abroad after marriage.
"I said no before I said yes because I did not know if I would be able to pull it off as this role is different from what I have done. It is out of my comfort zone. But that was also the exciting part," the 26-year-old actor said.
The film is scheduled to be released on November 15.