I came into movies to make money; books kept me grounded: Sonali Bendre

Meraj Bhat

Jaipur, Jan 24 (PTI) Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre has said that she came into the movies to make money but fell in love with the profession where she discovered herself and found her family and friends.

The 45-year-old actor said she owed a lot to Bollywood which is the most wonderful place to be, both mentally as well as creatively.

'I came into movies to make money and I fell in love with the profession. It was the most wonderful place to be, mentally and creatively,' she said.

'I found myself there, found my friends and family over there. I owe a lot to Bollywood. It was one of the most wonderful things that happened to me,' Sonali said here on Thursday.

The actor said her entry into movies was purely because she happened to be at the right place and at the right time.

Sonali added when acting offers came her way she knew that in no other field could she have made as much money, and as quickly, as she did in movies.

'Basically, I got into this because it was great money,' she said.

The actor was speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival and also talked about books and how her book club named ‘Sonali’s Book Club’ came into being.

Sonali, who has been convalescing after undergoing treatment for cancer in the US, said that books gave her strength and kept her afloat while she was going through one of the toughest phases of her life.

The actor was diagnosed with high grade cancer in July 2018 and underwent treatment for it in New York.

'Books were my friends other than my sisters while I was growing up. I’m nowhere remotely connected to movies. I have a very middle class Maharashtrian upbringing. When I got into movies, it was like being on another planet.

She said in a world where it was easy to feel the peer pressure and do certain things, books kept her grounded.

''A Gentleman in Moscow' (a 2016 novel by Amor Towles) was uplifting and I got so much strength from that book during my treatment in New York,' Sonali said.

The actor, who often shares posts about books and authors on social media, said one should stop feeling guilty about not completing a book.

'Sometimes you start judging yourself by not completing a book, but I have reached a stage where I understand that I’m a book-lover, but that doesn’t mean I will like all the books. It’s okay if you don’t like a book,' she said.

Sonali also said that nobody wanted to know about the intellectual capacity of Bollywood stars as it was not 'entertainment enough or gossipy enough'.

Earlier before her session, Sonali launched author Ashwin Sanghi’s latest book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’, the sixth book in the Bharat series, at the 13th edition of the festival. PTI MRJ RB