Mumbai, Aug 30 (PTI) Actor Divya Dutta says the fear of feeling bored or overconfident on a film set constantly pushes her to reinvent herself through characters.
Divya, known for her acclaimed performances in films like 'Veer Zaara', 'Delhi-6' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', said she hopes that even if a character she has played before comes her way, she would find newer ways to portray it.
'I don't take up roles that would make me feel overconfident, that scares me. I don't want that feeling ever. I need to reinvent myself in the roles that I take up.
'Perhaps it isn't possible that a character isn't repeated at all but you should know a way to do it differently. I don't want to be bored or overconfident on a set. The first few days of a shoot I'm a nervous wreck, and I love that,' the actor told PTI.
Born and raised in Ludhiana, Punjab, Divya started her career in 1994 with 'Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna' and followed it up with a lead role in 'Veergati', which featured Salman Khan.
Divya said she entered the Hindi film industry after she was adjudged best actor in her college and youth festivals across Punjab, but the industry was unaware of her potential.
'No one believes in you when you're new, aren't launched by somebody and don't have a backup. It's only you and your near ones who believe in you. You have to prove yourself to them. A lot of times I thought I was perfect for a role but I wasn't taken for.' While the '90s saw her mostly featuring in multi-starrers, Divya recalled a phase when she decided to take the 'waiting route' as the roles she was expecting weren't coming her way.
'One day my mother told me there's nothing called a 'good break.' She told me to pick the best from what's offered and do such a good job that they can't ignore you at all and have to acknowledge your presence in the industry.' Films like 'Train to Pakistan' (1998) and 'Shaheed-e-Mohabbat' (1999) gave her much creative satisfaction, but it was Yash Chopra's 2004 cross-border romance 'Veer Zaara' that was a turnaround.
'But what happens in our industry is that you get stuck with images. After 'Veer Zaara', 'Delhi 6', I had similar roles coming my way. So my fight was to break the stereotype. So I did a 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and a 'Badlapur'.
'It's important to give signal to people that I'm here to do different stuff so don't come to me with something that I've already done,' she added.
The 42-year-old actor is currently seen in director Nitin Kakkar's 'Ram Singh Charlie', streaming on Sony LIV. The film chronicles the story of a man (played by Kumud Mishra) who is forced to become a rickshaw-puller after the circus he grew up in closes down.
In 'Ram Singh Charlie', Divya plays the role of Kajri, Ram Singh's wife, and the actor said when she had met Nitin he felt she was 'too well established' to be in the project.
'He told me he would be auditioning a few actors, I told him sure go ahead but I'll make the best fit! He was sweet enough to call me later to see if I do fit in.
'It was such a good character, there wasn't any makeup, I didn't have to be dramatic, I just had to be. It was such an unlearning for me.' Divya said her drive to keep looking out for fresh characters led her to 'Ram Singh Charlie' and credits it for being relevant as an artiste over the years.
'When you come up on your own, you have a 'zid' (stubbornness) to excel in what you're doing, so that you're relevant, you get to do the roles that you want to do. For that, you have to put in continuous hard work.
'If you keep repeating the same work, there'll be overconfidence and boredom, which the audience is quick to catch,' she added. PTI JUR RDS SHD SHD