New Delhi | Akshata Kumbar: A Delhiite with no filmy background makes it big in Bollywood and how! The 26-year-old actor who played the role of a child bride suffering several traumatic experiences to become a strong woman left people in the showbiz industry in awe. 

Tripti Dimri started her career as a model and managed to make her way in Hindi cinema with movie Poster Boys. Even though, she had a small role in the movie the actress was able to bag her first lead film with Laila Majnu. The movie saw mixed reviews among the critics and the big leagues in the industry. 

Speaking exclusively with Jagran New Media on a range of issues, the actress said calling someone a ‘product of nepotism’ is wrong. She also believes actors like Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor have only brought glory to the screen and ‘deserve to be in the industry’.

Settling the OTT vs cinemas debate, Tripti called the line between OTT and theatrical ‘blur’. She believes ‘reach is widened when the product is on an OTT platform.

Read the full interview here:

QUESTION: I have to ask you, it’s been more 2 weeks that Bulbbul released.. I am sure your phone must be still buzzing with messages and wishes from your friends and fans, how does it make you feel?

ANSWER: Makes me feel really nice and it’s been more than 2 weeks but whenever I open my phone, Instagram or WhatsApp, I get like more than 1000 messages daily which is very cool and the response has been quite overwhelming. This is the kind of response we actors die for and I have got it with this film, so I am really excited and really happy that people are loving the film.

Also Read | Exclusive: 'Wider reach' to 'new opportunities', how Bulbbul-starrer Tripti Dimri settles OTT vs cinemas debate

QUESTION: You started your career with modelling, then your first movie was Poster boys and even though you had played a small role in the movie, your charm on-screen led you to your first lead film Laila Manju. But like they say, third time’s the charm, Bulbbul was the one to put you on the spotlight and the movie was trending at No 1 on Netflix. The movie was made under the banner of Anushka Sharma’s production and just like Bulbbul all her films produced by Clean Slate Films have strong female-driven characters, do you believe female-led stories are much braver?

ANSWER: I think they are, especially, for a country like India where we do not write good roles for women but I think that is changing now with time. It’s the best time for actresses to be working in the industry because now finally people are taking that step, now finally people are writing good roles for women. We have films like Raazi, Queen and Bulbbul for that matter but maybe 5 years before no one would have thought of making a film like Bulbbul but that is happening. But the time has come that a girl doesn’t need a hero anymore to get the audience to theatre. 

QUESTION: The film, Bulbbul, is a classic supernatural horror story reorganised to make a bold statement about gender abuse and giving a wake-up call to the patriarchal mindset. How does it make you feel being a part of a strong feminist fable? 

ANSWER: If you see the film, the character Bulbbul goes through a transformation of being an innocent and frightened girl to this strong, powerful woman. So, for me as an actor, there was a lot for me to play with and being an actress you get fewer opportunities to play a role like this and portray your acting skills on screen. The movie also focused on many other aspects. For me, the most shocking part was my character being a child bride and during my research, I searched about ‘child brides’ and what else do they have to go through and it was very shocking for me because in today’s generation 27 to 30% girls get married before the age of 15 or 18. It’s a good thing that we are raising such issues in movies and making people aware of the fact, but it’s time that change begins at home.

QUESTION: Bulbbul was released on OTT platform. The movie was such a huge success that it was not only appreciated by the audience, but the film was also praised by critics and Bollywood celebrities. Do you think if it has been released on the silver screen with proper promotions, the rave about the movie and the character you played would have been on another level?

ANSWER: The line between OTT and theatrical, that is very blur. You are getting a lot of attention on OTTs the way you get in theatres. For me, I think it is better than our film is on OTT platform and especially a platform like Netflix. I believe our reach is widened when your product is on an OTT platform. It’s like people from all over the world are watching your movie and it is not just limited in your country. When you create something for the world to see then you don’t think of those things, you experiment. In the case of Bulbbul, it has released in 190 countries.

QUESTION: While we are on the topic of movies being released on OTT platform, some may prefer the old-style theatre release for their big-budget movies. What future and success do you think OTT has in store for movies?

Also Read | Exclusive | 'Alia and Ranbir deserve to be in industry': Tripti Dimri's viewpoint on nepotism in Bollywood

ANSWER: I think with OTT there is definitely a lot of a work opportunity for actors, especially outsiders. And theatre has its own charm, who doesn’t want to watch himself/herself on a big screen. Both (OTT and theatre) has its own charm and will run parallel to each other, but with OTT’s wide reach, nothing can be best than that for an actor or a filmmaker.

QUESTION: Talking about making it big in Bollywood, the word ‘nepotism’ is up for debate. There’s a lot of buzz of being an insider and outsider in the Hindi film industry, and many big celebrities have called out on being treated differently. Did you have your own share of struggles in the industry?

ANSWER: I have been in this industry for 3 years, and in these 3 years, I have managed to do 3 films which is not a bad number at all. And I am an outsider and I don’t have anybody in the family who is working in the industry. It would be really wrong in my part if I say that the industry never gave me a chance to work or picked someone else for the role. Talking about star kids, they have their own struggles and their struggles are more than an outsider because they are constantly compared with their parents or siblings, but that doesn’t happen with an outsider. Being an outsider, we still get sympathy saying ‘she is an outsider and she has made it on her own’. Struggle is equal here and it is wrong to say that you are a ‘product of nepotism’. If my father was an actor, I would have tried my luck in the industry. I think it depends on your talent whether you will be able to survive in the industry or not, which is happening. And because of nepotism, today we have got actors like Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor and they are good actors, they deserve to be in this industry. I believe our audience is very smart, if you won’t perform and deliver properly they won’t entertain you. Let’s take Kartik Aaryan for instance, he is also an outsider but people love his films and they go to watch him in theatres and his films have earned big numbers, which is why he is a star today. So, who has the power? Audience.. they have the power. There has to be a balance.. audience and industry both should support newcomers.

QUESTION: Coming back to Bulbbul, we saw the dramatic transformation of an innocent girl to a strong woman, what is the one thing that the character Bulbbul has taught you?

ANSWER: As a 20-year-old Bulbbul, I was playing this girl who was very under-confident, someone who always needed direction. While playing that role, I felt very suffocated. I wondered ‘what is this happening’ ‘why do we do this to ourselves’. I learnt one lesson from her and it was that we should first love ourselves and give the priority and respect that we deserve, then think about the rest of the world. I used to feel bad for the character while portraying her on-screen, I used to feel that by doing all this we give others the power over ourselves that we shouldn’t. That is something that has changed. I definitely have started loving myself a little more after going through the experience of Bulbbul.

QUESTION: What upcoming projects are you currently working on… because we are sure your fans are dying to see you on screen more often.

ANSWER: As of now, there is nothing that I can talk about. But I got a very positive response and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I hope things work out this time that didn’t happen at the time of Laila Majnu. I am quite positive about it, something will definitely happen. My work is to wait for another opportunity, which is what I am going to do now. When I will get one, I will inform my fans about it.

The article has been written by Akshata Kumbar (Assistant Manager, Social Media, Jagran New Media).

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma