Many actors, mostly those on TV, often end up getting stereotyped after playing a certain character for many years. Having faced it herself, actor Aakanksha Singh — known for Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha and Gulmohar Grand — points out how difficult it becomes to shed that image.
“When Na Bole… happened, I was young and took it up as a challenge to play a mother on-screen. Many had cautioned me not to debut with such a role or I might get stereotyped, but I thought people would cast me if they like my work. And, I was wrong. Post that show, I was only getting similar characters, even roles of mothers to 18-23 year-olds. I still get such offers on TV. Getting stereotyped on TV is no less than a nightmare, it’s really difficult to break a certain image,” says the actor, who hails from a theatre background.
Two years later when she played a different character in TV show Gulmohar Grand, she hoped things would get better, but says she was mistaken. She went back to doing theatre, did few ads and luckily got an opportunity to make her Bollywood debut with Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017).
“Though it was a supporting part, but I was at least playing a different character. I agree it’s difficult to get into Bollywood, especially when it comes to bagging leading roles. But, I never lose hope and I’m in no hurry. I want to slowly and steadily chart my path,” says Singh.
Soon after, she started getting offers from south film industry, and has done films such as Malli Raava (2017), Devadas (2018) and Pailwaan (2019).
“There’s a lot of prospect down south. Even during my initial days, I got the opportunity to work with someone like Nagarjuna and have only been getting leading roles. I feel blessed. The reason why I wasn’t rushing into taking up many films in Bollywood is because I didn’t want to get typecast in friend and sister-in-law roles. And then, Mayday worked out. So, as an actor, if I can’t experience variety, I won’t be able to satisfy my creative urge,” explains the actor, who would also be seen in two Telugu projects — a film and a web series, besides a Hindi web show.
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ