Actor Rakul Preet Singh is among the new crop of actors who are making their mark felt in Bollywood, despite being the classic ‘outsiders’ in the industry. Rakul, who is already an established star in Telugu and Tamil film industries, could make Bollywood take note of her with De De Pyaar De. She has since followed it up with Marjaavaan. In an interview with Pinkvilla, she spoke about being an outsider, being body-shamed early on in her career and MeToo movement.
Speaking about body-shaming, Rakul mentioned how early in her career, she was told that she had a rather generic face. “Somebody told me ‘You are very good, you are really nice but the problem with you is that you have a generic face’.” Positivity seems to be one of Rakul’s strongest qualities. She mentioned how she never got bogged down by such comments. What was more important was for her was to have self confidence.
“Everything stems from your belief in yourself. I have always believed that. You can’t expect everyone to like me. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like me, but I have to love myself. When you love yourself, when you accept yourself, half of the battle is won,” Pinkvilla quoted her as saying.
On the issue of sexism in the industry and the world at large and whether or not she has been a victim of that, particularly when it comes of pay remuneration or differential treatment, Rakul said, “Not differential treatment; I think I have been very well treated. I have worked with good teams. In the south, they actually put you on a pedestal. I do understand that actors are huge crowd pullers and the entire film rides on their shoulders. But if it is a film which is riding on the female actor; so now if there is a Saand Ki Aankh, or Badla or Chhapaak that’s coming, those women are playing central characters. So you should be paid accordingly. I think what you bring to the table and what your involvement is and number of days, time and effort goes… Honestly, you are also putting in extra effort, you are going to the gym to look thin, wear those tiny clothes, and then dance.”
On the issue of nepotism and being part of one of the many camps that exist in the film industry, Rakul was forthright is saying that she hadn’t been part of any camp so far and so she wouldn’t know the dynamics of it. On nepotism too, Rakul’s perspective was more positive than pessimistic. She firmly believes that the industry is a fine place to be in today and that it far more receptive to new talent. “It is such good space now. I think people have become so accepting of newer talent… if you look at some of the present stars – Vicky, Anushka Sharma, Taapsee, Bhumi, Ayushmann – they are all non-filmy people. So somewhere somebody is giving them opportunities. So, I think it is a great time to be in the industry.”