Surveen Chawla seems to be on a roll, what with her bold performances in ‘Hate Story 2’ and ‘Ugly’ finding appreciation both with the critics and the masses alike. In a quick chat, Surveen talks about her upcoming films, what being bold means to her and why she chose films over television.
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You had a good girl image when you did television. Has it been a conscious effort from your side to play versatile characters in films?
No conscious effort to maintain the versatility. I just feel blessed to be able to do different characters. ‘Hate Story 2’ was a commercial film with solo protagonist, put on my shoulders. Followed by ‘Ugly’ which is, I wouldn’t say dark but a greyer film. What has been panned out now is why I said bye to television because TV had bought monotony and stagnancy in my life. To me, yes TV gives hefty pay cheques, but then I had to take risk. And I am much happier. Versatility has just come to me.
Barun Sobti told us in an interview that television gets redundant. Do you agree to him?
It does get redundant. I don’t just see stagnancy in terms of an actor, but even in terms of personal growth. I stagnated as a person when I was doing television. I wanted to grow, explore and television didn’t give me opportunity to do that.
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Does being bold come naturally to you?
I am quite a bold person. In personal life as well, I don’t give a damn to what others think of me. I do not mince words and don’t like to please people. It does come naturally to me. The first time I ever wore a bikini in personal life, none of my friends thought it was a right choice to do that. Why I am stating this is, because the moment you expose and wear short clothes, they term you as bold. But my definition of being bold is to be opinionated and speak your mind. My characters in ‘Hate Story 2’ and ‘Ugly’ are exactly like that. But sad part of the industry is that they stereotype you.
Bipasha Basu has been typecast in horror films. Do you see yourself being stereotyped in roles that demand sexuality?
It’s happened to be that way. But firstly sexuality is not a taboo. To begin with, people have to be comfortable with their own and others sexuality. I haven’t been doing such roles deliberately. It is not for publicity. When I did a ‘Hate Story 2’, it was promoted that way. It was not in my hands and I don’t feel objectified by it. Let’s face it, for a newcomer, why will someone come to watch a film? I am not a brand, Jay Bhanushali is from TV and the director was a newcomer, so then why? Sex does sell. But I don’t look at it that way. If ‘Hate Story 2’ was an erotic thriller, you wouldn’t see me as a part of it. But after the film is made, it is producer’s prerogative on how to promote the film. I can’t have much say in that.
Are you comfortable doing ensemble films?
At the time when ‘Ugly’ was offered to me there were two reasons – firstly it was my first film, secondly it was my debut film and that too with Anurag, so putting things together it was a great start. Anurag loosens you up. He makes sure that you just let go. Going forward, an ensemble would excite me if the role is good. It is not about the screen time. I am greedy, I want all of it. Screen space has nothing to do with the success of an actor.
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Which are your forthcoming films?
Post this, you will see me in ‘Parched’, a Leena Yadav film, where I am playing a nautch dancer. It is a much layered film. And then a glamorous avatar in a song in ‘Welcome Back’. -clapsnslaps