Sobhita Dhulipala: Can suffer emotional damage for my roles

So am I famous now? I am at home, doing my laundry, and have no idea what’s happening outside,” quips Sobhita Dhulipala, the luminous lead of Amazon Prime’s much-loved series, Made In Heaven, and the Internet’s latest darling. As netizens binged on the relationship drama, Dhulipala’s character Tara Khanna — cut-throat yet with a strong conscience, gold-digger yet achingly guileless at times — became fodder for debate. The actor’s analysis of her muse is clear. “I saw Tara as unapologetic. Her flaws make her real. People have the tendency to categorise others into villains or heroes. But the truth is, we all think and do things that aren’t nice.”

Even as she is excited about the appreciation coming her way, the actor, 26, is already looking forward to Bard Of Blood, Netflix’s next original starring Emraan Hashmi. “Bilal [Siddiqi, author of The Bard Of Blood] is also part of the screenplay process. The writers were strict about actors not reading the book. The screenplay is an evolved version of the material. Moreover, the character dynamics have been altered.”

The espionage thriller is her second successive project with Hashmi after The Body. “The man is so different from his image of a serial kisser. For him, I am a bro,” she laughs. With interesting projects in the pipeline, this might just be Dhulipala’s year. Point out that she went missing in action after a promising debut with Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), and she says with an endearing naivety, “I don’t have the objectivity to understand screen gaps, or when people remember me and when they don’t. With me, it has always been about feeling assured as an actor. I had a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival with my first movie. I just want to do work that resonates with me.”

That she knows her craft is evident in the fact that the likes of Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar have placed their trust in her. She sparkled even in blink-and-miss roles in Chef (2017) and Kaalakandi (2018). Deconstructing the process to slip into roles, she reveals, “I prepare by being vulnerable, which is difficult, because the world will give you reasons to be cynical. But in order to get the true essence of the part, I am willing to put myself out there and cause emotional damage to myself. As an actor, if you can’t do that, it’s better to be an investment banker.”

As we wrap up the interview, Dhulipala admits that much like the audience, she too has her fingers crossed about the second season of Made In Heaven. “It’s still at the brainstorming stage. I can’t wait to strap on my heels, apply a lip colour and rock it again.”

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