Art & Entertainment

Samridhi Dewan: Being An Actor Is A Long Process And There’s Really No Shame In Doing Something Else For Money

‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ actress Samridhi Dewan speaks up candidly about the sort of troubles she faced before she ended up landing the lead role in the Sony Liv show. She also tries to destigmatise the fact that actors can have alternate professions till the time they make it big in cinema.

Samridhi Dewan

Samridhi Dewan has been garnering a lot of praise ever since she played the lead in the Sony Liv web series, ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’. The show was one of the most talked about shows on the OTT channel in the last month, and people have praised Dewan for her apt portrayal of a young lawyer, who ends up concocting a web of lies so as to not get fired from her job.

Talking to Prateek Sur, Samridhi Dewan opens up about her journey in cinema – from Miranda House in Delhi to film sets in Mumbai. She also talks about how acting is a very uncertain profession and how actors need to have an alternate source of income in order to sustain themselves in the long run. Excerpts from the chat:

You’ve received a good response for your recent release, Good Girl Bad Girl. Tell us a bit about your journey in acting. Where did it start and how did you end up here?

After finishing college at Miranda House, Delhi University, I went to The Drama School Mumbai to do my diploma in acting and theatre-making. And then did a lot of work on stage in Mumbai and then slowly started auditioning for camera work. It definitely has been a journey, a slow one too. But the payoff of being on set or performing on stage is so big for me, I feel elated. And so, it's worth it.

As a young actor auditioning is a part of and process of acting. Who are your peers whom you look up to or talk to while you’re preparing for an audition?

I feel like auditioning for camera jobs has been a solitary endeavour for me. It only becomes collective once you've got the job and are on set or workshopping the role. Unless I need help to do self-tests, which now I force my mum to do with me, I haven't sought help to prep for auditions per se. But stage work has been the opposite. Having said that I've rarely auditioned to be in a play. So, it has been a collective process from the word go. I have a lot of actor friends and very often we test for the same parts too. It’s very funny, we get shortlisted for the same parts sometimes. But it's a part and parcel of the job, and you get used to it.

Young actors always end up getting stereotyped in similar kinds of roles. ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ was a role that not many newbies would pick up. Is it a conscious choice to pick up roles that are bold or not confined by societal norms?

I cannot fathom why anybody would not want to play a character like Maya's. She is truly the sort of person who will keep you guessing. Most characters have a pattern. You can say this person would make this choice and wouldn't make that choice. But you can't say the same for Maya. Maya can get away with almost anything. To have a show on your shoulders is a big weight, that which would almost never be given to a relatively new person to bear. But maybe the makers saw my experience in my skill. I'm grateful for that.

Are you okay to play an actress opposite a big star but not having much to do? Or would you much rather do a meaningful role even if it’s in a smaller project or with lesser-known actors?

I feel like being opposite a big star no matter the size of the role has its perks. You get maximum visibility which can, in turn, add to your end goal of getting meatier parts. So, I wouldn't dismiss it already. Meaningful roles are always the bigger goal. But the end goal for me is to have a crazy versatile filmography.

Acting is a very uncertain job. How important is it for actors to have an alternate profession or an alternate source of income alongside acting?

It definitely is important. Most people take other jobs in the industry to keep going. At this point, I make enough to sustain myself, but I have assisted some theatre corporate trainers and done stage shows for corporate events in the past. These were short and didn't take too much time so were doable and I made money. But I've also been lucky to have family support always. Even if I had long phases of making no money, my parents are really so supportive that they'd give it to me without me asking. They've always maintained that they're proud of me for trying something this hard, without any sort of connection. Being an actor is a long process and there’s really no shame in doing something else for money till you can afford to not do it. It’s sad that a lot of times actors are made to feel that this is not ok. That you aren't a real actor till you only act. But if you think about it, even the bigger actors in our industry do other things, invest in different businesses or have production houses.

What’s coming up next from you?

Going to start shooting soon! Hopefully will be able to talk about it soon as well.