Sobhita Dhulipala says she always had a deep respect for performing arts, which is why she wants to debunk the notion in the film industry that actors with modelling background are just "glam dolls".
The actor, who has featured in varied projects such as "Made in Heaven" series and Mani Ratnam's two-part magnum opus "Ponniyin Selvan", said her aim has always been to look for complex parts.
"When I started out.. I was aware that people know that I come from a modelling background, I was a Miss India. And there is a prejudice against them, that they are glam dolls and they can’t perform.
"So, I was mindful that I should pick parts that allowed me scope for performance. A lot of my initial decisions were driven by that. I have a deep respect for performing arts and I want to do a good job, and be better every day," the 31-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Born in Tenali, Andhra Pradesh, Dhulipala was the first runners-up at the Femina Miss India 2013 beauty pageant. She later represented India at Miss Earth 2013 in the Philippines.
The actor made her acting debut with Anurag Kashyap's "Raman Raghav 2.0" in 2016 and later followed it up with movies "Chef" and "Kaalakaandi". She found critical acclaim for her performance in Prime Video series "Made in Heaven", in which she played the role of Tara Khanna, a wedding planner.
Besides her work in Hindi movies and shows, Dhulipala also ventured in the South film market where she featured in "Goodachari" (Telugu), "Moothon" (Malayalam) and bilingual movie "Major".
"I did not find mainstream opportunities in the very beginning so I was doing work that was coming my way and picking what was best from the lot. But I felt belonging to a variety of canvas was an opportunity to be visible to larger junta and build stories.
"Different regions have storytelling that is unique to their temperament, you grow so much as an actor," she said.
The actor compared surviving in the film industry to the game of snakes and ladders.
"One hit and zoop, you go up. And two flops and boom, you are down. It's like you are given a certain bunch of cards and you have to play with that. You can’t be ‘Kash mera yeh hota, woh hota’ (I wish I had a certain card).
"I don’t find that to be healthy. There is so much for me to be grateful for, so much that has gone right and it is important to remember," Dhulipala said.
Dhulipala currently stars in Disney+ Hotstar series "The Night Manager", adapted from the eponymous British series which was based on author John Le Carre's 1993 novel.
The first part of “The Night Manager”, also starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Anil Kapoor, released on Disney+ Hotstar in February and became an instant hit.
Dhulipala, who essays the role of Kaveri 'K' Dixit, believes she has grown as an artiste by playing complex characters.
"I feel I have grown so much by playing parts that have dealt with greater crises than I have. That made me grow up. When I read about a character who is complex, I don’t judge her. I am able to feel wonder at their journey and maybe they come naturally to me," she added.
The second part of "The Night Manager" is set to debut on Friday. The show, created by Sandeep Modi, also stars Tillotama Shome, Ravi Behl and Saswata Chatterjee.