Soundarya Sharma, who is stranded in Los Angeles, has something to cheer about. Her digital debut, Raktanchal, is set to release. The drama is inspired by real events in the '80s. The dentist-turned-actor spoke to India Forums about her digital debut
1. This is your digital debut, what made you say yes to this series?
It was first the script which I read, it was very intriguing and very interesting and as soon as I read it, I wanted to do it. Also, MX Player is one of the top OTT platforms with a vast viewership. My character Roli was very intriguing and it excited me immediately, Roli is very high headed, family oriented and a very rooted kind of a girl and the overall cast was very interesting as well
2. What was so particular about your character that you ventured into the digital space with this character of yours? Give us a little insight on your character.
I love the script and my character Roli in it. The character is something that the audience would love to watch and they’ll be able to relate to the situation. She is a very relatable character, she is like any of the normal girls of India. She is family oriented, rooted, and high headed. She knows what she wants yet is very grounded. My role actually starts at the end of season one and it would be more in season 2 and for that you have to wait and watch, which is the surprise package. I had to go through a lot of preparations for my character as Roli. I was shooting for something else for which my hair color was highlighted so we had to remove those highlights and return back to my virgin normal black hair. I had to go through a mediterranean diet to get into the particular character because my director was very particular about how he wants this character to look like. Since it is inspired by true events, it's set in 80's therefore there is a certain way the character looks. We used a lot of 80's actress’s images. Basically it is inspired by Madhuri Dixit's character in 80's films. We had those kind of hair do's, puffy sleeves, long salwar kameez. Fitness and looks play a major role and it was one of the most important things to go through along with learning a different language.
3. With the lockdown, you’ve been far away from home in LA. How does that feel? What is the first thing that you’ll do once the lockdown is lifted?
Yes, I am far away and it has been a true life learning experience for me because I came here to do an intensive acting training at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and New York Film academy. While we were shooting in Universal Studios for one of my shoots, the same day they announced the pandemic in March and since then the Corona is going on. Also you are aware of the on going protests. Therefore a lot has been happening with me and I am going through a lot of things over here which can be quite challenging emotionally and morally. It’s a strange thing but you come out as a strong and independent person. I have become quite selfless and I am thankful for each and every single day. After the lockdown when everything gets over, I would love to go to places and see everything get to normal.
4. What do you have to say about the series being launched at a time like this? With limited interactions with the media and otherwise, you think the lockdown period is a good time to release shows?
Overall, I feel timing is really good because everyone is at home and we are hooked on to our TV's and watching things which we never watched. Timing is good and the audience wants to watch new stuff because the things we made in Bollywood have been quite cliche and today audience has accepted the new content offered. They want to experience and explore, that’s the reason OTT platforms are such a big hit. We are no more the cliche audience and the media coverage is mostly digital. Digital plays a major role and in this digital age and social media timing, I think it's a boon. I personally feel it is a very good time and it has made us more aware about our surroundings. Digital platforms have opened horizons for our reach and is evolving day by day. There are pros and cons but I always look at the positive side of it and it's a good time for things to come out.
5. Tell us about your regular day and a day during the lockdown?
So many differences but I would say that apart from just hanging out everything else is the same. We watch TV, we meditate, I exercise and I do everything I couldn't do. I am very happy during this lockdown. Since there wasn't 100 percent lockdown here, I could go out and do my workout, so I wasn't that affected. Of course it's restricted - you cannot dine out and shop but overall this has given me an opportunity to do new things. I am doing online acting courses and learning online Spanish which I could never do in my regular days, so I am pretty happy. The only thing is I am away and cannot see my family but rest of the things are same for me.
6. What are your upcoming projects? Any lineup that you can share?
There are few things in the pipeline but due to the covid situation things are stalled. I actually came here for two important things apart for my intensive acting training. Even back in India, I do have things, Raktanchal 2 is also on the cards and another thing coming up. Soon things would be back on track, my Hollywood projects here too, and hopefully I would be able to openly share it with you all.