With 25 years in the industry, Shilpa Shetty Kundra reflects on her journey and although not all smooth sailing, says the rejections she faced made her stronger.
Reported on DNA India, Shetty Kundra who as at the recent FICCI Frames, said her entry into Bollywood wasn’t easy at first, “I always felt I am doing the right work. I am hardworking. I hide under the sofa when I see my old films. Back then in films I had blonde hair, used to wear blue lenses and red lipstick. I wonder how I got opportunities. I think it was all destiny. There is no successful person who hasn’t faced failure. The more you get rejected you rise and give your best.”
Shetty Kundra who kicked off her career with ‘Baazigar’ (1993), said though the film was with Shah Rukh Khan, it didn’t provide her with better films thereafter. “I did not feel people were accepting me as an actor. Maybe I wasn’t that good actor. Even after doing films like ‘Phir Milenge’ and ‘Dhadkan’, I never got an award. I felt rejected and bad.” Adding, this didn’t prevent her from giving up, “But I kept working hard. There was hunger in my belly…I feel if not for those rejections I wouldn’t have lasted so long.”
In 2007, Shetty Kundra took part in the fifth series of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in the UK, which she went on to win. Shetty Kundra explains that her experience on the reality show was life changing for her. “‘Big Brother’ was a beautiful moment…When I was offered ‘Big Brother’ I had no clue about the show. There was a certain sense of rejection that I felt to cut away from here and do something away from the country. They were paying me well and I was like let’s try. I was prepared to be rejected there also. But every week I got stronger. First time I won something and I was shocked. I feel there is poetic justice and I believe in it.”
Looking back, the ‘Life In A Metro’ (2007) star says she is content with the way things have worked out for her, “I have completed 25 years and I feel the kind of love I am getting today is more as compared to then when I was actively working in films. I don’t remember how I became an actress I have forgotten that journey. I feel we are born for a purpose.”
The ‘Dishkiyaoon’ (2014) actress took a break from acting after the birth of her son, and has since built her business based on health and well-being, “I am focusing on it. I am aware that maybe 40 per cent people cuss me and I am okay as there are some who wait for me to share things about health and wellness.”
So will ShettyKundra return to the big screen? “I love acting. If I hadn’t done TV, then maybe I would have done films. After I had my son I consciously decided to be with him and so I did not do films. If I had to do a film then I had to be away for a longer period of time from my son so I did not want to do that. TV is gratifying. With TV I am able to connect and entertain. Due to TV, I like the fact that people like me as Shilpa Shetty and not some character of a film. The power of the small screen is big as the biggest of stars come to TV to promote their film.”