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THE DARING DAMSEL

For Payal Rajput, the calling was always cinema. Backed by confidence and hard work, the daring and pretty Payal started off her career with advertisements, later graduated to TV serials and then landed in movies. After a successful stint with Punjabi films, she debuted into Telugu cinema with RX 100 and rest, as it is said, is history. Her bold and confident portrayal of Indhu not only made her win the hearts of the audience but also got her the recognition in the industry. Yet, a short chat with her reveals that she is completely the opposite of the character Indhu. She is sweet, warm and simple.

Tell us about your early life
I am a Punjabi girl from Delhi. I pursued a course in Mass Communication.

How did you get into acting?
I cannot say it's in my DNA. My father wanted to become an actor and he did try his luck in Mumbai. Unfortunately, nothing worked. Somewhere unknowingly the desire got in me. The love for acting began when I was nearly 12 years old. I told my mom I wanted to be an actress; it was not easy for me as I hail from a big conservative family. So, after college, I moved to Mumbai.

Initial struggle
Five years ago when I went to Mumbai, I had a few friends. Yet, within 15 days I started getting work. There was not much of a struggle.

From small screen to the big screen
I worked on TV for three years. Things get monotonous and you might lose interest. That was when I started doing Punjabi films. Later, I got a call from Ajay Bhupathi for RX 100.

Facing the camera for the first time?
It was a satisfying moment. But working in ads quite different from working in movies. Both are acting but the pressure, expectation and reach in cinema are more compared to anything else.



RX100 is a blockbuster. How do you feel about it?
It's like a dream come true. It has redefined me and given me recognition, popularity and monetary benefits. I am not a Telugu girl yet the audience showered me with love. The success boosted my morale to the next level making me more focused and selective of my next projects.

How did it happen?
I wanted to do a south film and was waiting for the right script. A lot of movies came my way but the roles did not interest me. When Ajay told me the script, I wondered how could I play this role as I had always played a sweet girl.

Controversial scenes
It was challenging. To some scenes I reacted, "Gosh! What am I doing?" Ajay kept telling me to act and think like a boy. I took it in the right spirit and followed his advice. I can recall there was this dramatic scene. I wasn't able to perform as I didn’t know the language. I was upset. Ajay then told me that I should say the dialogues in Hindi and I would then get the right expression.

Family & fans' reactions
The audience is extremely sensible and knows a good performance. A few people in Punjab cinema were upset with my choosing this role. But there were others who sent me a message that they could relate to it. My father hasn't seen the movie but my mother did. We saw the movie in Devi theatre which was houseful.

I was nervous about she
would react. The first kissing scene came and she said, "It's ok ma." As the scenes followed, the whole theatre was whistling. I had tears in my eyes. When we came out, I was shivering expecting a tongue-lash from her. But her accepting it, had me in tears.



Future projects?
I have signed a Telugu movie with a woman-centric plot. The script is perfect for me.

Prepare for your roles?
I believe in the director's vision. I understand the role, mannerism, body language, etc. When I am clear with all of it, I add my personal bit.

What is success for you?
There is no shortcut. Hard work with patience is the mantra. You need to groom yourself & be passionate.

Message to fans
It feels surreal. All I can say is a big thanks and keep loving me more and more. I shall do my best to live up to their love and expectations.

OFF THE CUFF
Three words for yourself
Bubbly, chatterbox
and stubborn
Your friends describe you?
Beautiful devil
Best advice you got
It is from my mother- Have patience. Love all.
If not an actor?
Nothing I can think of
Party animal/home lover?
I used to be a party animal but now I wish to go home once I pack up.

Wardrobe essentials
Lipstick, perfume and
tissue paper
Favourites
...Sport
Not a sports person. But yes I love working out.
Colour: Yellow
Cuisine: Rajma chawal
Destination: In India Kashmir, Abroad-Paris
Actor: In Telugu- Prabhas and Hindi- Rajkumar Rao.

 
 
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