Neha Dhupia is one of the most versatile actresses in Bollywood. From being a beauty queen to a star in Bollywood, Neha has always been positive and has not limited herself to one thing but kept experimenting with several.
She talks to the Guardian 20 about her transition from being an actress to an anchor, about her career in Bollywood and her new show.
Q. You have an army background and went to Army Public School. How was your childhood like?
A. My parents were strict but for the right things. But for the fact that I had my background from Army Public School, I was well-mannered. Army people are really well-mannered people and I take that from my father a lot. And yes, I have had a great childhood. I have played sports and been outdoors most of the time. I wanted to do modelling and was allowed to do it. There was not any restrictions that’s because I was the only child. I was well-mannered and it reflects in me. I mean this is the first time I am doing a reality show and people could see the real person I am which otherwise would have never been possible. And I am glad that people are enjoying watching me.
Q. Tell us about your journey in Bollywood so far.
A. It’s been great, of course there have been ups and down but it’s been great. I don’t think I could do anything apart from what I do because I love what I do.
Q. Once you said that you were not very feminine in your school and college days, you were more of a tomboy. How was the transition like, from being a tomboyish girl, later a model and then an actress?
A. I have always been like that. Even now, I don’t wear make-up, I don’t get paid for it. I know that sounds ridiculous but that’s the truth of my life. I don’t like too much on my face, I mean, that’s the person I am. I honestly like my raw look.
Q. What would be your advice to aspiring models?
A. My advice to aspiring models would be just believe in yourself and be very professional because it is something that can make you successful and just focus on what you want to do and what you aspire in your life.
Q. You have been praised for your comic acts in Phass Gaye Re Obama, Chup Chup Ke, Singh Is King and many other movies which have done very well at box-office. Is there a particular genre that interests you?
A. Anything that is entertaining interests me. Even if its thrill and it is entertaining, I would love to do it. Anything entertaining works for me.
Q. These days some many actresses in the film industry have a modelling background. Do you think it helps in some way to make a mark in Bollywood.
A. Yes, because you are already recognised, you are comfortable in front of the camera. You have made a fair amount of money, you can utilise it towards acting classes. So, you have A little bit of standing. You can go ahead and do what you really want to do.
Q. A dream role that you would love to play.
A. It’s very hard to say but right now I would love to be the next hero on Roadies.
Q. We have seen you host many shows recently. Tell us about the experience and how different it is to be a host for an actress?
A. Whatever I try to do, I try to be myself. Earlier I was doing Kingfisher Supermodels on NDTV or whether I am doing Roadies, I just have to be myself. So, it is not any different. In both the shows, I was a judge. Being a judge is quite a special experience for me.
Q. You are one of the co-judges in MTV Roadies. What is your strategy in this show? Do you want a girl to be thewinner of the show?
A. Wow! Definitely, compared to other judges like Rannvijay and Karan who were previously in the show, I am new to this show. So, more than anything else, I would say be true to yourself. Also, I am very motivating in the show. Yes I definitely believe that any girl can emerge as a winner of this show. Women are not less than men in anything be it stunts in this show. So, I have given my 100% and I got very emotional, very aggressive during the show but I would like to apologise before for all that.
Q. In this show one needs to be on their toes, be it physically or mentally. What is your idea of fitness?
A. My idea of fitness is making sure you dedicate at least 60 minutes a day to your body and apart from that you must look after your diet a little bit. Know your body. Do yoga or running or whatever works for you.
Q. Whom do you see as your biggest competitor in Roadies?
A. Prince and Rannvijay. They really strategise very well and I would always be worried when they would team up but they were not my competitor. All the boys whether Rannvijay, Karan or Prince have been very wonderful. They have helped me immensely. It was my first time and they didn’t let me left out at all. Although, If I am on the show next year things are going to be very good.