Actress Pamela Singh Bhutoria made her debut with Kahaani alongside Vidya Balan in 2012. Since then, she has been featured in various advertisements and has hosted shows like Pro Kabaddi League. In conversation with Guardian 20, the actress talks about her latest film, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3, and her experience of sharing the screen with Sanjay Dutt for the first time.
Q. Tell us about your role in your recently released film, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3.
A. My character in this film, Deepal, represents a sharp and tech-savvy girl who is driven by a keen sense of loyalty and duty. The thing I liked most about this character was that no matter how independent and headstrong this girl looks, she has a soft corner somewhere for her father.
Q. You have worked with Bollywood stars like Vidya Balan, Amitabh Bachchan and now Sanjay Dutt. How does that feel?
A. For this, I thank God that I got the chance to work with such great actors of the industry. And it is not like I take this for granted even for a second. I have worked tirelessly to deliver performances to the best of my abilities so that with each day, I come closer to my goals.
Q. What are your criteria for signing a film? Is it the cast, script or your role in it?
A. I think that I should be able to connect with my role in the film so that I can portray the character properly. Another thing that makes a film better is that the character should not only raise empathy in the audience, but should also be able to give an informed opinion to them. That said, for me, the script and direction are key.
Q. In Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 3, we have seen you doing some action sequences.How did you prepare for them?
A. There is a wave of change churning around the world in terms of representation of women in the Indian film industry. I must say, that is not far behind from world cinema. There is a need to represent every kind of woman in films and not stereotype them in certain roles. As for my preparation, I watched a lot of documentaries as suggested by our director Tigmanshu Dhulia. Reading the script thoroughly also helped me to play the role more efficiently.
Q. What was it like to work with Vidya Balan and that too for your debut film?
A. Vidya Balan is a very talented actress. She just makes it all look so easy and the way she enjoys every scene is very inspiring. Her mere presence puts you at ease. It was a great experience to work with her.
Q. Being an outsider in Bollywood, what challenges did you come across in your career as an actress?
A. Well, the “challenge” is a word I do not identify with. Everything and every moment of my journey has been a learning experience. I don’t see myself as an outsider so I don’t take that as a disadvantage.
Q. You have worked with Amitabh Bachchan in an advertisement. How was that experience?
A. I have shared the stage with Amitabh Bachchan for Pro Kabaddi before, but this was more special as I was playing the role of his daughter in the TV commercial. During the shoot, when he walked in and greeted me saying “namaskar”, I started getting nervous. Sir and I used to often talk in Bangla on the sets. I realised that I am actually living a dream of zillions of people who just want to see him once. For me as an actor, it was no less than an award to have finally shared the screen with him.
Q. You have hosted live TV shows in the past. What did you learn from that experience?
A. Having hosted the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) live, I know goof-ups are bound to happen. I have done a couple of mistakes but thankfully nothing major. While I was hosting a hockey game, I mistakenly announced Wankhede Stadium instead of Mahindra Hockey Stadium, but everyone learns with experience. When I look back at it today, I feel I have gained a lot of confidence from such platforms.
Q. Tell us about your upcoming ventures.
A. I am currently busy reading a lot of scripts and meeting directors. I will surely announce something soon.