Actress Rumana Molla has been a part of hit movies such as Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, Ek Villain and Irada. And every time, whether she had a cameo or a supporting role, she made her presence felt with her inimitable acting skills.
The talented actress will now be seen playing a parallel lead opposite Urvashi Rautela in her upcoming web show Virgin Bhanupriya, which is all set to release on July 16.
In an exclusive conversation with IBTimes, Rumana spoke at length about her role in Virgin Bhanupriya, her good, bad and ugly experiences in Bollywood and how she wishes to be more like her onscreen character.
You're playing a parallel lead alongside Urvashi Rautela in Virgin Bhanupriya after doing supporting roles in your previous films. Was this one of the reasons you said yes to the project.
No, I don't think whether it is parallel lead or any other kind of labels that you can put on a character that a deciding factor for me. What's important is that it's a welll fleshed-out and interesting character, something different from what I have done before. And more importantly, I felt like this character had a lot of elements that I found were extremely enduring and important as well. You have seen men playing a lot of these characters and being normalised. You see a lot of womanisers who are playing these cool suave kind of characters and we find them cute, funny and we laugh because the jokes revolve around that are funny. And I just felt that it is time for a woman to play that character and for that too become normalised.
Your character seems quite bold and confident in the film, tell us something more about it.
She's extremely confident, absolutely. As far as bold is concerned, I guess you could say that she's bold in a sense. I think anyone who doesn't care about what people think of them, who are not bothered about what he will say or she will say, is considered bold. Which means that you follow your own instinct, your own understanding, you follow your own reasoning. And that's what I think she does. And to people who probably have been brought up with a different mindset or who are more restrained and who kind of measure what they do, she might seem bold to them. But I just feel like she's the kind of person she does what she wants to do, who caters to her own needs. And I don't think that should be considered bold, that should be normalised.
Since nudity is a thing especially on OTT platforms, would you be comfortable shooting for the same if offered?
No, I don't think I would want to do nudity. However, I don't judge who do that. It's just a personal choice. I don't feel comfortable with it. For me, I have never actually seen a film and felt like the nudity or any series or anything, what I felt like the nudity adds anything to it. Like, the story would crumble if you don't have it as the part of the narrative. So, it's not necessary. Then why?
How did acting happen to you? Tell us how you made it into the Hindi film industry.
Acting did not happen to me, I made acting happen. I think it's inner calling because since a very young age, I have always loved performing, I loved to be on stage. In fact, a lot of people used to say to me that I have different personality when I am performing because I am usually very quiet and shy, maybe not anymore but I used to be. And when I was on stage, it was like something had exploded inside me and I was able to just get something out there which was inside me but it would never come out in my normal interactions in my day-to-day life. So, I think performing was always something I felt was liberating and I think that's how it happened. I realised pretty early that this is what I want to do. It took some time but I can't say that it happened, I think I just made it happen because I was extremely sure that this is what I want to do with my life.
How do you relate to your onscreen character in real life?
I don't exactly relate to her in a sense. When we say we relate, we say similarities, I don't have any similarities with her. In fact, I call her my alter ego. However, there are certain aspects of a personality that I find very interesting and that I am almost envious of. I feel like I am probably not as liberated as she is. I am probably comfortable within myself as she is. I feel envious of that because I think she's bossy, she's out there, she's fast thinking, she just acts and like I said before, she doesn't pay heed to what people think of her and I just wish I was little more like that. And I am trying to be (Smiles).
How has been your experience in the industry so far, good bad ugly? Can you elaborate?
My experience in the industry depends on how I look at it. I got to learn that the hard way and it took me a long time to realise that it's upon me how I experience everything that goes on and around me. The experience has been good because I feel like it has taught me a lot, it's made me stronger, it's enabled me from dealing with all kinds of people, all walks of life which I would have never experienced had I been in any other industry. And I think it's important to take the bad as an opportunity for you to learn something from that. You have to deal with all kinds of people and you have to be okay with that. Having said that, it's not that I am condoning people who behave badly, who discriminate or who give people a hard time. So I don't think how it should be. And if you can or if you are in a position, maybe sometimes it's important to also put those people back in their place and give them a piece of their mind. And I have, on many occassions, tried to do that. I have stood up for myself when I felt that things were not right. But, sometimes, you can't because it's somebody else's choice to treat you the way they want to. And it's upto you how you take it. For me, my experience has been good because I choose to look at it that way.
What kind of roles you want to do in the future.
I don't think I have an answer for that because I want to do all kinds of roles. I don't want to limit myself to one kind. As long as it's a good story, good character like I said fleshed-out for me, the length does not matter. But I think, the atmosphere is important, how you are made to feel within, whether you come to work for 4-5 days or 10 days or 30 days. And now I feel like I am at a stage where I don't want to put myself through torturous situations. I have done that and I have come out of it and it was good for me to grow. But now I just want to work in good environment. That's probably one of the top things in my list of priorities.
What actors, directors you want to work with.
When it comes to actors, the first answer that comes to my mind is Naseer (Naseeruddin Shah) sir. I have worked with him in Irada and that was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I just feel that it went by so quickly and I feel like I didn't get to soak it in and I wish that I could get that opportunity again. I know I am being extremely greedy but there are a lot of people who don't get that chance in their lifetime, I got that and yeah, I am being greedy (Smiles).
As for the directors, there are so many of them who I have worked with and are incredible that I want to work with them again. I have really been admiring Anubhav Sinha's work. So I guess, that's the first name that comes to my mind.
About your upcoming projects.
I have two films and one web show that should be releasing, I don't know when exactly. That's up to the makers. I have this film called How To Kill Your Husband, directed by Akhilesh Jaiswal ji, that will release some time this year hopefully. It's by JAR Pictures. It's with Aahana Kumra. And there's Zindagi Teen Din which is directed by Nikhil Agnihotri. It's an independent film and hopefully, it will release soon. We are five actors in the film and it was an amazing experience.
Watch Rumana Molla's full interview with IBTimes here: