Gladrags MegaModel winner, anchor, host, theatre performer, fashionista and now a film actress; Rupali Suri is heading to become an entertainment all-rounder. The 20-something has played the Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi "with a difference" in Bharat Dabholkar's directorial comic satire play Bottoms Up. And she'll be seen next in an English film 'Dad... Hold My Hand'. We decided to check out her feelings and ask her about life before she takes her next flight.
Why did you choose your profession?
Rupali Suri: Oh, I didn't. My profession chose me. I used to be a great fan of dancing and talking the talk. One thing led to another and before I knew I was performing and anchoring and hosting shows, and then modeling and doing theatre, and next you will see me in movies. Life is running and I'm keeping pace.
Tell us about your first film 'Dad... Hold My Hand'.
Rupali: It’s directed by the super-talented late Arun Frank, who was a wizard at directing television serials in the late nineties. I play the lead's fiancé Ria in the film starring Denzil Smith, Ratna Pathak and Jayesh Kodwani. It is made entirely in English and shot in London and Mumbai. It's doing the rounds of the festival circuit, before releasing in India and the West.
You also do theatre. Right?
Rupali: Yes, I play Sonia Gandhi with a difference in Bharat Dabholkar's play Bottoms Up. It's great fun. I get to enact many shades, and even grin, smile, take taunts chin up, and once in a while, flip my hair in stylish spectacles and crisp articulately worn cotton sarees. (laughs)
Any barriers you have overcome on this journey?
Rupali: I was a plump and chubby child and had to contend with weight issues as I grew up. But once I entered showbiz, I became conscious and cautious and transformed myself. Thanks to my supportive mom, I haven't faced any huge barrier in my personal life. But you see, sometimes fear of the unknown can be a greater emotion than love. I have to admit that at times, I have faced a self-inflicted barrier in my professional life, where I have held myself back and waited for an opportunity to appear. But once I realized that attitude wasn't working, I slowly and steadily reprogrammed my mind with the 'go for it' attitude. Once that was in place, the barriers fell away. And from then, it's been a steady and sturdy climb.
Who do you think is the most glamourous and fashionable celebrity in Bollywood and why?
Rupali: Of course, we have Deepika (Padukone) who was a model and then Sonam (Kapoor). The latest in the list is Lisa Hayden. She too dresses her mind.
From the current lot of designers, who do you think matches your fashion?
Rupali: I'm extremely fond of Rahul Mishra and Vaishali S. The latter's garments are very feminine and even give that great look in silhouettes. Now that's all about perfect cut and fit, isn't it? I also like the sensibilities of some other budding designers. As long as fashion is about how you feel, it can never go out of fashion.
How do you feel to be called a fashionista?
Rupali: I blush. :p
What is the mantra behind your bedazzling fit body?
Rupali: I have read somewhere that seventy percent of the body is made in the kitchen and the rest thirty percent is made in the gym. So lookout for your diet and understand your body requirement. As they say, no pain, no gain.
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
Rupali: My moms sarees, my books, education certificate, all my old pictures and a nose ring I've been gifted by my aunt. (grins)
Did Bollywood always appeal to you?
Rupali: Oh yes, I was quite filmi in my growing up days too. I guess, I've danced to each and every one of Madhuri Dixit songs. See, I've always had an inclination towards all things creative. I've always liked to perceive situations and then see how I can fit in.
A Bollywood dialogue you swear by.
Rupali: I have grown up teasing my sisters with the line "Mard ko dard nahin hota" from the Bachchan movie Mard. I've even played pranks on some film dialogues. The latest in my book is "Maine ek baar commitment kardi, toh main apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta!" Lol.
If a film was remade, which one would you want to be a part of?
Rupali: Oh, the top billing for that wish would go to Sridevi's character in Chandni. The role had so many nuances of a woman's feelings and Sridevi portrayed it with so much heart. Another one would be Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge. Kajol was an out-and-out sweetheart in it.
If not a model and actress, what would have been your alternate career choice?
Rupali: Oops! Never given much thought to that. But now that you ask, I guess, I might have joined my father in business.
How do you manage your personal and professional life?
Rupali: In our fast-paced world, personal and professional life is often intertwined. But my family helps me stay grounded and manage a balancing act.
What is your ideal partner like?
Rupali: I guess I'd give more importance to compatibility more than looks or riches. Someone I can talk and share anything and everything with. After all, if a girl cannot open her heart to her partner, then she will always be wanting in life.