In her almost four-decade-long career Soni Razdan has given Hindi film industry some memorable moments, but the veteran actor says the dearth of work throughout her cinema journey has always made her feel like a “struggling actor”. The 61-year-old actor, who made her debut in Indian cinema with 1981 film 36 Chowringhee Lane, went on to star in critically-acclaimed films like Mandi, Saaransh, Sadak and Monsoon Wedding.
“I was a struggling actor all my life. Till today, I think I am a struggling actor. So out of frustration, I learnt how to cook because so many weeks went by without work. I had to do something. I have done a lot of things apart from acting, probably because acting was not very consistent in my life,” Razdan told PTI in an interview.
The actor says while struggle can be heartbreaking, she channelled her frustration in a positive direction and ventured into other streams related to filmmaking.
“Struggle is always very demoralising. It’s not a romantic phase in anybody’s life. It’s very difficult. What it does is, it brings out your creativity in different way.
“In my case, I started writing, reading, directing, looking at different avenues. I would have never thought when I was a young actor that I would want to direct… Till today I’m looking at other ways to hone my skills,” she says.
Razdan says she is glad she got a chance to work with “many interesting people and learnt a lot along the way”. The actor, however, still wishes she had a better career in films.
“I’ve never wanted to take it slow. People haven’t really come to me with offers. If I’ve had a flood of offers, I would’ve done all of them. It’s not that I refused work, I didn’t get work. I refused very little work. I take up most of what is offered to me.
“For some reason people didn’t give me work, didn’t think of me while casting and I hope that’s going to change now. Though every 10 years I say the same thing, but it does change a bit,” she adds.
The struggle to get the desired work had turned Razdan a bitter person, but today she holds no grudges against anyone. “For the first time, in the last ten years, I’m enjoying living. Earlier, I used to be ‘I want to do this, do that’ and for some inexplicable reason, that has evaporated. There’s so much more to life than just acting or directing.”
Razdan credits age as a stabilising factor in her life. “May be it’s the age factor, where you start valuing things a lot more than when you were younger. When you are young, you are impatient. Now I know I cannot do one thing but there’s something else that I can,” she says.
Razdan, whose latest release thriller-drama Raazi, co-starring daughter Alia Bhatt, has opened to rave reviews, says going forward she only hopes she gets more work to showcase her talent.