Actor Neha Dhupia says she has survived in the industry for so long because she believes in creating work when there is none.
Having made her Hindi film debut in 2003 with Qayamat: City Under Threat, Dhupia went on to work in films like Julie and Sheesha.
She then gradually shifted to indie cinema with films such as Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, Mithya, Phas Gaye Re Obama and Hindi Medium. The actor will next feature in Vidya Balan-starrer Tumhari Sullu.
Though it has been 15 years for her in films, in the last few years Dhupia says she is trying “new, different things”.
“The learning from my entire career is: never compare yourself to anyone because it’ll destroy you. You’ve to wake up everyday and keep hustling. I don’t think I’ve lasted so many years because of my crafts or relationships but because I wake up and hustle,” she said.
“If there is something interesting happening, I reach out to people. When there is no work, I create my own. You have to put it out there that I am here to do good work and somehow or the other you will get it,” she says.
Dhupia may have started her career with films where people took note of her glamorous side, the actor is not comfortable with the “sex symbol” tag.
“I really feel blessed that the notion has changed today. It’s very disturbing when people call me sexy. I hate that word. People used to call me a ‘sex symbol’ and I am like please, I am not that person,” she says.
“…I don’t think at any point I had a ‘sex symbol’ quality because of which people think I am hot. In my own head I am not. I don’t suffer from low esteem but I am a realist and I know who I am,” Dhupia says.
The 37-year-old actor is looking forward to Tumhari Sulu. Dhupia says she shares a fantastic rapport with her co-star Vidya Balan.
Directed by Suresh Triveni, Tumhari Sulu, which releases tomorrow, is about a happy-go-lucky Mumbai housewife, Sulu (played by Balan), whose routine life changes when she unexpectedly lands herself with the exciting job of a night RJ on a radio station.
Dhupia, who features in the film as Maria, a woman who heads a radio station, calls it “surreal” to play the part as it coincided with her own podcast show No Filter Neha.