Was told I was not tall or beautiful enough to be an actress: Anya Singh – The actresss will be debuting opposite Raj Kapoor’s grandson Aadar Jain in Habib Faisal’s ‘Qaidi Band’.
Mumbai: After Bhumi Pednekar and Vaani Kapoor, YRF is all set to launch yet another fresh face, Anya Singh, with Habib Faisal’s next directorial, Qaidi Band. In an exclusive conversation with Deccan Chronicle, Anya reveals her aspirations to be an actor, about being launched by YRF, working with Aadar Jain and more. Excerpts:
How did your journey start?
There was a lot of discouragement when I thought of getting into acting. A lot of people told me that I don’t even look like one. It was a phase when actors who were tall and lanky worked. People said I am not that great looking and do not have the height since it is a very looks based industry. But I feel things have changed now. I think it’s more about your art and our industry has progressed that way. I think I have come at a time when looks don’t matter but I had this gut feeling and tried really hard to suppress what people told me. I was born in London and moved to Chandigarh and then Delhi. I moved to a boarding school in Ajmer, Rajasthan and it was something in me which kept telling me that I should do it and I am sitting here with you. The pride comes with the fact that I was able to prove myself to these people.
How did Qaidi Band happen to you?
I met Shanoo Sharma by chance at a coffee shop and I was asked to audition for YRF. It was a do or die situation for me. Initially, all these production houses like YRF and Dharma weren’t on my mind. I moved to Mumbai in December 2015 and my mother gave me one year to prove myself. She told me that if it happens then it is fine and if not then don’t get upset since she was aware of how low were the chances to get it. She also told me to take it as a learning experience. On the other had, I was always the star since I had the courage to follow my dreams. Also, I give a lot of credit to my family for being so supportive all this while. Funnily they are getting used to see me on television now. For them my struggle was their struggle too. I would always take their opinions since they all were very involved in the entire procedure. When I got the film, I told to my closest friends and they were in shock and happy.
Are you under constant pressure now for being launched by YRF?
I feel very fortunate to be launched by YRF. I never had a formal training in acting so when I came so I knew nothing and I had no clue about any technicalities of filmmaking. It goes so much to shoot a single scene. It is not really the way I thought it was but I learnt a lot. I feel if YRF would have not been behind me then I would have shot my first film and lost it. I wouldn’t have got that guidance and support. I am very naive at the moment and I don’t have filter while talking to people. I am still learning the art of giving interviews. YRF really puts talent first and I really admire them for this.
How was it working with your co-star Aadar Jain?
Aadar and I are very similar people in terms of our mindsets. We are simple and fond of good food. He is a great company to hang out with. He has really good sense of humour. We both have ability to laugh on ourselves. It was such a free atmosphere on the sets since there was a bond. Habib sir made sure that we should spend time together. We used to do workshops from 10am to 1:30pm followed by lunch and our respective training sessions then come back and stay till 7pm together