MUMBAI: Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra on Tuesday described her nearly three-decade journey in the film industry as a “roller coaster” journey full of highs and lows.
The 46-year-old actress, who has mainly acted in Hindi films, made her acting debut opposite SRK in the 1993 thriller ‘Baazigar’.
“It was a rollercoaster ride,” the actress said at the launch of the trailer for her upcoming feature film “Nikama” here.
“You get scared when you’re up and even more scared when you’re going down. It’s a roller coaster ride, you have to enjoy the ride, the highs and lows, a part of life. I live in the moment. That’s always been my attitude, it’s been positive,” Shilpa said. “.
The actress said that she had nothing but gratitude to the audience for standing with her on her 29-year journey in cinema. Completed three contracts in 2023.
“For the thirty years that is about to happen, I feel so much gratitude and happiness. I am grateful to my fans, they have always supported me, whether my films came out or not, and when I was working on TV, they displayed so much love and faith.”
“I don’t know how people are tolerant of me. People were more tolerant back then. The audience today is smart, so you have to work a lot. The reason I lasted so long is because I love my work so much.”
Shilpa’s last theatrically released film was “My Son” by Anil Sharma (2007).
She followed this up with special appearances in “Dostana” (2008) and “Dishkiyaoon” (2014), which she co-produced.
Although she signed “Nikamma” first, her comedy “Hungama 2” was released on the OTT platform last year.
The actress has spent her time away from movies by judging the reality talent shows “Super Dancer” and “India’s Got Talent 9”.
The actor credits “Nikama” director Saber Khan for ending his 14-year sabbatical from theatrical productions.
“I am grateful to Sabbir Khan and Sony Pictures, Sabbir even more for ending my 14 year sabbatical. Credit to him because the script was so great that I couldn’t refuse. Leaving my kids at home and out on set requires great content to tempt me.”
“I was so rusty and he took care of me. It’s the first movie I’ve answered yes after for years and it has given me confidence that I can do justice to Avni (her role), she’s not a superhero like people might realize she’s a strong character.”
She also thanked producers Sony Pictures Films India and Sabbir Khan Films for choosing the theatrical release when they can go the OTT route.
Shilpa, remembering her first shot in the movies, said that she was too nervous to face the camera in ‘Baazigar’.
“My first shot was in the park with SRK before the song ‘Kitabe Bahut Si’. Then I will quickly say my lines and complete them and not face the camera, so SRK was saying look at the camera, that’s how our audience is and we say the lines.”
“I was so nervous at the time. After 64 films, I’m still nervous. I think until the time you get that feeling, you’re alive or else it’s like you’re not enjoying the process.”
When asked about the low point in her personal life after Mumbai police arrested her businessman husband, Raj Kundra, last year in a case related to the production of pornographic films, the actress said she prefers to talk about new beginnings.
Kundra was later released on bail.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with me or my life. So, if it was relevant to the movie, I would answer that question.”
Speaking of going through a tough phase, yes, we all went through a tough phase,” said the actress, ignoring the question regarding her personal life.
Sheba said the past two years have not only been difficult for her, but for a lot of people and the film industry as well.
“Abhimanyu Dassani has been waiting for two years, Sabbir sir who made the movie, Shirley Setia who debuted with this movie, and for me who will be back on stage 14 years later. So, let’s focus on the good. I always say this, as I’ve seen My avatar in the movie Rise Over and Play Superwoman, I think we’ve all played this very powerful character in our real lives, and a lot of us don’t even talk about her.”
“We’ve all been very, very strong and weathered the storm and I think it’s time to celebrate new beginnings and more positivity,” she added.
The movie “Nikamma” is scheduled to be released on June 17.