New Delhi: Bollywood actress Aditi Rao Hydari knows she has no one making films for her or planning her career but she has a huge sense of belief in herself -- which makes her take fearless decisions. She feels strongly about girls' education because, through it, " her community and the whole nation prospers".
"I live in the moment and I'm always looking forward. I have been working since 2010-2011 finding my way slowly and steadily step by step, fumbling sometimes but managing to find the light," Aditi told IANS in an email interview.
"What kept me going is my unwavering belief and I'm always able to turn a negative into a positive... You can put all the crap in front of me, I will find something to be happy about... It is because of a strong family. Yes, it is true I didn't have a filmi insider to hold me when I fall, but that's the way it is, it's the same in any industry."
Born in Hyderabad and brought up in Delhi, Aditi made her debut with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Delhi 6" and went on to work in Hindi and Tamil film industry. She says there are days when she feels like she "might pass out".
"I also enjoy the hecticness... I'm only looking forward... to doing more, to learning more and to being challenged more," she said.
Was it tough to find your way in Bollywood?
"If you leave a kid in the dark its eyes get accustomed to the dark and they find the light in the darkness... so yes may be (my initial struggle shaped the way I am now). I don't have someone making films for me, planning my career, making sure every milestone is well recorded and appreciated and perceived as it should."
Aditi says she is always asked why her potential hasn't been tapped in the industry.
"That's a question you need to ask 'them' not me. I do my best whether it is a role of a 20 minute part and ensemble or a lead...I also cry, I feel disappointed, I sometimes feel things are unfair but I have a huge sense of belief and it makes me take fearless decisions. I have control over them and it empowers me," she added.
The actress has featured in "Yeh Saali Zindagi", "Rockstar", "London Paris New York", "Murder 3", "Boss", "Khoobsurat", "Guddu Rangeela", "Wazir", "Bhoomi" and "Padmaavat". She has also worked in the south Indian film industry with projects like "Prajapathi", "Sringaram" and "Kaatru Veliyidai" to her credit.
Aditi, who got the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for her powerful performance in "Bhoomi" and "Padmaavat", calls herself "a director's actor".
"I surrender and I get immersed in the world that has been created for me. I crave experiences where I am challenged and pushed to explore a feeling or situation that I never imagined or understood. It is like that feeling where you can jump off a cliff and you suddenly have wings to fly...
"I am not good with explaining goals and targets and method. I would rather be on a set in front of the camera with a director I am dying to work with, I let them mould me," added Aditi, who is also known for making fashion statement.
She continues: "I don't really know method; so I work subconsciously and instinctively... I feel vulnerable, I feel afraid, I can get impatient and crabby before I step into set for the first time... But once the camera is switched on -- the time between action and cut is like wonderland... It is magic," she said.
There are conversations around gender equality around the world, and Aditi feels there is "huge gender imbalance" in India.
"I have been vocal because it upsets me. I want change, we need change, and it can only happen if we prioritise education... Not literacy but a wholesome education. When you educate a girl, when you give equal opportunities to a girl... you educate her family, her community and the whole nation prospers...
"But at the same time we need to empower our men too with sensitivity so they make this essential gender equality a part of their lives," added the actress, who has shown her versatility by experimenting with her craft in her career.