New Delhi: She attended her first fashion show helping models with their shoes backstage. Actress Neha Dhupia, who is playing a backup dancer in the upcoming film `Pappu Can`t Dance Saala`, says the film took her back to her days of struggle.
"I started my career with a beauty pageant but not many people know that the first fashion show I attended was by helping models with their shoes backstage. So now each time I walk the ramp at a fashion show I am reminded of it," Neha told reporters.
The former Miss India was brought up in Delhi but she moved to Mumbai to realise her showbiz dreams, much like many other girls who end up becoming backup dancers, who inspired her role in `Pappy Can`t Dance Saala`.
"I observed the backup dancers on the sets and their ambition, dedication and attitude towards their profession reminded my of my initial days of struggle.
"The struggle hasn`t ended though. Every actor first struggles to achieve a certain position and then to maintain it," she said.
`Pappu Can`t Dance Saala` has Neha playing a Mumbai girl pitted against Vinay Pathak`s character hailing from Benaras. Directed by Saurabh Shukla, the romantic-comedy is releasing on December 16.
Beginning her acting journey with bold roles in `Qayamat: City Under Threat` (where she wore a bikini) and `Julie`, the 31-year-old actress, who moved on to more meaningful cinema, said she has never planned her career path.
"I have never planned my career. I did films only on the basis of scripts. If the script is promising and have the ability to entertain, I take it up. Rest depends upon the director as I am such an actress who shuts up and listens to her director," she said.
She has been juggling independent and commercial cinema successfully but Neha says it’s not a conscious decision on her part.
"I only think of it everytime I am asked this question about juggling two genres. I do not have any such demarcation in my mind. Also I never take up a film looking at its budget," she added.
But she considers herself lucky to have found friends in Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla. "Working with them gave my career a new turn, otherwise I would have been trapped doing the same kind of roles."
With these actors, Neha has made a mark in independent cinema with films like `Mithya`, `Dasvidaniya` and `Raat Gayi Baat Gayi`.
Highly acclaimed for playing a dreaded female gangster in `Phas Gaye Re Obama`, Neha said she had rejected the role when the director (Subhash Kapoor) initially approached her.
"I rejected `Phas Gaye Re Obama` because I thought I won`t be able to do justice to the character of Munni in the film. But Sanjay came back to me saying that I am the only actress who can fit the bill," she said.
Neha also said that she has a desire to go behind the camera some day and spearhead a film project.
"I sometimes discuss stuff with friends like Rajat and Vinay and think that maybe someday I would love to work on a project myself. But that will be something with a difference," she said.