While most youngsters are wrestling with management books and day dreaming about seven figure salaries, one young lady is content sipping her cola. She’s hit the jackpot with a job that’s already made her a teen idol. At 17, she lost the coveted crown of Teen Diva on a reality TV show by a whisker.
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But MTV more than made up for her loss by offering her the lucrative job of a VJ. Last year, she made her debut in Y Films’ Mere Dad Ki Maruti opposite Saqib Saleem.
In the recently released movie Sonali Cable, Rhea Chakraborty has taken the next step. She’s proved she’s more than the hero’s arm candy. Now, she’s waiting to shoot her second Y Films movie, Bank Chor with Riteish Deshmukh. You’d believe Rhea would’ve had a princess diary full of matinee dreams back in her childhood. Fact is she was a certified book worm. Forget pan-cake, the gorgeous girl was planning to top IIT. Studying engineering in Ambala, Rhea was a top ranker. “I’m a closet nerd.
I was a back bencher yet I used to top the class,” she says. That explains her taking part in debates and avoiding dramatics in school. “My teachers believed I would be a breakthrough scholar from Ambala. That had become my ambition too. But out of the blue, I auditioned for a reality show. After the reality show concluded, Ashish Patil, then head of MTV (now he’s top brass at Y Films), called me to Mumbai and offered me the VJ job.
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All I could say was, ‘I’ll speak to my dad and get back’. I was just 17.” Though Rhea’s first film Mere Dad Ki Maruti (MDKM) hit the bull’s eye, it took time for her to be back with her second film. “I’d signed Sonali Cable much before MDKM released. I was busy shooting for it for an entire year.
I had to be on set all the time because I had a lead role. I was required in almost every frame. So, I didn’t want to sign another film.” Though Sonali Cable was ready for release last year, it was only this year that it saw the light of the day. “Our film has no stars. There’s no Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan to make it work. We had to be cautious and get a nice spot for release.” Working on Sonali Cable was like doing a crash course in movie making she says, “It felt like guerrilla warfare. It was like doing theatre. In 15 hours, you’re forced to master various emotions. You’re in every frame, so you can’t relax. Working on this film has made me a more focussed actor.” Not too long ago, Rhea was in the news for being Aditya Roy Kapur’s lady. But then Aashiqui 2 happened and the grapevine started talking about Aditya and Shraddha.
“Aditya and I still talk to each other. We never allowed the rumours create any bad blood. Earlier I used to flip and be upset over the gossip. Today I am a different person. It doesn’t matter, I believe if they are talking about you it just means you’re important.” Understandably, Rhea is forced to reckon with competition. Her competitors are racing ahead into the A-list. But she claims she’s not contesting, “I’m not into the filmi scene yet. I connect with the film industry just before my film releases. Every actor is different. In fact, it gives me happiness whenever a new non-industry girl is launched.” That’s the spirit girl.
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One thing you hate about Indian men…
Most of them are MCPs.
A fairytale you believe in…
Cinderella – because it’s also about a prince who turns your saviour.
Your first crush…
Shaukat Ganguly from school. He was the cricket team captain. He was my senior. I was in the 7th grade.
How do you de-stress…
I don’t stress. My manager yells at me but I don’t bother.
One thing you want to rob and get away with…
The Reserve Bank of India.
Your celebrity crush…
Men can be faithful, true or false…
Competition to you is…
Something that pertains to myself, something which bans the chalta hai attitude from seeping in!