I Hope And Pray That I Keep ‘Arriving’ Every Few Months In The Industry.” – Gauahar Khan
From being the most loved star on the reality show BiggBoss, to being the Jhalla Wallah babe of the industry, and then mesmerising the audience by becoming Rubina of Begum Jaan. GAUAHAR KHAN was born to be in front of the camera. From playing a sex worker
How has your journey been from your initial days to 2017? My journey has been fantastic. It’s been a journey of what dreams are made of. A person who had absolutely no backing in the industry dared to dream to be an actor in this amazing world of Bollywood. I had the opportunity and fortune to be one of the top models of the country, to being one of the most loved reality T.V artistes and of course, a Bollywood actor. So I feel absolutely blessed.
What do you enjoy more modelling or acting? I never enjoyed modelling. I was looking at it as a point to start from. It came to me easily because I was spotted by some of the best choreographers in the Miss India pageant and they used me in fashion shows and for the best of designers. So it was a stepping stone for me, but I never really enjoyed modelling. But acting is just like my second skin, it’s what I’m made of, it’s what I love to do, be in front of the camera, to perform, and live many characters. It’s a high that only an actor can experience and will never be able to describe.
You’ve been in the industry for several years now, how easy or difficult is it for an actor to survive in the industry without the backing of a Godfather? It’s difficult to find the right kind of work, and to make a mark in the industry because obviously, the top spots are taken by people and they keep repeating them in everything. So to make your mark is difficult but eventually if you just believe in yourself and know the kind of work you want to do and give your best when you get it, like the old saying goes, ‘slow and steady wins the race’ so yes, I’ve managed to carve my own little space and I hope to keep growing there.
How was the BegumJaan experience from shooting to getting responses for the character you portrayed? Begum Jaan was the best experience of my life. It was a
fulfilling experience as an actor, and very reassuring for me because a director of that calibre, who has won national awards believed in me to play one of the key roles in his film. And it was a lifetime opportunity for me. Also the kind of critical acclaim I got for it and the love from the audience itself was an award and reward for me. I’ll never be able to thank my director enough and of course Vidya, she’s my superstar.
Did you aspire to be an actress since childhood? Yes, I always aspired to be an actress. If you see my childhood pictures among my siblings, I’m the only one posing away to glory. They would stand straight as kids, and I would pose, either my hand would be on my head or my hip would be jetted out or my legs would be spread apart. They were weird poses, but I always knew I’d be in front of the camera.
If not an actress what would Gauahar Khan’s profession be? I don’t know. I’ve never had my heart in anything else but this. I think I wanted to be an actor so bad that God actually gave it to me.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would that be? I’m nobody to change anything in this industry. I just want to make sure that I make my mark as an actor as much as I can. I don’t concentrate on things that need to be changed. The only thing that I want to do is make my own world in this space.
What matters more to you Bollywood camps or scripts? Definitely, scripts matter more to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a camp. There’s nothing wrong in being a part of one, in fact, I’d love to be a part of a camp that gives me great work. But it doesn’t come easy. But what makes you stand-out are the scripts. And if a director looks at you as a dependent actor, then you’ve made your mark.
You do take up short films, would you be open to doing web-series too? No, I don’t plan on those things. Even in short films, I take up concepts that are different and stand out. Peanut Butter has stood out very well, and has done so well in international film festivals as well. So that’s what I plan to do, any work that makes a mark.
In the era of cut-throat competition, do you ever feel nervous? I do feel nervous. I mean, I have to, it’s only the
‘nervous energy’ that helps you get better in life. But I’m not insecure. I feel happy when others succeed and I feel that helps me to succeed as well. I’ve never felt bad about others’ success. So that’s how I function.
If you had the super power to change three things about yourself what would they be? One, I would want to get less affected by the things that happen in the world, it takes a toll on me mentally. Two, I would want to increase my patience, I tend to get impatient sometimes. Three, I trust too easily, I’d want to trust wisely.
When asked to some they say they still have a long way to go. Do you consider yourself successful now or do you believe you still have a long way to go? Yes, I’m successful in my own right. I want to get even more successful. I think my dreams are too big and I want to achieve them all. I’m not going to stop striving, I want to be resilient at all times towards everything that I want to achieve.
Do you think after BegumJaan ‘your time’ in the industry has arrived? I think Begum Jaan gave me the pat on my back that ‘Yes, I’m on the right path.’ I hope and pray that I keep getting these opportunities in the industry where I can prove myself and also that I have the ability to perform in any situation. So that’s what Begum Jaan gave me. I hope and pray that I keep ‘arriving’ every few months in the industry.
They say there is never a dull day in Tinsel Town, but when there is how do you brighten it up? Well, I think of all the abundance that I have in my life. I try and get gratitude in my heart for every small thing, whether it’s a sip of cold water or a first class travel abroad.
You are one of those blessed women who has got it all – talent, screen presence, looks etc. But you still haven’t made it to the top list of stars in terms of ranking. Does that bother you in any way? No, it’s doesn’t bother me. It just makes me want to work harder, and believe that I can achieve whatever that is, I want to achieve it with hard work, patience, and try to do my bit. That’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I am not in a race for any kind of a rank. I’m in a race to excel, that’s all. Yes, I can do whatever (sing, dance), it’s just a matter of time of who spots me and gives me the opportunity and I do believe that there are directors out there looking for pure talent. How do you maintain a balance between your personal and professional life? My point of equilibrium is my family and they never let me get away from the reality no matter how successful or rich I get. My mom advised me to ‘stay grounded’. So that’s how I try and maintain a balance because life is all about a balance and if you forget your personal commitments for your professional commitments then you’ll lose out on relations and if it’s the other way around, you’ll not be able to give your best at work. So yes, I think balance in life is needed.
Do you also have the dream to romance a top rank lead hero and dance around the trees? (The Bollywood DDLJ style) Yes, I do dream of that every day. I do want to be the quintessential heroine, I do want to star along with my favourite actors. So yes for sure, I dream of that and I dream of that hard.
What’s next in terms of your upcoming projects? I’m still working on it.
It’s difficult to make a mark in the industry because the top spots are taken by people and they keep repeating in everything. ”
My Dreams Are Too Big And I Want To Achieve Them All.”