Pooja Jhaveri originally hails from Gujarat, but she has built a strong acting portfolio in the South Indian film industry. Her resume boasts of several successful Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada movies which she has starred in ever since making her silver screen debut in the year 2015.
“Learning a new language was never a problem. I am glad I can fluently talk in Telugu now,” she told Eastern Eye.
In a freewheeling conversation with us, Pooja Jhaveri opened up about a whole lot of things, including the new things she has learned during the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, how she ended up bagging her first role in movies, her acting icons, and, of course, her forthcoming projects.
What have you been doing to keep yourself busy amid the lockdown?
I think this was a long-time due break and if not for lockdown one would never opt to take such kind of break. I have made lifetime memories with my family during this period. I have done everything that I always aspired to do but never got a chance because of my busy schedule. My love for cooking, painting pieces of art, and learning new techniques of meditation has occupied my lockdown. I have enjoyed retrospection through it.
You belong to a Gujarati family, right? How did you end up starring in Tamil and Telugu language films?
Yes, I am a Gujarati, from a small town in Gujarat called Valsad. Ever since I passed my 10th I have been in Mumbai for my studies. I started off as an assistant choreographer in Bollywood. Gradually, the connections got me into films and I was offered my first Telugu film and the rest became history.
Was it difficult to learn new languages to fit in your parts?
I have always been of the opinion that nothing is difficult if you really work towards it and put in the effort. Hence, learning a new language was never a problem. I am glad I can fluently talk in Telugu now.
Did you ever lose on a South Indian project just because you were not proficient in the language?
I have seldom lost any project due to linguistic unproficiency. Yes, I have lost on the opportunity to dub for myself because of the accent but never for not knowing the language.
Have you ever been replaced after signing a project?
Yes, I have been replaced after signing for projects due to a clash of shoot dates. I remember backing off from a project when my father was not keeping well and I was nursing him through his final days. Not otherwise.
When did you know that you wanted to be an actress? How did your family react?
I always wanted to be one. I never thought or put my efforts towards getting it, but I feel if you manifest the right approach, good things end up reaching you. To be frank, my father was not happy initially. My mother and sisters were more than happy and supported my passion. Eventually, my father was proud to see me on the big screen.
Looking back at your career, what are the moments you are most proud of?
Achieving the milestones I had set for myself and surpassing each of them is something I am proud of. I feel elated to make my family proud and hope to embark on this journey with the same grit always.
When are we going to see you in Hindi movies?
I believe that if Bollywood is meant to happen it will happen one day and I hope to enjoy that experience. Honestly, I have not set boundaries or levels to reach in terms of work. For me, the journey is more important than the destination and I have been loving the journey throughout.
Who are your acting icons?
Madhuri Dixit, Madhubala, Kajol, and Kareena Kapoor Khan primarily. The list is super long. I think every artist has their unique trait and that makes them wonderful in their own way. I hope to incorporate certain things from every actor and create a particular style of my own.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have 3 films ready to release. Two in south and one in the Gujarati industry. I also have an upcoming web series. Apart from this, I have scripts I am reading, which might go on floors only after the condition is safe to shoot.