She doesn’t drink, she doesn’t smoke, and without following the ‘so-called system’ she has managed to maintain the tag of a ‘good girl’. Today, when Dipannita Sharma — a seasoned model-turned-actor — finds small-town heads full of stereotypes, it fills her with a desire to recite the actual tale. “People still have this impression that someone who walks the ramp has to be heavily into alcohol or drugs. People think it’s a part of the process of making it to the glamorous life, whereas, it is an individual choice,” says Sharma, who was recently in Chandigarh to meet her sister.
I wouldn’t have been a part of this profession if I had to change myself. I don’t understand it when people say you have to fall prey to a certain system in the industry
That’s why, when Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Fashion released, she thought it was completely one-sided. “It bothered me because it missed out on the actual message, which is true for every profession, that indiscipline in one’s personal life leads to an unsuccessful career. When we started out, most of us didn’t care about alcohol or anything to that effect; we were too focused to think about anything but our goal. Our skin, health and fitness were of utmost importance for me and my model friends, be it Sampada or Netra. Hence, we achieved the most success. That side of ours wasn’t highlighted because good girls don’t make news.”
Her journey — from Assam to Delhi and then Mumbai — has taught Sharma a lot of life lessons. “As a person, I’m the same. I wouldn’t have been a part of this profession if I had to change myself. I don’t understand it when people say you have to fall prey to a certain system in the industry. You can create your own path, as long as you’re focused,” shares she.
Married to Punjabi boy Dilsher Singh Atwal, Sharma, who has earlier worked in films such as 16 December, Jodi Breakers and Ladies Vs Ricky Behl, is currently eyeing three films — UTV and Bejoy Nambiar’s co-production, Hindi remake of a Tamil film, Pizza 3D, thriller Ikka Top and social drama Take it Easy. “All three are being directed by newcomers. Pizza 3D’s director is only 22 years old. Take it Easy is being directed by Sunil Prem Vyas, who has been running Darpan theatre in Mumbai for years. In Ikka Top, I have a glamorous role for the first time,” says she.
Acting, however, never took precedence over modelling for Sharma. “Modelling did open many roles for me, but I never saw it as a stepping stone. I enjoy the whole process of movie making, but not at the cost of my primary career. Also, when you enter the acting field with an established career, no one dares to take you for a ride.”
Her life as a model has changed now, says she, “Now, I model just as a showstopper or for endorsements. As for acting, I’m in for all kinds of genres. But, I’m not open to intimate scenes. Even during my modelling days, I never shot in a bikini. No one ever asked me not to; I just wasn’t comfortable, as the audiences have still not warmed up to the idea of a swimsuit. It’s still not seen as just beachwear.”