Manjari Fadnnis: As an outsider, if you first work doesn’t click, no one wants to work with you or they’d politely say we’re looking for a fresh face

Actor Manjari Fadnnis says she managed to comfortably stay away from being exploited in the industry and prefers embracing her struggle rather than crib.
Actor Manjari Fadnnis made her Bollywood debut with Rok Sako To Rok Lo in 2004.
Actor Manjari Fadnnis made her Bollywood debut with Rok Sako To Rok Lo in 2004.
Published on Sep 26, 2020 01:04 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Being a rank outsider, actor Manjari Fadnnis is well aware that it’s difficult for those not from film families to firm their footing in Bollywood. And if the first project doesn’t work, the struggle only doubles up and Manjari faced a similar situation when her debut film, Rok Sako To Rok Lo (2004) failed to make a mark.

“It was painful, but I was prepared that the first film won’t mean the end but the beginning of my struggle. As an outsider, when the first chance doesn’t work, wherever you go next, they either don’t want to work with you or politely say they’re looking for a fresh face. It took me over two years to bag Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008),” she shares.

Weighing in on the nepotism debate, the actor doesn’t shy away from admitting that star kids do have an advantage with a set of experienced minds to guide and support them.

“When somebody from film background is making a debut, they come from a family that understands how things work, and how they need to present their children. They have friends who take care of their kid’s launch. I understand any parents would help their children but I also believe talent eventually gets noticed. Let’s not forget Shah Rukh Khan came from the outside, and became an insider,” she points.

In last 15 years, Fadnnis has met several people in Bollywood, both good and bad, and she’s happy that she has managed to comfortably stay away from being exploited. Even though it meant the journey becomes slower, she prefers “embracing her struggle rather than crib”.

Actor Kangana Ranaut recently spoke about casting couch in Bollywood. Ask if by “exploitation” she is addressing Ranaut’s remark, and the 32-year-old says, “There are so many actresses who stood their moral ground on the basis of talent and didn’t succumb to any such thing. There might be some who chose that path but saying this is an unspoken law isn’t true.”

Fadnnis also condemns Ranaut addressing Urmila Matondkar a ‘soft porn star’ during a TV interview.

“I was shocked. Urmila doesn’t deserve that. I’ve a lot of respect for Kangana as an actor. But I wish she hasn’t said that. I can understand she’s coming from her personal experiences, but to say the entire industry is filled with drugs also isn’t correct. Some people might be into drugs but the 99% statement is exaggeration,” rues Fadnnis.

While she hopes all these discussions will bring about a positive change, she feels most of the narrative is getting negative. Perhaps that’s why, not getting involved in any of it, Fadnnis rather wants to focus on her work.

“That’s what I’m here for. I’m shooting for my web series and there are a few more projects I am in talks for. Web is giving me opportunities that I wasn’t getting in films. I want to make the most of it. I’ll also shoot and release my new single,” she ends.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ


    Shreya Mukherjee is a senior content producer at Hindustan Times. She has spent over eight years covering entertainment, features and hard-news. When not writing, her passion for travel, literature, films and music gets her going.

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