Dolly Singh says 99% celebs she met were ‘warm’, showed her how to stay humble, gives special shoutout to Vicky Kaushal
Dolly Singh talks about her upcoming series Feels like Home with Hindustan Times.
Actor Dolly Singh has come a long way in the entertainment industry. She started her career as a content creator and became a social media influencer and even made her Bollywood debut with Swara Bhasker-starrer Bhaag Beanie Bhaag in 2020. After the success of her episode I Love Thane in Modern Love Mumbai, Dolly is once again back with Lionsgate Play’s Feels Like Home. Talking about it with Hindustan Times, Dolly opened up about playing the role of a easy going Delhite, Biba.
What feels like home to you?
I think food is the main factor when you want to feel at home. If I get to eat a home-cooked meal, prepared by my mother, it feels like I’m home. Now that I have settled in Delhi, this feels like home as well. I have a dog now, so coming back to her at the end of the day, feels like home. Although I am not from Delhi now it feels like this is my home. In the show, we are trying to portray the process of shifting to a new place and making it your home. It has taken me 10-11 years to feel at home in this house in Delhi.
How did you get on board with this project?
It happened in the sweetest way possible. One of the writers of the show is a very dear friend. I remember he had told me about it when he was writing the show. The idea about four boys trying to figure out life is so sweet and relatable. There is romance, fights, relationships, career issues, and family problems.
The makers presented it to me after they finished writing it. They said, ‘We want only you to play it, we only see you playing it’ Then I read the script and the character was a fit for me. Honestly, I did not need any convincing. I was like--this is something I can do. The overall idea, cast and everything else are brilliant. I think a lot of youngsters are going to relate to it. I got my role very easily and I think I will keep it close to my heart for a long time.
Did you audition for the role?
I gave one audition to see the tone but nothing much. I have taken the advantage of my connections here. I think they could see me fitting in while writing the show. So everything came together very easily.
Bombay or Delhi, which city feels like home to you now?
My home is in Nainital so that feels like home. I will pick Delhi because I have lived here for 12 years now. Mumbai is very special too because all of my work happens there. It’s my workstation, that is a different kind of love. Delhi also feels like home because I have my house whereas in Mumbai I have to stay in a hotel.
Your character Biba is from Delhi and you are best known for your Delhi impressions. Do you fear being stereotyped?
Yes, I do. But with Biba, thankfully there is no stereotypical thing to my character. The makers have not stereotyped Biba just because she is from Delhi and has to be in a certain way. She is a young woman who is living on her own terms and rules. She isn’t listening to society and a big feminist. She takes care of her family, her brother and friends. She is bebaak and bindaas—typical Delhi person but very real and relatable as a character. I’m actually thankful that she hasn’t been stereotyped although she is from Delhi and her wedding also takes place there. I think that is more of a Delhi thing to do—to have a grand wedding.
When are you getting married?
I’m not that of a big celebrity that I have to announce my wedding. But we will see. It will happen when it happens, never know. For now, there’s no plan.
You’re an actor now but earlier in your career, you interacted with many actors, what is something unexpected you learnt from someone?
I think humility. When I used to make content, I used to meet celebrities and if there’s one thing I have learned and seen them doing is to just be humble and down to earth. When you grow up watching celebrities, you feel like you can’t approach or talk to them. But, 99% of these people have been so warm and open to talk to. I am also trying to learn it. They say hawa nahin lagni chahiye tumhein fame ki. The industry is such that anything can happen. So keep your feet on the ground. I believe in focusing on a career because fame will come and go. One should try to be a genuine human being first more than anything else.
Which celebrity was different, in a good or bad way, from what you expected?
Nothing much has happened to me that I can complain about. I think everyone I have met has been great. Most of them are professional. They will come and work and be themselves. This is something I like because this is how I am in life. I cannot talk all the time. Sometimes people think that I'm being rude to them. But I believe that you can talk to them while you are working with them and when it gets over, you can sit quietly, there’s no harm in it. If some other actor does this to me, I feel that it’s okay because they are being professional.
But some actors also want to give 200% even after doing their best. For example, Vicky Kaushal. While we were working with him, we finished the entire thing in one shot. We were extremely happy about it. He is such a great performer but he told me ‘Let’s do it one more time’. That is such a sign of a great actor because somewhere he felt he didn’t do enough. There are people from whom you learn a lot. I have met extremely good people like Nawazuddin (Siddiqui) sir and Pankaj Tripathi.
Talking about your career, you recently starred in Modern Love, Mumbai. How has been the work experience with Masaba Gupta?
I couldn’t meet Masaba because my role was such that my character was talking to her through the phone. We shot our scenes separately. While I didn’t meet her, I met the director and the audition went well. The episode has been well received by the audience. It’s very sweet to see so many people have watched it, they keep sending me messages. It was a very good and relatable role because she is a divorcee. I think women who are divorcees anyway go through a lot in our society. It felt good to be that character and I am happy that people have liked her. In fact, all of the stories were good.
Who did you like the most from the series?
I think Masaba and Ritwik have done a great job. I would say Ritwik being so young has done it so good. I’m head over heels for it.