'The comic timing is in the genes'

Within six or seven days of coming to Bombay, I was offered to play the female lead in a Rajasth­ani film Bai Chale Sasariye (1988). It became a hit and I was floo­ded with offers to play ‘heroi­ne’. Us time me main kaafi ac­h­chi dikhti thi,” she says evo­­­­k­­­ing good-natured laughter.


Indeed, it is her inimitable ability to mock herself, coupl­ed with an unwavering passi­on for acting and exploring new shades, that has made Upasana Singh a favourite among both television and film viewers.
 
From playing the character of a dumb girl in Judaai who can only say three words Abba Dabba Chabba to her most recent stint as Pinky Bua in Comedy Nights with Kapil, she has done it all.
“Maine north India ki koi language nahi chhodi. I have done films in most of them,” she says describing her journey from Chandigarh to Mumbai.

“Since the age of seven, I wanted to be an actor. Be it any competition in school or neighbourhood, people knew that if Upasana participates then she will win the first prize. Infact, my school mates often took me along because they knew my presence would make them laugh. Par padhai me main maha nalayak thi!”


Mind you, the actor has a master’s degree in dramatic art from Punjab University and her theatre background made her opt for uncommon roles every time. At the age of 21, when most female stars are keen to play the lead, she let herself be cast as a comedienne in the Anil Kapoor-starrer.

“Once I did a comedy role in this film, a spate of other films followed. I feel ‘character actors’ are better than other actors. Look at the range of characters that actors like Anupam Kher, Amrish Puri and Boman Irani have played. It is because I gave preference to the character, I got a scope to be more than a ‘heroine’. Even if it is a small role, if I like it today, I will do it because I have made my acting passion my profession, which gives me the energy to keep going.”
 
Today, when most of the young actors feel exhausted after a day-long shoot, Singh shoots for not just three parallel TV shows but also regional films at the same time.

“For 18 years I have been doing three shifts continuously. The makers of my debut film (Bai Chale Sasariye) are making a sequel of that film and have approached me for it,” she says with a satisfied smile as one wonders at the next one-liner that she will come up with.

“The comic timing is in the genes in some of us,” she says laughing, making one wonder about her family’s reaction to her dialogue delivery.


“My mother-in-law watches all my shows including Uff! Yeh Nadaniyaan Season 2 on BIG MAGIC channel, where I play the character of a dominating mother-in-law! And while I was shooting for Kapil’s show, my husband was concerned that I was being insulted constantly but later he appreciated my work. Being in the same industry we respect each other’s professionalism,” says Singh who is quite simple and God-fearing off-screen.

Ask her if she is satisfied with the variety of roles that she has got and she replies like an artiste, “I am yet to get a role like the one Sridevi played in Sadma and Rekha played in Umrao Jaan.” And, this one is in all seriousness!

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