‘I was the only girl on the sets of Pailwaan’

Actor Aakanksha Singh feels that the Southern industries are more accepting

Aakanksha Singh began her career on the small screen and swiftly moved to Bollywood. She completed two projects in Telugu before making her debut in the Kannada film industry with ‘Pailwaan'. 

The actor feels that the South is more accepting of new talent. “In the Bollywood industry, it is tough to make a mark unless you have solid support from people within the industry. But in the South, if you are talented and hardworking, you are accepted and your work is acknowledged. This is an encouraging trend,” Aakanksha tells Metrolife, on the day of ‘Pailwaan’s’ release.

The 29-year-old actor plays Rukmini in the film.

She says that she has different shades to her role. “I really liked the story and how my character has been placed. My role plays a decisive part in taking the story forward. I am glad that I have more to do in the film than just stand around and look pretty,” she observes. She says the many sides to her character made working on this project interesting, “I have a glamorous stint, a touch of subtlety and I also had a phase where I had to be the girl-next-door. It was challenging to emote all these shades to perfection,” she adds. About the challenges of working on this project, she says, “We shot the second part first and the first half much later. So I had to read through the whole script and portray the character in such a way that people will understand that there is a particular graph to the story when they watch it. That was a bit tricky.” 

What kind of preparation went into strengthening her role? “There was no preparation because this is a fresh story with new perspectives. You can take references for a remake but not for a fresh project,” she says. 

She doesn’t feel like this is the first time that she’s working in a new language. “I was the only girl on set but I didn’t feel out of place because the people here are very warm and make you feel at home,” she adds. 

Aakanksha says that she didn’t plan to work in the Kannada film industry. “I was surprised when I got a call from an industry where I hadn’t worked before. But I didn’t think twice because the offer was irresistible,” she adds.   

She is all praises for her co-star Sudeep, “I know him as the actor in ‘Makkhi’ and I always thought he is brilliant at his craft. There’s a lot to learn from Sudeep just by watching him work. He made sure that I felt comfortable both with the language and dialogues. It was a smooth sail,” she says.   

Aakanksha is thrilled that the film has had a good opening and her role has been received well. “I always wanted to be noticed more for my performance than my looks. People have tweeted about how they felt that my role fits perfectly into a film that has been written around boxing and wrestling. They called it a performance-driven one. This is a great start,” she signs off. 

Who is Aakanksha?

The young actor spent most of her growing-up years in Jaipur. A physiotherapist by profession, Aakanksha knew that her passion always lay in theatre and films. She forayed into television with ‘Naa Bole Tum Naa Maine Kuch Kaha’ and later did a small but noticeable role in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. “I would pretend to be an actor and reel out some dialogues in front of the mirror. I never missed an opportunity to work in plays and theatre in school and college. My life changed after my first television soap,” she says. 

Her husband is a big support 

Aakanksha is married to Kunal, who works in the corporate sector. “I got married when I was 24. I have been getting more projects after marriage. My husband is the wind beneath my wings. He has always encouraged me to chase my dreams. I can’t ask for anything more,” Aakanksha tells Metrolife. 

Biggest fan moment    

On my 23rd birthday, I had one of my fans, Anushree, come on sets and gift me 23 things that I loved the most. “She knew exactly what dishes I liked and brought that for me. She also presented a book about the people I liked and interesting facts about myself. That was a truly touching moment,” Aakanksha says.  

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