On the road to self-discovery

Ishita Dutta tells Shilpi Madan that there is plenty to learn from South Indian films

RESOURCEFUL Actor Ishita Dutta

She is the beautiful actor from the Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Shriya Saran starrer Drishyam. “It is a movie that has been the biggest turning point in my career,” says the svelte Ishita Dutta as we settle down to chat on the eve of her film release. “Of course I had done work before that but people recognised me and begun to acknowledge my work much more after Drishyam. Even today, after more than three years of the movie having been released, people come and tell me that that they have seen Drishyam again and loved my performance in it. It is one of those movies that people watch again and again. Honestly I am waiting for another film like that.”

Ishita Dutta is former actor Tanushree Dutta’s sister. She is synonymous with the popular Hindi soap Ek Ghar Banaunga that literally brought her into the living rooms of audiences across India. In movie stakes, she begun acting with the Telugu film Chanakyudu in 2012, where she starred opposite filmstar Tanish, followed by Rishton Ka Saudagar — Baazigar, opposite Vatsal Sheth, then Drishyam. Her latest outing on the silver screen was the Kapil Sharma comedy, Firangi.

No barriers

So what is the best part about working in South Indian films? “Well, I have worked in two films down south. One in Telugu and another in Kannada. After that I started working in television serials as they gave me a bigger canvas and reach. Films happened in Bollywood, and here I am. But I enjoy working in South Indian films. The language is a bit of a challenge, but the films are absolutely entertaining and there is plenty to learn. In fact, I’m looking at signing up a few more projects down South,” says Ishita.

Medium isn’t a crisis as she is open to the idea of signing on web series. “I am a big fan of online portals... I would love to be a part of an interesting project on the web. I did shoot for a few episodes for a web series but was unable to wrap it up owing to other commitments. Of course, the film scenario has changed over the last 10 years with more scripts centered around women characters. Today there is a balance of all genres: from masala entertainers to biopics to real life, social issues... a far cry from the usual mechanical steps the hero and heroine performed while dancing around trees,” she says.

Fitness freak

Staying fit is a priority and Ishita believes in tweaking her fitness schedule to keep herself on her toes all the time. “Honestly, I get bored of routine. From pilates I have now shifted to gymming and will be switching to yoga soon. I have done martial arts earlier as well. I invest time in a good amount of physical activity, even walking and running, at least thrice a week. Fitness is an absolute priority for me.”

Meanwhile, she makes time for her passion: painting, pets, and baking. Ishita is enjoying sharing her space with husband actor Vatsal Sheth. “He is a great guy, so sensitive, sensible, and affectionate. Very understanding and patient, unlike me,” laughs Ishita. Up next is her comedy thriller, Setters, by Ashwini Choudhary, where her co-stars are Shreyas Talpade and Aftab Shivdasani. The movie has been shot in Benaras, New Delhi, Jaipur... and is set to unspool soon. “My other movie, Blank, directed by Baizaad, releases now,” she enthuses. “It is an action caper with Sunny Deol, and newcomer Karan Kapadia,” she reveals. Ishita plays a cop in the flick and tries her hand at stunts here.

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On the road to self-discovery

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