I had to figure out my own way to survive in the city – Madhurima Tuli


She has made a mark for herself, which is no child’s play. Having come to Mumbai to pursue her dream, Madhurima Tuli, was determined to make a mark in Bollywood. Though her role in the Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Baby’ was quite short, she did make an impact on viewers. Apart from advertisements, she was more recently in the task-oriented show ‘I Can Do That’. In a candid chat with SHAILI MADAN, she talks about her life and upcoming projects…

What are your current projects?
I just got done with the show ‘I Can Do That’ and Life OK’s ‘Dafa 420′. They were task driven so I have taken a break for two weeks. I am getting good offers for films, but haven’t committed to any. Till the time I get good offers, I am not going to take up anything.

What kind of offer would intrigue you?
I am keen on doing a series based TV show or a film.

You’ve done a Kanada film, a Telegu film, Bollywood and also television. Where does your heart lie?
The heart always lies in films. That’s what we have grown up watching. We’ve grown up watching Madhuri Dixit and Sushmita Sen. So doing films is definitely on my mind. But my concept of working is to do everything that comes my way. The rest is destiny. You will reach where you are destined to reach. Just keep working hard and do whatever interests you. I love doing advertisements and television too.

How was your experience doing the show ‘I Can Do That?’
It was lovely. It was just a different experience altogether. I always wanted to be part of a show where I could prove my skills as a dancer and athlete both. This show gave me that chance. The different acts that we were made to perform were amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Also, Mr Farhan Akhtar was a friendly co-host. He made it very comfortable for everyone and always motivated us. So it was a very good experience.

You are also doing a Hollywood project…
Yes. I have completed shoot for this film called the Black Prince. In the film, I am playing Shabana Azmi’s younger version. The film is slated for release early next year.

How did acting happen to you?
I watched Miss Universe when Sushmita Sen won the crown. Since then I was very influenced to be part of some beauty pageant. When I was studying in Orissa, I could never even think of coming to Mumbai to pursue my dreams. So once I shifted to Dehradun, I participated in a contest of Miss Uttranchal and I won that contest. That motivated me to come to Mumbai and try my luck here. When I came here, I did my course from Kishore Namit Kapoor acting school. Acting was something that I always wanted to do.

How difficult was it without a Godfather in the industry?
I still have a long way to go as an actor. Till now, it has definitely been difficult. The break I was expecting, I never got. So I had to figure out my own way to get there. I continued doing television since it was then a matter of survival. After supporting me the first year, my father insisted that I either made my way here or else got back to Dehradun. For this reason, I kept doing projects that interested me. Also, you have to be very careful about the projects you choose or else you are bound to get typecasted here. One advertisement that changed my life was the Airtel one. Kumkum Bhagya also gave me a lot of recognition.

What do you love most about the industry?
I love the fact that you can play different characters and roam the world. You get to see so many places and meet so many people. You get to observe so much. You can take that in you and make that one of your characters. Acting is such that if there is something unique about you, people will like that about you or about the character. Through acting, you can make this happen. If you have a talent, you need to be able to showcase it.

What has been your lowest point in life?
The onus of surviving in the city and industry was completely on me. I was once completely bankrupt and was getting a film that I did not want to do. But for money, I had to do it. I just could not understand why this was happening to me. Now I have realised that it was God’s way of telling me to stay back because the city had something to give me. It has given me a lot. I love Mumbai.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
My dream has always been to be a superstar. My only dream and focus is this. The rest I don’t really plan because if it does not happen, you really get hurt. With experience I have learned not to expect; just give in your hard work and keep doing what you can the best. You have to leave the rest to destiny. Destiny places a huge role in the film industry. I think its 70% – 80% destiny, while the rest is hard work.

Any message to aspiring actors…
Mumbai is a place where one can lose focus and get depressed easily because there is a lot of insecurity and competition. It surely pulls you down. You have to fight it and learn not to feel rejected or unwanted.

What is your philosophy of life?
Live. Love. Laugh.