Ms. Sobhitha Dhulipala speaks about ‘Acting, Modelling, Linguistic Diversity, Empathy, Human Behaviour and Belongingness’
During a webinar for Annapurna students Sobhitha discussed acting, its inherent privileges and associated challenges in a candid conversation with Dean Anuradha Rao.
As an artist and actor, there is indeed nothing more amazing and magical than seeing stories being brought to life, from script to screen. Over the multi- lingual (Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and Tamil languages) and multi-platform projects, she has been lucky to see every part of that process in action wherein she has seen ideas being formed and moments being captured, innate magic being made in front of the camera and behind it. The idea of leading multiple lives through different characters/roles is an intrinsic motivating factor that enriches life experience(s) and adds in terms of wisdom, maturity and smartness. One needs to be open to new and novel experiences that might be challenging both emotionally and physically. Working outside the comfort zone is a prerequisite for all actors. Her projects ‘Made In Heaven’ and Ghost Stories’ projects in the OTT sector and ‘Moothon’ in Malayalam films category were some of her body of work. Gudachari , Major Ponniyin Selvan are more recent.
How the habit of reading made her a better Actor
Hailing from a family of PhD holders, she admitted to being a recluse, completely introverted and spending a geeky childhood with an inherent bias for reading. This habit played a solid foundation in subsequent acting career. As filmmaking is a collaborative art and the entire process is open to interpretation and inputs, many times, she as an actress elevated the vision of a director and the initial script/draft of a writer, by contributing to the script nuances much better. Reading skills gave depth to her acting abilities. Additionally, dabbling in other related art forms (like painting, writing etc) gave channel for true personal growth. Her omni-directional learning ability came from many art forms.
Film auditions were character building
Auditions are the litmus test and offer learning opportunities in both success and rejection scenarios. Sobhitha is not the regular “heroine” persona and it took time for her roles to find her. Giving 800 plus auditions in Mumbai taught me many things about human behaviour and contributed to character building. Auditioning gigs became a way of life and this specific period taught many finer nuances about expectations, clarity about vision, inner strength and tested confidence in many rejections. Her hunger for success and ‘never say never attitude’ were ingrained along the virtues of financial independence, personal discipline, self-honesty and self-awareness that kept her focused.
Her transition from modelling to acting
After an eventful stint in modelling, she constantly felt the gap between real life and the glamorous life of modelling. She was aware of the financial instability and unsustainability that comes with singularly pursuing modelling career in Indian context. Eventually learning Hindi for ads and the Kingfisher Calendar brought her to cinema.
Career and focus
She opted for a role in the psychological thriller, Raman Raghav 2.0 to start her acting career. There is a clear demarcation between being a ‘star’ and being an ‘actor’, for both are two different paths. Occasionally, there might be projects and opportunities where one can be a great actor and star at the same time, but very often, the career paths and preparation is different in this duality. This has been focus of her choice of projects, and her search for meaning in every character and story she is part of. Perhaps this has been the essence of why she is Sobhita!
Sobhita Dhulipala is a model and actor who was born in Tenali and grew up in the quaint coastal town of Visakhapatnam, moving to Bombay for college during which period she took part in a variety of talent festivals and a beauty pageant (Femina Miss India 2013, Winner), following that with a brief but thriving stint as a fashion model before professionally starting out as an actor. She is a trained classical Dancer in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak. She has worked across diverse regional industries – Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam apart from a predominant career boost from the OTT vertical with acclaimed projects like Made in Heaven (2019), Bard of Blood (2019), Ghost Stories (2020). She has been nominated at the Cannes film festival 2016 in critics’ choice best supporting performance. Apart from nominations in film dare, Screen awards for most promising debutante, she has won awards in a variety of events like Grazia breakthrough performer of the year, GQ awards emerging star, Lokmat awards rising star, Condé Nast award for excellence in performing arts and other medals of a similar vein. A self-confessed nerd, history geek and passionate traveller, she believes that her greatest inspiration comes from curiosity about life and her appetite for risk-taking. Her recent releases include ‘Major’, ‘Kurup’, ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, ‘Sitara’, ‘Made in Heaven Season 2’.
The author of the blog and Annapurna College of Film and Media makes it abundantly clear that the knowledge being shared by the expert(s) is for informational and educational purposes only. The questions are designed for students to listen to personal experience(s) and learn, take inspiration as well. The blog is written to capture those experience(s) only.