Ishita Dutta is all about hard work, persistence and drive. After doing lead roles in several TV shows and films down South, she finally made her debut in Bollywood through Drishyam, a thriller starring Ajay Devgn and Tabu, and this is just the beginning. We catch up with Dutta who tells us more about her journey as an actor, having her sister as her mentor, and more.
Tell us a little about your journey from Jamshedpur to Mumbai?
As a teenager, I used to visit Mumbai very often as my sister – Tanushree used to live in the city. Mumbai being the city that it is, I instantly fell in love with it and dreamt of living here one day! I still remember how my sister was shooting for a movie in Sophia College and when I saw that scene in the film, I happily wished to be a part of that colourful college premises one day. As they say, dreams do come true if you work hard; I was lucky enough to move to Mumbai post my junior college in Jamshedpur and started to pursue a mass communication course in Sophia College.
From studying media in Mumbai to opting for a career in acting, how did that happen?
During my summer holidays in college, I interned as an Assistant Director and worked with a couple of departments in the filmmaking industry. I had picked up the knack and gradually got interested in films I knew that I wanted to act for sure but I also knew that completing my education was more important. My sister has been my guiding force and the one who encouraged me to join an acting course to hone my skills. I have done a diploma acting course from Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares Academy post which I got through and signed a few assignments in South Indian films. I am glad to have gotten that push and encouragement from my sister in those days.
Considering your sister, Tanushree Dutta is a model and then an actress, how did her career inspire you? Could you share the good and not so good things you might remember, growing up with an actress at home?
Fortunately, there have only been good things between us. I am close to her and I am grateful that I am an actor today only because of her. She has always inspired and encouraged me to get into what I like and believe in what I do. Till today, I always take her opinion and advice before signing any project.
While I was growing up and was in school, my sister had won the title of Miss India which is a prestigious award and post that she had opted to get into the film industry. I recall how excited I was as her sister along with all my friends from school who were equally excited to see her on the big screen. That way, we all performed to all her songs during annual functions in school. I was pretty proud of being her sister and I still am.
You have worked for films in South India, how did you bag your first project and how was your experience?
My first project was a TV Advertisement in Tamil. What made it more special was that I had shot for it on my birthday which I will always remember. Post that I signed a few more advertisements and also got through my first South Film which was a great achievement for me. My experience has been great with the teams that I have worked with and I look forward to future projects with them.
Starring in Ek Ghar Banuanga on Star Plus which had you as the main lead, how was TV different from the big screen in Southern India?
Acting for small screen or big screen is not too different. The amount of preparation and hard work remains the same! The only thing that differs is the language because down South I had to learn a few words and lines which were different but exciting. I am blessed that I always had someone from the team who helped me out with the language barrier which in turn made it easier for me to perform but otherwise, everything else remains the same.
You starred in a big banner film – Dhrishyam with had Ajay Devgan and Tabu. Share your experience of working with them and being a part of Bollywood?
Drishyam was my first Hindi film and I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing film. Post release, people really appreciated my work which encouraged me a lot. Also, I am happy and blessed to get a chance to work with national award winning actors like Ajay Devgan Sir and Tabu Ma'am. It was a great learning experience for me and we all had so much fun shooting for the film.
You are currently working with Kapil Sharma for Firangi. How is that project shaping up? How has your experience been so far and what are your expectations from the film?
I am extremely excited for the release and I am so glad that the film has shaped up so well. My experience of shooting with Kapil has been so joyful, especially because he never allows anyone to have a dull moment on set. We all are always laughing or making fun while making the film and the process has been smooth and happy. I am glad to have got a chance to work with a superb team and a great director like Rajeev Sir. I am sure that the audience is going to love Firangi and I look forward to everyone’s comments on it.
As an actress, what does it take to sustain in the industry, the hard-work behind remaining fit and being constantly in the limelight?
The four elements which are crucial for anyone who is a part of this industry is lots of hard work, pure dedication, humble faith in what you do and patience. On the other hand, being in the limelight is part of the job and for that remaining fit and looking good is a pre-requisite. Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a regular diet and workout is a good way to keep you fit and energetic. I am a big foodie and so I have days when I eat any and everything but I make sure that I hit the gym to sweat it all out. Other than that, I stick to different forms of exercise and healthy diet plans which help me keep in shape.
What are your plans ahead on the big Screen?
You might not believe it, but I take each day as it comes. I have never fancied the idea of planning a lot and thus I take anything interesting that comes along my stride. I hope and wish to do a lot of good films.
For the upcoming youngsters who aim to become actors, what is your advice or guiding note for them?
My only advice for younger aspiring actors is, be patient, put in your best and work hard. The industry is tough but never loose hope. Keep working on yourself and have faith that something beautiful is on its way!