Actor Banita Sandhu who made her Bollywood debut opposite Varun Dhawan in Shoojit Sircar’s October, last month has got rave reviews for her best performance. While most newcomers don’t have it easy in the industry and have to struggle to carve a niche, Banita Sandhu calls herself lucky. “I was 18 when I came to India for the first time to do ads and I walked away with a film role from a director like Shoojit Sircar. I count my blessings every day for that,” she says.
Being an outsider and having tasted immediate success with her debut, Banita clearly has put the nepotism debate on the back seat. Was it difficult to bag this part, especially when there are so many star kids sitting around? “Honestly, I don’t really focus on other people’s careers. I’ll never compare myself to anyone else, let alone a ‘star kid’. I believe I was very fortunate in my journey that everything almost fell into place; it was like fate,” Banita says.
Like many debutantes, Banita agrees that she had also heard instances of casting couch in the film industry but she never worried about being caught in any such trap. “My casting for (projects in) India actually began in London with my agent at the time; so I was very protected and fortunate to be working with the right casting directors in the UK.
However, when I got my first ad for India, I had to fly to Malaysia. My mum was perhaps more worried than I was because I’d never been so far away from home by myself before, so she forced my dad to come with me! After that, my family realized that as long as you’re working with the right people, anywhere in the world, you’ll be safe,” she shared.