By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | April 03, 2018
Over two years ago, December 04, 2015, to be precise, director Pan Nalin exploded on the Indian film scene with his Angry Indian Goddesses. With him were seven fiery women who decided that being normal was what being normal is! No more putting up a front.
One among that bunch of seven wonderful performers was Pavleen Gujral who played Pamela, a Delhi housewife, content and happy. The manner in which she expressed shock in her own innocent way was a delight. She blew the lid off her relationship (which she maintained as a farce), in such a lucid manner that it took a moment to register for the viewer that Pamela was having problems in her marriage and all was not as good as it seemed.
Post AIG, Pavleen, a qualified lawyer and a qualified engineer, disappeared: so did most of the other talented girls. Opening Doorz tracked down the gifted Pavleen and was surprised to learn, that the actor is back and will soon be seen in the digital space and on the big screen.
So where did she disappear? Pavleen who talks nineteen to the dozen says that she never disappeared, she just took a break. “AIG was my first film. After I shot for the film, I went home and within a month I was pregnant,” she smiles. “I had to take a decision: do I continue working or take a break and focus on my child? I decided to enjoy motherhood and spend time with my daughter,” she says. That was in October 2013.
Pavleen decided to stay at home for two years. “I had a lot of offers after AIG,” reveals Pavleen adding, “In a way, I did not start only.” Being the professional she is, Pavleen ensured that she was present at every Festival the film went to and for all its promotions because she had committed to the same. Apart from that, she did absolutely nothing, other than being a mother and a wife.
Married for 10 years now, Pavleen is not intent on hiding her marriage or kid from the industry, like most actors are prone to. Ask her why she is different and she is quick to counter-question: “Because I don’t think it makes a difference. Your work speaks for itself. How does being married or not married help you get work?”
Her daughter Rabaani (meaning the language of God) is now four years old, and she began doing the rounds of production houses for auditions since the past one year. “It takes a lot of time for projects to come forth. It took me four to five good months after I got back, to really get some offers. I’ve got two movies coming up (both have working titles ‘Oh Shit’ and ‘Zindagi Kashmakash’). I am also shooting for a web series, City of Dreams, produced by Applause Entertainment by the Aditya Birla Group, which should be out by the end of the year. Another series I did is going to release in June, simultaneously on for Discovery Jeet and Netflix,” reveals Pavleen.
Like most talented actors in this industry, Pavleen has realized that talent alone will get you nowhere. “In this industry it’s not enough to be talented; you have to promote yourself silly. There are so many non-talented people here who are doing great projects which is so unfair,” she laments.
Speaking about her journey since she began doing the rounds last year, she says: “I’ve been trying in the past one year to meet lots of people who have the power to promote talent. You have to scream at the top of your voice and tell people what you are doing. Our industry works in strange ways. Not many opportunities are presented to talented people and I don’t know how to breach this gap. Bollywood is such a guarded community that it is difficult to penetrate through. Talented actors are not getting their due.”
Having said that, Pavleen is thankful she has met some good people who are willing to give talent a chance. “I’m working a lot with Casting Bay. Then there is also Dilip Shankar and Shruti Mahajan (solo casting directors), who both work a lot with newer talent and that is encouraging. I see a change coming about in the industry.”
Throwing light on how she bagged the role of Pamela, Pavleen says, “I met Pan Nalin and we did not have any auditions. I guess he’s got a keen eye and believes in the entirety of the person rather than just one aspect. He saw me, interacted with me and decided to cast me.”
“Patience is the biggest virtue you can have as an actor. I want to do great work with big banners, but I wouldn’t stand in a corner like a destitute wife or a forlorn sister… I know what I can handle for myself,” signs off Pavleen who displays the characteristic of an Angry Indian Goddess!