Shivaleeka Exclusive Interview: “I Was Adamant To Be An Actress And Hence Never Kept A Backup”

Mohnish Singh |Nov 30, 2019

Shivaleeka is yet another debutante that Hindi cinema is ready to welcome. She makes her Hindi film debut with Pen India Limited and Amrish Puri Films’ romantic thriller Yeh Saali Aashiqui.

Shivaleeka is yet another debutante that Hindi cinema is ready to welcome. She makes her Hindi film debut with Pen India Limited and Amrish Puri Films’ romantic thriller Yeh Saali Aashiqui, co-starring Vardhan Puri, the grandson of legendary Bollywood actor Amrish Puri.

Yeh Saali Aashiqui, helmed by Cherag Ruparel, has opened to good response. The audience has reacted positively to the film. Before the release of the movie on 29th November, STARBIZ met Shivaleeka and tried to know from her about her passion for acting, her background, her beginning in show business and much more. Excerpts…

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Image source: Instagram

Shivaleeka, tell us something about how did you start your journey as an actor.

It is a very long story. I am born and brought up in Bombay. My parents are also from the city. I grew up watching Kareena Kapoor’s movies. When I was 5-year-old, I was called Poo of the house. I used to enact the scenes of Poo and whoever used to call me by my name, I used to tell that do not call me that, call me Poo.

My mom was very worried because she came from an educational background. She was very clear that I should first complete my graduation and then do whatever I wanted because she felt that one should have something to fall back on. It is a short-lived industry and you should have a backup. But I was very adamant and I never kept a backup.

How did you groom yourself to become an actress?

When I grew up, I went to SNDT college. I was doing my majors in Psychology and English. Every time I used to go to college, I would see Anupam Kher’s acting academy. I used to feel that I need to go and see there how they taught acting. For one whole month, I just saw that and one fine day, I went to my mom and said that I don’t think I am interested in what I am doing but I want to see how this (acting) goes and what courses do they have.

I went there. My mom was very supportive. I think she saw this coming and knew that this was my goal and vision. She took me there and I did my three-month diploma course. You have to audition for it and Anupam Kher takes those auditions himself to see whether you can do the course or you can’t do it. So, acceptance basically depends on him.

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Image source: Instagram

How did your audition go?

The scene I had auditioned for was of Geet from Jab We Met and I happened to be the youngest one from the entire batch. I completed three months within no time. Initially, my mom was of the notion that I would survive only for a week. My mom once said that autorickshaw takes Rs. 100 each day for me to travel to the academy. I said I would travel in a bus, but then my dad was like how can she travel in bus, so he used to come to drop me every day near the signal. I used to travel by bus every day. So, the three months went by in the same manner, and seeing this my mom was a bit impressed that there is capability and she can achieve something and she has patience. My mom always told that this industry requires a lot of patience. At times you might succeed and at times you might not so you have to have patience. That’s how things went and I gave many auditions.

What happened next?

The first ad which I did in my acting career was Airtel advertisement “Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai”. There was a small montage with Amyra Dastur. So, we became friends from there and I know her since there.

I kept on giving auditions. I was very young and I got offers from serials as well. There was a show named Swaranjali from Hema Malini productions. Bhagyashree was supposed to play my mom and Anju Mahendru was supposed to play my dadi in that. But somehow the show did not work out because there was some problem from the production team. Then I thought that I don’t want to do serials. My vision was that I wanted to do a proper debut and do a lead role.

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Image source: Instagram

Shivaleeka, I heard you wanted to be a Dharma Productions’ heroine?

There was this thought in my head that I wanted to do a Dharma Productions film. I basically passed out my 10th from Jamnabai. Alia Bhatt and I used to go to Shamat together. I didn’t not know that she was Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter throughout this process. We have done our summer farm, winter funk and I didn’t have the slightest idea till the time I saw the SOTY (Student Of The Year) board. I had no clue that she is Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter. And during all these processes I recently met her at Kalank (2019) screening. That’s the first meeting that we had in all those years.

You have also worked as an assistant director, Shivaleeka. Tell us something about that.

Actually, I happened to be very lucky to be in one of my cousin’s birthday party and one of his friends was Sufyan Nadiadwala. He was 6-7 years old and Shafat aunty, Sajid Nadiadwala’s mom, she saw me and asked my dadi about me. She told her that I was her granddaughter and wanted to get into acting but since I was very young, I was taking it slow.

She asked her that I must meet Sajid Nadiadwala and that same week I happened to meet Sajid sir. I was ready with my profile in pen drive and after going there, I showed it to him. First of all, he was shocked to see and know that I was very clear about my goal and I even said, ‘I am very young to do a lead, so whatever you have, I am ready to do it’. He said that he has not yet started the procedure of getting people in his team but he was directing a film which is Kick (2014) so would I like to be on board as an assistant director on that? So, from the next day, I went to his office and the scripting process was going on and Jacqueline Fernandez came on board and throughout the process I was with them.

>>> Related post: Rock The New Banner Of Fashion Goal With “Yeh Saali Aashiqui” Actress Shivaleeka Oberoi


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