From winning beauty pageants to featuring in several commercials, films and web series, Ruhi Singh has managed to achieve quite a lot in a relatively short span of time. A few years back, she was a girl in Jaipur dreaming of getting into the entertainment industry and today, by her own admission, she is on her way to reach where she always wanted to be. In this interview, the actress talks about her eventful journey in the entertainment industry, her recent shows ‘Chakravyuh – An Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller’ and ‘Bang Baang’ which were received very warmly by the audience, new show ‘Runaway Lugai’, passion for singing and more.
You featured in a couple of web shows recently which won you a lot of appreciation. As an actor, do you think you have benefitted from this digital boom?
Absolutely! I think this digital boom has led to a plethora of opportunities to a large number of people who are not from the industry like me. People have got opportunities because of their talent and hard work. Earlier, there were only films and television, so a limited amount of content was being made. Those who are not from the industry would not really get the first preference in these projects. But, the digital space is a lot more fair to outsiders. Actors get the opportunity to audition for most of the parts. As an actor, I am very grateful for the opportunities I have got in the digital space. Not just actors but directors, writers and technicians have also got a chance to showcase their talent. OTT platforms have given all of us a lot of work and the freedom to create good content.
Both your recent shows ‘Chakravyuh – An Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller’ and ‘Bang Baang’ did very well. Are you happy with the response?
Yes, I am very grateful that both the shows have done so well. The role that I played in ‘Chakravyuh’ was very challenging and emotionally exhausting. What I was very happy about my performance got a lot of good reviews from the critics. The character I played in ‘Bang Baang’ was completely different. I was playing a cop and had to train in martial arts to prepare for it. In most action films, the actress doesn’t get to do much but here, I had as many action scenes as my co-actor had. What is incredible is that it was an out-and-out action series directed by a woman.
You have a new show coming up on MX Player called ‘Runaway Lugai’.
It’s a role that I have never played before. It has helped me break all the stereotypes people had about me as an actress. The industry often typecasts actors. That’s very unfortunate as the job of an actor is to be versatile and to be able to play different kind of characters. I am so much in love with India and all the different cultures and languages we have. I have always wished to play characters which come from different regions. Here, I wanted to play a very different character. I got an opportunity to work with a legendary actor like Sanjai Mishra sir. I got to learn a lot from him. I have done a lot of acting courses in the past but working on ‘Runaway Lugai’ was a very important course in itself.
A couple of years back, you had featured in a very mobbing documentary called ‘The World Before Her’. A part of the documentary showcased the kind of journey girls or women who participate in beauty pageants go through. You had also stated in an interview that it’s almost an impossible for a girl from Jaipur to become Miss India.
Yes, it has been a very challenging journey. I feel most women in our country face these kinds of challenges. If you don’t have any connections in the industry, you don’t get really get the first preference when it comes to a role or a project. A lot of fake promises get made in this industry every single second. Many a times, I have been selected in an audition and then, I get to know somebody who has connections has replaced me. As you must have observed in that documentary, I am someone who never gives up. I was a participant and eventually in 2014, I won Miss India. I am someone who believes in hard work, persistence and never giving up. Despite facing a lot of obstacles, I kept moving forward. Now, I feel I am on my way to become who I really want to be.
Do you think participating in these beauty pageants help in boosting one’s confidence?
Yes, I believe they do. Participating in these pageants help, more so if you want to work in the glamour industry. I will always be grateful to the Miss India organization. It also gives you a platform to voice your opinion. They groom you well and you become a lot more confident as a person by the end of that process. I entered the pageant as somebody who was not aware of anything about it but I came out of it as a very confident woman.
Madhur Bhandarkar, the director of your first film ‘Calendar Girls’ had told you that your friends change every Friday in this industry. Do you agree with that?
Of course, it has happened to me. Madhur sir said this and I swear by it. In life, you are very lucky if you have people who love you unconditionally. Otherwise, you come across a lot of opportunists. When you are going through a bad time, their reaction is completely different. Always believe in yourself and not in the promises people make to you. Success in not in your hands but working hard is.
Apart from acting, singing is something you have always been very passionate about.
Yes, I wanted to be a pop star since I was a child. I grew up watching Shakira and Beyonce. Hopefully, I will work on and release a single soon.
Which are the projects you are working on at the moment?
There is a project I was supposed to start working on but the shoot got delayed because of the lockdown. As and when things become a little more stable, we will start shooting for it.