Ulka Gupta: It is not necessary that the hero should be like Hrithik Roshan, Nawazuddin can also be like him

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
10 Min Read

To establish herself in the world of acting, Ulka Gupta started giving auditions at the age of seven. However, her dark complexion became the reason for rejection many times in achieving success, but she did not give up. This is the reason why after making her mark in the industry, Ulka refused to advertise fairness cream. She says, 'Companies making fairness cream play with our insecurities. The scale of excellence should be measured by the ability, thoughts and contribution of a person rather than the color of the body.' Actress Julia Roberts, who considers Meryl Streep as her idol, recently came to Lucknow for her show Main Hoon Saath Tere. During this time she talked to us a lot.

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Skin color has been made an insult

These fairness cream companies play with our insecurities. They have ruined my childhood. If you have to apply powder or cream because maybe today no one will tease you or I will look good, then it means how much it must have hurt someone's heart. Such companies have made skin colour an abuse. I don't want to support them. No matter how much money they give.

The hero can't just be Hrithik Roshan, he can also be someone like Nawazuddin Siddiqui

The racial discrimination that is being created in us and the new generation should be eliminated through education. Children should also be given spiritual education so that they understand that looks are just an outer cover. They should be explained that there are regions with different climates in our country. Here, some are fair and some are dark. It should not be that if there is a hero, he should be just like Hrithik Roshan (as a symbol). He can also be like Vicky Kaushal, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Tiwari, Manoj Bajpayee. There was a time in Hollywood when Denzel Washington was the only hero of black origin. Then gradually many other big actors including Will Smith came. The superiority lies within the person, not in the outer looks.

I've been exposed to racism since I was seven years old

Actually, we Indians are very innocent. White people came and said you are inferior to us and divided us. They also left behind the ideology that we are dark skinned. Now this ideology has taken deep roots that the one who is fair is the best. It affects girls the most. I have been facing racism since the age of seven. Should a person be superior by ability, thoughts and contribution or by the outer color of the skin? Earlier when I used to go for auditions, it was written there that 'only white children are for this audition'. I used to travel for many hours and you will not take me because my complexion is different. There may have been such a need, but it was decided that white children will be used for the up market and the poor village children will be dark or dusky. I was shaken by these things. Papa used to say that if you are a good actress, then one day you will be cast somewhere. Because of this I used to give a lot of auditions. That journey was not easy. I don’t fear rejection because I’ve faced it from such a young age that it doesn’t matter anymore.

Then I started getting offers for every historical show.

After Jhansi Ki Rani, I started getting offers for many historical shows. How will it work if I get every historical role? Papa and I thought that if I become Razia Sultan, Ahilyabai, Jhalkari Bai, Razia, then who is the Rani of Jhansi? So I decided not to do them. If I get imprinted in the minds of the audience as Jhansi Ki Rani, then it is a good thing. How will it work if Spiderman becomes Superman and Superman becomes Batman? Everyone has a different nature, only then will you be able to become immortal for a character.

Between studies and acting, I could not find time for theatre

My father used to do theatre earlier. He says that if I do theatre, I will become a good actress. However, due to my busy schedule, I could not do theatre. I started giving auditions at the age of seven. I got fame at the age of 11-12. I had to struggle a lot from a young age to reach here. You have to give at least six months to go to theatre. You have to go there every day, you have to be disciplined. Till now I have not got time for anything else between studies and acting. I am still studying. I get calls for work from anywhere anytime. I just want to become a full-fledged actress. I get to learn a little bit from my father's theatre friends. Apart from this, learning is what makes a person a good actor. To be successful in any work, it is very important to build confidence and take a resolution.

Everyone asks whether the decision to play a mother was taken in a hurry?

Everyone asks me if playing a mother's role in 'Main Hoon Saath Tere' will stereotype you. This is what happens in our country. People say that this decision has not been taken in haste. Smita Patil has played the role of an old woman. When she did not shy away from doing such roles in her youth, why should I think so? My idols are Julia Roberts and Meryl Streem. Such things never come to their mind. They look at every character from a different perspective.

I am getting experience even before becoming a mother: Ulka

Ulka Gupta says that despite not being a mother, I look at getting the role of a mother in two ways. First, I chose a role slightly different from my age. This is cult breaking, because heroines do not accept such roles. The difficulty was how to reflect that mother's love in me. Well, this is a natural thing for every woman. When we see Krishna, that maternal love awakens. Second thing is that every mother becomes a mother for the first time in life. Her dream is that if she has a son or a daughter, she will do this, she will do that. Here I have got the role of a child's mother. Somewhere it seems that I am getting the experience of mother's love even before becoming a mother. When I become a mother, it will become easier for me. I will grow more.

The variety of shows is evolving

TV has a tier 2 and tier 3 audience. People feel that there should be a face of our age and a story, so that it feels like us. If you watch Anupama, women of that age connect a lot with the show. People must also be thinking about how many young people should be seen. Representation is very important. In our country, very few stories are made for single mothers. To bring some excitement in their lives, to increase their interest, shows are now being made on such stories. If you see, all kinds of shows are coming on TV. Just like we like variety of food, similarly the variety of shows is also developing on TV. This should also happen, because enough is enough, the same old fight between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Now people are also getting educated, so change is bound to come. We should be proud of this. TV has also changed along with the country.

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