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Jhataleka Malhotra: Took four years to land meeting with Bhansali

 Jhataleka Malhotra on how it has been a long journey from Miss India pageant to her Bollywood debut with Tuesdays and Fridays

Jhataleka Malhotra

She knew it wouldn’t be easy to find a footing in the movie industry, but Jhataleka Malhotra wasn’t willing to give up without a fight. The seven years that followed her Miss India 2014 first runner-up title have been a story of hustle – audition after audition, and meeting after meeting. “When I started out, I knew the challenges that lay ahead of me. It took four years before I landed a meeting with Mr [Sanjay Leela] Bhansali,” begins Malhotra, who is set to debut in his production, Tuesdays and Fridays. “[Bagging] the first opportunity is the hardest. To remind yourself to dream, and stay at it for years is not easy. I have always wanted to be an actor; this film needs to [hit screens] for us to be considered for future projects.”


Sanjay Leela Bhansali

The Taranveer Singh-directed love story, which is also the launch vehicle of Poonam Dhillon’s son Anmol Thakeria, was to originally release in 2019. With the pandemic further delaying its release, the budding actor admits the wait has been discouraging. “In the past year, there were days when I wondered if it’s going to happen for us or not. Thankfully, the director, Anmol and I were there for each other at every step.” As she eyes a long career in showbiz, Malhotra says the OTT boom has opened up avenues for artistes. “Now, there is greater scope for talented people. Not only are these shows widening our horizons, they are ensuring we’re no longer boxed in archetypes. With [the OTT boom], a young actor like me feels assured that if I can prove my worth, there’s a lot of work up for grabs.”

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