Ulka Gupta: Have overcome limitations that I associated with my physical appearance
Bagging a defining act eight years after her debut, Ulka Gupta says Shaktipeeth Ke Bhairav sees her play multiple roles at once
Despite acting prowess that may be worthy of attention, several child actors fail to make a mark in television as adults. But, Ulka Gupta, who put up an acclaimed act as the young protagonist in Jhansi Ki Rani (2009), has successfully managed to bag the lead role in the recently released, Shaktipeeth Ke Bhairav.
Interestingly, a return to television didn't inspire the actor, who, after Jhansi Ki Rani, was offered similar roles in shows. But, producer Nikhil Sinha's next was too good to refuse, says Gupta. "I wanted to do different roles. In television, you get stuck playing the same character for several years. It can be suffocating. But, this role was made for me. I get to play different deities. Variation is the best part of the show." The show is the mythological story of 52 shaktipeeths (goddesses) from the perspective of Lord Shiva.
Playing the lead again after eight years, Gupta can't help but notice the difference in the treatment meted out to her. "There were no [skill enhancing] workshops conducted before we started filming this show, [like it was done earlier]. Also, when I was 13, people would explain a scene to me. No one does that anymore." Given that she made her name with a historical outing, the actor feared she'd get typecast. It was a conscious decision to deviate from routine, when she decided to be part of Marathi, Hindi, Bengali and Telugu films.
Glancing at her resume, it's hard to judge that Gupta grew up questioning her abilities as an actor. Today, she is unperturbed while confessing, "I lacked confidence. I thought I was not good enough. But, my father pushed me to excel. I thought I would not crack it in the movies, because I was not tall enough. But, I did," says the actor, who also took up dance lessons to better her prospects. "I've overcome the limitations that I associated with my physical appearance."
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