Piaa Bajpai has come a long way from being a dubbing artist to one of the well-known faces in southern cinema. Undaunted by the cut-throat competition in showbiz, the actress strongly believes healthy competition paves the way to a better performance.
"I never get pressurised by competition because I feel healthy competition helps in raising the bar with regards to performance. In every film, I've only pushed myself to do better and have always succeeded," Piaa told IANS.
"If one is extremely hard working, then competition will have no effect on him or her," she added.
Finding a foothold in Mumbai filmdom was her goal.
"Even though I always wanted to be an actor, I was not where I was supposed to be - Mumbai. I started my career in Mumbai as a dubbing artist earning anywhere between Rs.200-Rs.500 for one session," said Piaa, who holds a diploma in computer science.
"I did several odd jobs before doing print ads and finally was cast in an ad film opposite Amitabh Bachchan. Acclaimed filmmaker Priyadarshan, who directed the ad film, went on to cast me in my debut Tamil film ('Poi Solla Porom') and rest was history," she said.
"Poi Solla Porom" was a Tamil remake of Bollywood hit "Khosla Ka Ghosla". Since then she has acted in several Telugu and Tamil films, playing both lead and second fiddle.
"I don't believe in lead or second heroine because it's the character that matters to me the most. If my character is important, then all I have to worry about is putting up a good show. Audience loved my performance in 'Ko', 'Goa' and 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai' despite the presence of multiple heroines," said Piaa.
The actress, who has two releases lined up for this year - Telugu-Tamil thriller "Dalam" and Telugu romantic drama "Backbench Student", doesn't believe in luck.
"I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth and therefore had to slog my way up to the place where I'm now. I believe in making it big through constant effort and determination," said Piaa.
Queried about what kind of roles she likes to play, she said, "I like to play characters that I'm happy with but not what the audiences or critics. If I'm happy with my character I don't even worry about the feedback I receive from the viewers because each one will have different perspective".