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Joined: 26 November 2009
A project with Balaji Telefilms is what every actor wants in his kitty. Any actor worth his salt would give an arm and a leg to work with the esteemed banner. After all, in the last 10 years, it has made stars out of everybody. Quite naturally then, eyebrows are raised when a 20-something girl turns down an offer from them. And that's exactly what happened in the case of Ridhi Dogra. When this pretty lass turned down an offer to play one of the female leads on Ekta Kapoor's Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahani, it made headlines. But Ridhi, on her part, chose not to talk about the matter at all. Showtime decided to catch up with the actress to know the real story.
Ask her about refusing the show and she eagerly clarifies, "Yes, I had auditioned for a role on the show. I went for the look test and I think they had liked me. The producers then called me to ask me for my dates. That's when I realised that my dates were clashing as I was doing Laagi Tujhse Lagan then. So I couldn't work out the dates. I told them clearly I was doing Laagi…and I would not be doing anything else for the next two months. And the matter ended then and there."
She insists that the hoopla surrounding her refusing the show was nothing but media hype. "I know there was an article in between where apparently I had said that I was offered the show and that I had refused it. But I would like to clarify that I hadn't said that. Nothing of the sort had happened. In terms of the show, we were in the initial stages of talking and discussing it out. When I could not allot the dates, the matter didn't even go further," she states categorically.
This rumour aside, Ridhi is in a great place professionally. Working as a fashion director and producer at Zoom initially, acting happened to her by chance. After giving impressive performances in Hindi Hai Hum and Yash Raj's Seven, she finally caught everyone's attention with her brilliant portrayal of Supriya in Laagi…And that's surprising since she wasn't even the main lead in the show but made a cameo appearance. "Recently, I was in Chandigarh for my shoot. We were shooting at the railway station. And this train passed behind me. There was this group of 20 odd young kids inside the train. As soon as they saw me, they started shouting Supriyatai, Supriyatai. You see, that was my character's name in Laagi…I couldn't believe it. I was so thrilled. That's when I realised that even though my role was a cameo, it had become a memorable character," she smiles.
Continuing in the same vein, she adds, "When I was doing the show, I knew that my character was not loved. In fact, it was hated because I was coming between the two main leads of the show. But at the end of the day, I think my goal as an actor was achieved. Because that is how my role should be appreciated, my character should be hated by people. Even today people meet me and call me Supriya. I have to remind them that Supriya is over."
Truly, the show did wonders for her. She not only won appreciation from all quarters, but also landed herself the plum role of Priya in Maryada…Lekin Kab Tak. Quiz her on her current show and she gushes with childlike enthusiasm, "I think the story is absolutely great. Even when we all actors sat down for the reading before the shoot began, we were all impressed that a story like this is being done on Indian television, leave alone that we are doing it. Secondly, the entire unit has become like one big family which is quite rare in the TV world. We've formed a great team and we all know that we are there for each other. And you know, these days everyone is on BlackBerry. So we even have our own Maryada group on BlackBerry. We all chat, post pictures, gossip and do all sorts of things there. I enjoy so much with this team that every day after the shoot, I don't even feel like going back home."
That's not a surprise. Ridhi is a self-confessed insomniac and is known among her friends for her hyperactive nature and tremendous energy. "This one time, I shot for a stretch of 40 hours. Then I was given a break of two to three hours to go back home, take a shower and a nap. Later, I again reported on the shoot and worked for another 12 hours. So in totality, I did a 52-hour stretch. And trust me, I loved it. I usually don't say it to people because if the production people hear it, then they'll be happy that they've got somebody who'll work round the clock and they'll take advantage of me," she jokes.
Keeping her restless nature in mind, it is but natural that the girl pursues other things besides acting. And if there's one thing she truly enjoys, it is dancing. "I have been a dancer ever since I can remember. I love it. It's almost second nature to me. You won't believe, I even have a tattoo of a dancer on my back. That's how much I love dancing."
Taking a breather, she adds, "Before I came to Mumbai, I was in Shiamak Davar's troupe in Delhi for three years. Shiamak had even told me that when I come to Mumbai, he'll put me in his troupe. In fact, he was the first one who told me that I should get into acting. I even remember the exact words he had said to me. He had told me 'Do something about the pretty face that you've got.' So in a way, I owe it all to him. The last time I met him, I told him that I was pursuing acting. And he was very happy to hear that."
A dancer first, then a show producer and now an actor – it is more than evident that Ridhi has almost done it all as far as her professional life is concerned. So where does that leave her personal life? And more importantly, where does that leave Mishal Raheja whom she was rumoured to be dating? "No, Mishal and I were never seeing each other. We hang out a lot together with our other common friends – Mahhi (Vij), Jay (Bhanushali) and Vinay. But that's about it," she adamantly states. Ridhi maintains that she is very much single and likes it that way. "I feel this is my time to work. At this point, I am so caught up with my work that I don't even have the time to go meet my brother and bhabhi who live in the same city. So how am I going to maintain a relationship? How am I going to do justice to it? When the time for love comes, I am sure I'll fall in love because deep down I am a hard-core romantic."
Ask the true blue romantic what are the qualities she is looking for in her man and she replies without batting an eyelid, "Truth and honesty – that's what I need from my man. I want to make a friend out of my boyfriend. Of course, a sense of humour is very important. And I like guys who are confident and have a sense of calm. I don't like guys who are boisterous and seek attention. They are a complete no-no for me."
Well, she is one girl who knows exactly what she wants – be it in her man or in her career. No wonder then that she rattles on confidently when asked what next. "As an actor, I want to do everything. I don't want to restrict myself only to television although it is not a sad place to be anymore. Things are becoming better. There are a few shows on TV right now that are genuinely great. And I am very proud that I am working on one of them. But I'd also like to do films. Who wouldn't?" she pauses and light-heartedly adds, "And honestly, the thing that I want to do the most is Broadway. Because that'll take care of my dancing, acting and hopefully I'll learn some singing as well."
The go-getter that she is, it won't be long before she actually achieves these goals. For now, her life is quite a joyride and she is enjoying every moment of it.
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