ALTHOUGH she had already delivered winning performances in drama serials Untag, Dhhai Kilo Prem and Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala, 2023 has been a turning point for Anjali Anand.
The versatile Indian actress played a great supporting role in the international hit Bollywood film Rocky Aur Ranii Ki Prem Kahaani and appeared in the popular reality TV show Khatron Ke Khiladi. She has also become a positive role model for body confidence and has the kind of relatability that many onscreen don’t have. This has led to a fast-growing fan base and made her one to watch.
The rising star is looking forward to taking on more challenges and discussed her journey so far with Eastern Eye. She also revealed her acting hero, passions away from work and dream role.
What first connected you to acting?
Ever since I have known who I am or the world, I have known that I have to perform somewhere or the other. It was never a decision that was taken on a specific day or an event. I don’t have any idea when this thought came, but it was always there. I was always performing in school and college, where I realised that I always wanted to perform.
Which of your roles have given you the greatest joy?
All the roles that I have played have given me joy. From the first part of playing Shikha on Untag, to playing Dipika in Dhai Kilo Prem and Lovely in Kulfi, every role was so different and distinct. I did things that sparked joy in me and that’s the thing I always do in my life.
How was the experience of working on Rocky Aur Ranii Ki Prem Kahaani?
The experience of working on Rocky Aur Raani Ki Prem Kahaani was surreal. It was a dream come true, like a first step towards my dreams. I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning than this. I am grateful that I got a chance to work with so many legends, not only on-screen but off-screen as well.
What can we expect next from you?
Hopefully, a part that doesn’t require body structure to be specific. Whichever roles I have played before they weren’t body specific, they were just characters. They should not take me for how my body looks but they should take me for the way I act. I am only looking for opportunities like this. I am open to exploring more of what I can do, and something different.
Do you have a dream role?
I have so many dream roles, but they are very twisted because I want to be Chandni, but also want to be Rohit. I want to be every character from the movie. I also want to be Devdas, Paro and Chandramukhi in the Devdas movie. I just want a good part to showcase my talent and calibre.
What was the experience of participating in Khatron Ke Khiladi?
The experience of participating in Khatron Ke Khiladi was very interesting. It’s a very different world of reality TV that I explored for the first time. I am not sure if I will be exploring it further but never say no. I wasn’t warming up to the entire feel of the show. I have always been on set as a character, so didn’t know how to be myself in front of the camera.
Have you become more fearless after the show?
I was always fearless, but I am more comfortable in water now. Now I know what my body is capable of and how much I can go and push myself. (Laughs) It doesn’t mean I will go in a cage with a cheetah or a crocodile.
If you could master something new, what would it be?
I would want to learn as many dance forms as possible and instruments. I want to be able to do stunts and be ready for whatever is asked.
Who is your acting hero?
I completely admire, love, respect and live for Shah Rukh Khan. I don’t know if I can count him as any other actor in the industry, world or anywhere. Because I think that man is above anything else for me. There are so many legends and if I see anyone playing any role and if I like that, I will want to do that. If I see someone do something amazing, even if it’s one part, for that one day that person will be my acting hero.
What are your big passions away from work?
I really love going on long drives. It is my biggest passion. I can drive for hours and hours at a time as it makes me happy. Acting includes dancing and performing, but apart from that I also love to hear live music as much as possible.
What do you enjoy watching?
As an audience, I enjoy watching everything. There is nothing that I don’t enjoy. I never use the word bored. I love watching reality shows, all kinds of movies and shows.
Why do you love being an actress?
I feel the most alive and myself when I am playing a part. When I am not playing a part, I don’t know what to do. That is when I have to actually act. I am so vulnerable when I am playing a part. I don’t know to be anyone else.