Actor Yami Gautam says she is relieved she is finally getting the opportunity to be a part of diverse films that let her break the “pretty girl” mould that the industry had slotted her in.
Gautam made her Hindi film debut with “Vicky Donor” in 2012 and went on to feature in movies like “Badlapur” and Hrithik Roshan-starrer “Kaabil”.
But it was in 2019, when the actor earned widespread acclaim for her role as an undercover agent in “Uri: The Surgical Strike” and as a TikTok star in the comedy drama “Bala”.
In an interview with PTI, the 32-year-old actor said she initially had a tough time dealing with being stereotyped.
“I was always looking for such scripts and challenging parts but wasn’t getting those opportunities earlier. For some good amount of time I was in the bracket of a sweet, pretty girl, a damsel in distress. I found myself stuck there, I didn’t know how to get out. I didn’t know how to convey… I felt, why judge me or take me for maybe the way I come across,” she said.
For years, the actor said she was constantly told to socialise and network to land more roles, something she never felt comfortable with.
Gautam, instead, chose to wait it out for meatier parts to come her way, she said.
The actor said she had signed on “Kaabil” (2017) with the hope that the “performance oriented role” would show the makers her potential but she didn’t get the kind of opportunities she was looking for.
With “Uri”, however, Gautam saw the biggest hit of her career and realised that an actor can shine even in a role with limited screen time.
“I know it was a small part but I have never shrugged away from doing that in my career. If the script is good, if it’s a substantial role, I will do it.
“We look up to international films — which have some of the best ensemble cast coming together — where they don’t judge anyone according to the duration of (their parts). Some of the biggest actors do that, so why do we have the fear of getting typecast if you do this?”
The actor currently stars in the adventure horror-comedy “Bhoot Police”, streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Gautam said she was supposed to work with the film’s director Pavan Kirpalani, known for “Phobia” and “Ragini MMS”, on another project but when “Bhoot Police” took shape, she found the world of the film fascinating.
Produced by Ramesh Taurani and Akshai Puri, “Bhoot Police” also stars Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez.
“It was an entertaining script. I knew that if done right, a horror comedy can be a nice family watch. It might look that, ‘Oh it is just comedy’, but it is challenging because horror comedy is a hard genre. Not only your performance but even your sound has to be correct, prosthetics have to be correct…
“All these elements have to be in sync. When it comes to comedy, you need to have solid material and an actor who can pull it off. Saif, for example, is so natural, you give him any line and he can make it sound so quirky and funny,” she said.
After “Bhoot Police”, Gautam will be seen in three more films, including social comedy “Dasvi”, thriller “A Thursday” and investigative drama “Lost”.