Behind the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry lies tales of long arduous struggle and only the most passionate and hardworking individuals can climb the rungs and achieve success, adulation, and fame. Anveshi Jain– who has carved a niche place for herself in the world of web series is known for her role in Alt Balaji’s ‘Gandi Baat’. An industry that is often blamed for nepotism and favouritism, she is a complete outsider- who proudly flaunts the crown of “The Most Googled Actress In India”.
Known for her bold roles, Anveshi is actually a girl-next-door, her emotions and attachments still rooted in her humble upbringing. She might be a fashion icon with extreme potential, her real dream is to become the next Oprah Winfrey.
The Voice Of Woman recently got in touch with this free-spirited actress for a candid chat:
You were an electrical engineer and now you have become a well-known media personality- how would you describe these extremely opposing roles?
The journey is actually extremely fascinating but equally risky and full of courage. It is quite a struggle to not live up to your parent’s expectations and plans that they might be having for you. to break those dreams and go in another direction, and to start everything afresh, isn’t just risky but full of friction. You don’t have anyone to support you, and no one who wants to see you become an actress and choose this profession which is full of glamour and wrong notions about how one becomes an actress or actor.
Inspite of all these, I choose this path and became successful because for a long time I didn’t tell anybody about my plans. That makes it a little easier since no one could question me and what I was doing. I did Engineering because I wanted to fulfill what my parents wanted me to do. The idea was to fist to do what my mom and dad wished, and then if I got time, and had luck on my side or felt courageous enough to start something new.
This is something I always tell my fans too, that first prioritise your parent’s dreams and wishes and then if you get time follow your heart. Having their blessings is quite important.
It is not easy being an outsider in this industry- did you face any challenges while establishing your career?
I came to Mumbai under an extremely unexpected scenario. The flat I was staying in Indore, caught fire. So suddenly I had nothing, whatever little money, clothes, and shoes that I had made by hosting shows there, were all gone in a blink of an eye.
So that’s when I decided it was time to return whatever the city has given me. I cannot stay there anymore. I knew that I couldn’t take my parent’s permission because they would never agree. I just had 1850 rupees in my ATM. From that, I bought a bus ticket for Rs 800 and I just had one small handbag that didn’t burn, with which I arrived in Mumbai.
For 2 months, I stayed with my acting coach and his wife who were extremely kind; they just had a small 1 BHK flat. After doing a couple of shows when I just had some 10-15,000 rupees, without even thinking about how I will pay next month’s rent– I took a flat. In my first flat, I had to share not only a room but even my bed with another girl. For one corner of the bed, I had to pay Rs. 12,000. At that time I was staying at Yari Road.
When I was staying at Borivali with my acting sir, I had to travel one-and-half hours to Andheri. Sometimes I would come by auto, train or bike. It was an extremely difficult situation to come every day and get rejected, it was very painful. But whenever I used to get an event, I would be ecstatic.
There was not even one moment in life when I wasn’t grateful. Today when I have everything I am extremely grateful for Mumbai, God, Universe, and my parents but even when I had nothing I was equally grateful. If I have to sum it up, gratitude is my success.
Many people are shy to face the audience or have stage fright- and you have hosted many big events- any tips for public speaking and combating stage fright?
Well, nothing beats experience. When I used to go on stage, I used to tremble and be extremely nervous. One tip that I suggest and used to implement myself was that, whenever I used to go on stage, I would chew gum. When we chew, our brain concentrates on that and feels that everything is fine. It helps in rewiring the brain and is extremely useful for combating stage fright.
Apart from that, go prepared. You won’t always have shows, especially right now when we are quarantined. There is no substitute to practice … don’t practice in front of the mirror as you get conscious by your looks. Follow YouTube speakers. I personally used to follow Oprah Winfrey, and I used to write what she would say. There are many speakers like Mel Robbins, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek- his wit is very precise, then there is Jim Kwik- he tells about brain power and how you can learn quickly and also teaches how to read 24 books in one year.
So, the more you listen, the more you learn. Watch English films as much as you can with subtitles on. One book that saved my life was Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. It has everything that will help your dating life, for being a good friend, and for having a lot of people around you.
I have been a loner. I used to be that girl who would sit alone in a cafe and write her plans on a daily basis, and I did this for 3 years. But I always wanted to have a lot of friends, be charismatic, be remembered for the way I speak and the whole personality.
You are a model, actress, emcee, singer & also a dating and inspirational coach- which role do you most enjoy?
I enjoy acting the most. Acting is my first love always. Secondly, I love inspiring people and I always wanted to be like Oprah Winfrey. Before I wanted to become an actress, I wanted to become an inspiration (coach)- someone who can change lives, who can inspire people. In the future, once I am older and have white hair on me, I would like to inspire people and be on stage.
Singing comes third!
You are the “most googled actress”- and it is a big feat- how did it feel when you first came to know? Has it sunk in yet?
The night I came to know that I am the “most googled woman in India” – it is one of those things that you wish happened to you, but when it actually happens to you, you don’t believe it. You don’t know the right expression to feel and the right way to express. I was numb and it took me a while to process and I told my manager and a couple of friends to cross-check whether the information was right or wrong.
Actually, one fan had mailed to make an app for me- the Anveshi Jain app. So I asked why do you want to work with me- I have just done one web series and nothing else, I am extremely new in the business. So he was like because you are the “most googled actress” in India. I got to know this news from a fan.
The next day it was in the news. I was the “most googled actress” after Sunny Leone and people expected another hot woman. So it felt surreal, it felt like a dream. When I was in talks for Bigg Boss- I was trending on Twitter, and it is a very, very, big deal. That night I just woke up in the middle of the night and cried. I was feeling so overwhelmed… that how blessed I am. So, thank you guys for making it happen!
How was the experience playing Neeta in Alt Balaji’s Gandi Baat?
I absolutely loved it! There are certain instances in life where you are extremely happy and nervous simultaneously. When you think of yourself- you feel happy that you are acting and you are finally on set as a lead actress for a very famous web-series. But when you think of your parents and what it is going to do to you, once it is out- that is a feeling you don’t want to have… shooting for Neeta was that experience for me.
I was so nervous and so excited, that I used to tell my director, “Sir, please don’t give my name. I don’t want to be known as this character. I don’t want to begin my journey of acting with this.” On the other hand I was super excited to play Neeta and be with Flora, shooting with her and becoming friends with her, and getting the whole set and makeup and all the attention that you get. Everything was so surreal and so magnificent- I was loving the whole journey.
To be honest, because it was my first shoot, behind the scenes, all I was doing was sitting in the corner and trying my best to give my best- to get the real emotion, the real kiss, the real crying. I was just not talking to anyone and only working on myself. I am so grateful for this journey!
There was also a lot of controversy and outrage- how do you deal with it?
The moment I entered the industry I became controversial. Although, I don’t think it is such a bad thing not that I enjoy the attention. I am not one of those people who would want to be in controversy and will fire things up. But one thing I learned very quickly what’s best for me is to be who I am. If I am known as a sex symbol or someone who owns her sexuality- well that’s who I am, who I have always been, with or without being famous, with or without playing Neeta or kissing another woman on screen. I have always been that person.
But for a while, I thought I wanted to change my image. Right after “Gaandi Baat”, I had to reject close to 25 shows, because they only wanted to see my body or they wanted to see a lesbian scene or having a make-out scene. Majorly the biggest one was they wanted me to wear a bikini, do pool scenes and I said no because doing “Gandi Baat” was a strategic move.
Very few people know that it was a strategic move by me and my mentor. He had said, “Anveshi, swear upon God that after “Gandi Baat”, you are not going to do similar kind of a show, which will slot you.”
I personally think I read books and have an understanding of human behaviour because I am a human behaviour analyst. I have done courses in Psychology and I have a decent face, so I don’t really have to use my body or to get naked on the screen to become someone. I can become a complete package- who can act, who can sing, who can speak, who can host. So why should I settle? It is controversial but something good always comes out of it. I don’t have any particular issue with that.
Tell us about your next release?
My new web-series which just released this April is Alt Balaji’s “Who is your Daddy?” I am so grateful to Alt for giving me so many shows and such wonderful characters. I am playing the character of Mona Chibber- who is bold and outgoing… and doesn’t fear anything and nothing can bring her down. I think that’s how everyone should be.
I believe wherever you reach, people contribute to your success and you should be grateful but if you have to pat someone’s back that has to be yours. The second season was released on the 29th of April.
I debuted with a Gujarati film, and I love regional films- they are booming and they are subjective to very sensitive content and topics. My next film is a Telugu film “Commitment” and it shall be released in May. I play Dr. Rekha Gupta, who is a sexologist- who talks openly about sex and how film.she is judged and considered as an easily available woman to men. So, I think it’s a very sensitive topic and something that a lot of women can relate to, and this is the reason I chose this. Just because I look a certain way, doesn’t make me an easy-going woman. I am not playing a woman who is hard to get but really hard to get– is the message of the film.
Movies or web-series which one do you prefer?
The cause I always want to remain grounded in terms of work I do. I will only focus on the script rather than whether it is a web-series or a show or film, it’s the only criteria. I don’t have any choice on what medium I go for. God has a plan and he knows the best. I am nobody to choose.
How difficult is it for a woman to make a mark for herself?
It is a very personal notion or journey of how successful a man or woman is. TBH I am not a feminist and neither I believe that women get less preference or people are biased against them. I don’t think actresses get less preference. It depends on your own intelligence and decision making on what kind of films you do and apart from that you are really good and at par to become someone really big.
There is a reason why Shahrukh Khan is Shahrukh Khan and why Nayantara being an actress is so big in the South. I don’t think it is actually biased by gender. It is simply talent-driven and intelligence-driven. Intelligence is something that is a must in an actor.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
What inspires me is fame and the progress that I have made and the idea to become the best version of myself going forward in this journey.
Your Instagram post shows that you are a fashionista- What is Anveshi Jain’s individual style?
My individual style is body con outfits. I really feel the best and most confident when I wear a nice fitted body con outfit. I just love them.
What is your favourite pastime?
My favourite pastime is to be around my brother Pranjal. He has always been a blessing and we just love to hang out together and now he is my quarantine partner luckily. So we watch films, we fight and all of that. We play Ludo as well- that’s fun!
What is next for Anveshi Jain?
Other than acting, what interests me is preparation-preparation for singing, preparation for being a better actor- there is a lot of scope of improvement, there always is. I have started writing my first book and I am working on that and I am enjoying the process.
How are you spending your quarantine days?
TBH it is going pretty comfortably, pretty nice for me and there is nothing I can complain about because, in the evening around 10:30, I go live on my app and meet my friends there, almost on a daily basis. We started a show called “21 Days Lockdown” when the 21 days lockdown was announced initially. I am exploring, I am cooking, writing, singing and doing Riyaaz- there is a lot of time to actually work on my skills and be better, basically preparing for the next inning.
What is the message that you want to share with women through The Voice of Woman?
One message that I would want to give the women out there is to own your personality and don’t be afraid to be your real self. One thing that I have learned very very late in life is self-love. Self-love is just loving yourself which means you don’t have to worry what the world thinks about you or whether they will like you or not. When you love yourself eventually people start to love you as well.
All the very best!
Lots Of Love From Anveshi Jain