She charmed the critics with her portrayal of Shabbo in Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta's "Veer Zaara" but actor Divya Dutta was initially not sure of taking up the part.
During the panel discussion 'Redefining Stories' at the International Film Festival of India 2018 here, the actor, who recently won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for role in the film "Irada", revealed that Yash Chopra-directed film came her way after a couple of multi-starrer projects which she was not proud of. "Everyone in the industry says yes to you. Nobody says no. They are all very nice to you. I called up home and told them that I have signed 22 films... I waited like for an year and half before I started doing multi-starrer and I wasn't happy doing that. "I wasn't happy dancing around trees because I wanted to do more. Then my mother just sat me down and said 'What are you waiting for?' I told her something will come my way. She said what if it comes after 25 odd years. she said why don't you do it now. Why don't you take up those roles that are not probably your lead roles but they have so much substance, so much significance."
The actor says she felt it was "blasphemous" to play a person which is not the lead character when "Veer Zaara" came her way. "I thought it was blasphemy to take on friend's role in a Yash Chopra film. But Aditya told me 'You are never going to regret having played Shabbo'. And to date I get love for that film." Dutta said things started to change for her as viewers also recognised her talent. "What started happening was that I started getting roles that were beautiful but they were not the lead. I had to add my overlook to those roles to get attention. And what gradually started happening was that people started talking about me... Suddenly things started coming in." The actor said that cinema has changed a lot since she started acting and there is so much going on for artistes today. "When you talk about heartland film, earlier you would just think of those stereotypical films where you have one hero and one heroine... since you haven't come the cliched way you are not belonging somewhere. But now roles are written for me... There is a colour that you give to every story... so there is so much more excitement."
The actor said before the critically-acclaimed film "Train to Pakistan" came her way, she thought about quitting. "There was one time when I thought I must go back. It was before train to Pakistan. I just sat looking at the picture of Sai Baba and I was like 'What are you doing? I'm such a brilliant actor and you're not getting me an audition'. "Trust me, the next I got was 'Train to Pakistan'. I don't know if it was a coincidence or it just happened. But I was like 'if I don't get anything substantial now, I am heading back home and will study for IAS'," Dutta said. At the panel discussion, the actor was joined by actors Rahul Bose, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajshri Deshpande and filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda.