Television
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"There is so much more to a woman's personality than what is shown in serials" : Bollywood and TV actor Poonam Dhillon

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Beautiful, charming, suave and hard working are qualities that best define Poonam Dhillon. An actress who made heads turn with her debut film Noorie, when she was barely 16, she has always followed her heart. While still at the peak of her career ,she tied the knot with film producer Ashok Thakeria. Though the marriage didn't have a fairy tale ending , she believes it gave her the best role of her life - as mother to two lovely kids, son Anmol and daughter Paloma.

After a hiatus, she faced the camera again for a star-studded serial called Andaaz and then as co-host of The Chust Durusth Show, a women-oriented health show .She is presently acting in Kittie Party, a woman oriented serial which she believes is contemporary and a welcome respite , showing as it does ,women in a different light.

Dhillon is a woman of substance in the true sense. Apart from being an actress, she is computer savvy , has a website to her name (www.poonamdhillon.com), is writing a book based on human relationships and also intends to venture into TV software production .

Excerpts of the interview she gave to Indiantelevision.com's Agnes Sebastian -

 

How difficult was the transition from Bollywood to the world of television ?

Like every other journey, this one too was eventful . I started my career in movies when I was barely 16 years old. After working for 12 years, I decided to settle down to a blissful married life which lasted for 8 years. After a break, I ventured into television with serials like Andaaz, Chusth Durusth and now Kittie Party. I had a lot of learning and unlearning to do, but I managed and am still in the process of learning the nuances of acting in serials.

 

What kind of a temperamental adjustment did you have to make for the small screen?

Well, acting in soaps is definitely more difficult than acting in movies.The quantum of work is huge, especially for a daily soap . I cannot see myself acting in two to three dailies at a time . Acting in a serial involves a lot of preparation. For example, I had to get used to the timing of dialogues . I found it rather difficult in the beginning but managed later on. For soaps, we shoot eight to nine scenes a day, whereas in movies if just one scene is shot it is considered quite an achievement. Moreover, they are very particular about punctuality in the television industry and the work schedule is quite grueling.

 
What made you opt for 'Kittie Party'?

I liked the package in its totality. Siddhant Cinevision is a reputed production house and I know Shobhaa De personally. I found the characters very interesting and real. The story is such that one can relate to it . Also, the character of Manju Saxena which I am playing is the fulcrum around which the whole soap revolves, she forms the Kittie Party group. It was a role that really appealed to me.
 
Do you identify with the concept?

Ladies do have kitty parties, and the soap is about issues which are quite prevalent today. One does find ladies facing marital problems, extra - marital affairs etc . The soap is definitely closer to reality and well etched characters make it all the more believable, quite unlike other soaps currently on air.
 

"I have reached a stage where I am comfortable and work for pleasure and not for money.I take my own decisions"
 
Do you miss acting in films?

As a person, I don't believe in reliving past glory. I take each day as it comes. As for acting in films, I have received many offers but so far none have appealed to me. I am looking for a role which has substance and will suit me and my age.
 
Which other serials are you working on presently ?

I am not acting in any other serial but am in the process of producing a couple of serials. It's still too early to divulge details though. One is a soap which shows women in a completely new light. It is quite a bold topic and I am not too sure if the Indian audience is ready for it yet . I am not too sure if I'll act in it either. Also, I am very keen on doing talk shows and have begun serious work towards it. I really enjoyed the Chusth Durusth show I co-hosted on Zee TV and would like to do something on similar lines.
 
What is your opinion about the quality of soaps which are currently on air?

I don't agree with the way a woman is portrayed in the saas- bahu sagas currently on air . There is so much more to a woman's personality than what is shown . It's sad that apart from being a mother, a daughter, a daughter in law, mother in law and a sister in law, soaps fail to show a woman as a human being, an individual who can live her own life instead of constantly living for others. The soaps are too melodramatic and the characters too perfect to actually exist.
 
What do you look for in an assignment before taking it up ?

I look at the people associated with the project, the reputation of the firm and substance in the story and the character I am expected to play. I don't intend taking on any and every assignment that comes my way.
 
What are your New Year resolutions?

My new year resolution is to work towards executing some of my pending projects . First on the list is the book for which I have been collecting data. The book is based on human relationships. Though there are many books on this theme, I feel they lack an Indian perspective.



After my divorce, I realized that we still harbour stereotypical views about marriage in our country --- the man is the breadwinner and wife, the home maker who is always expected to ask him for money even if she's working. Unfortunately, in spite of living together for years, many fail to understand what their partner really wants in life. It's not the big things but the little, insignificant things that destroy a marriage.



Also, my ultimate dream is to have a production house of my own and I am going to work towards it from now on.
 
What prompted you to come up with a website of your own (www.poonamdhillon.com)?

I am tech savvy and was very keen on having a website on my name. Moreover, I felt that it was a wonderful medium to interact with my fans. In spite of my hectic schedule, I make it a point to answer their queries. It also enables me to collect valuable data for my book .
 
How do you juggle between work and home ?

I am a family person and therefore my first priority is to spend quality time with my kids. I do not work more than ten to twelve days a month. The Kittie Party schedule is such that it keeps me busy from morning 8:30 am to about 10:30 pm . It is quite grueling.
 
How have you managed to maintain your good looks?

I feel that I am very lucky because I really have never paid any extra attention to my looks. I don't go to the gym, neither do I do any dieting . I suppose the secret to good health is a contented heart. I make it a point to pray to God every day .

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