Anisha Victor: Working in a different country gives great exposure, not just as an actor but also as a human being

You started out as a marketing and sales trainee before shifting gears to acting. What made you change your profession?
I always wanted to be an actor. I actually took up that job to be able to pay for my acting lessons and survive in the city!

Your father is a Colonel in the Indian Army. Does that make you a very disciplined person? If yes, does your discipline bother filmi people (many of whom are not known for being sticklers for time)?
Yes, discipline has been a very big part of growing up in an army family and my convent school education too helped. Though I am not as disciplined as I used to be as a kid but I try to keep up.

Did you train to become an actress?
Yes, I was a very shy kid so the first step for me was to get past my inhibitions. I moved to Bombay and took acting lessons from Barry John and Neeraj Kabi.

You made a stellar impression on Bollywood audiences when you played the vivacious possessed girl in Viacom Motion Pictures horror film The House Next Door. The film emerged a hit and you even garnered critical acclaim. What was the best feedback you got for playing the character?
Many people mentioned they were actually scared, which means I did my job well. Ha ha. The creative head of Viacom Priya Aven was on set while I was shooting for one of the possessed scenes. She told me the next day that she couldn’t sleep and was up in her hotel room all night. Rahul Guha from Mid-Day too praised me in his review, which was very exciting.

You have done two seasons of the popular Zee 5 series REJCTX. How has your overall experience been?
It’s a great experience. We’ve shot in Bangkok and were there two months each in the last two years. Living and working in a different country gives you great exposure, not just as an actor but also as a human being. It’s a humbling experience. The crew headed by Goldie Behl is very supportive and makes things very easy for us.

Is playing the lead role of Kiara difficult, or does it come naturally to you? Is the character near to your own personality?
It isn’t too difficult to get into Kiara’s shoes. But its a little challenging. Thing is, I always felt like a matured person from the inside, even when I was a kid… so portraying someone who is young and spunky and in high school takes some work. Gee ;-)

How is it working with the talented Goldie Behl directing REJCTX?
It’s a blast working with Goldie Behl. He’s so young-at-heart and keeps things light on the set. I think it really helps the cast and crew to stay calm and focus better.

We hear that you are also fond of travelling. Tell us about your love for nature.
Being an army kid has its own pros, travelling being one of them. I’ve grown up in places like Gangtok, Siliguri, Dehradun, Jammu, Jodhpur, Delhi etc which are so beautiful. We always looked forward to the next posting and to starting a new journey every couple of years. Even though my dad is now retired and I live in Bombay, I just can’t stay put. I have to leave the city much too often to maintain my balance. I love the beach, I love the mountains, I love the desert and I just want to keep exploring. Though I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to underwater exploration, but I’ll dive in soon. Ha ha.

We read that you spotted dolphins on your birthday while on a trip to Goa. Did you know that such spotting is considered to be very lucky? Did you feel privileged?
I had no idea it’s supposed to be lucky! But I’m not complaining!! And yeah, I mean people take boats and all to go watch dolphins away in the sea. And there we were, waiting on a rock at the beach and I could see a silhouette flipping in and out of water very close to the coast. When we looked closer we couldn’t believe we were so close to them! It was magical.

In a short span you have proved to the world that you are not just a pretty face, but a very versatile actress. We feel that makes you one of the most underrated actresses in Bollywood. Comment.
Ha ha, only if Bollywood would recognise that more often. Inspite of my films, plus all the ads and web-series episodes I’ve done, I feel like I still haven’t even crossed the threshold of Bollywood. In my head, I’m still a newbie. Maybe that will change as I see more of myself on the big screen!

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