The acting profession is literally equivalent to gambling: Somy Ali

This is not an industry for people who aren't thick-skinned, because no matter who you are, be it Amitji or Alia, they all had to start at the bottom and prove their self-worth.

May 13, 2024 - 15:05
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The acting profession is literally equivalent to gambling: Somy Ali
The acting profession is literally equivalent to gambling: Somy Ali

Former Bollywood actress and founder of No More Tears, an NGO that assists victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, Somy Ali, says acting is a difficult profession. She compared it to gambling and says an actor never knows if the movie will be a hit or a fail and whether they are going to hit a jackpot or not. Sharing her thoughts on the common perception that actors earn a lot, she feels that it’s all their hard work, and if not all, then definitely of a few, and is totally justified.
 
“I will say this with certainty: acting is an extremely difficult craft and profession. There are multiple challenges, from being a one-hit wonder to one's career taking a complete 180-degree turn in a matter of a weekend when his or her film is deemed a flop or a hit. While I did not go to India to pursue acting and fell into it accidentally, I have as much insight about the industry as the next successful actor would. I have been terribly close to witnessing and experiencing the good and bad aspects of being an actor. And, yes, I do believe that many hard-working, successful actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan, and the late Sushant Singh, all deserve a hefty, yet completely justified salary. This includes Tabu, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, and many female and male character actors too, because they truly know their artsmanship,” she said.
 
“While the newer lot are phenomenal too, like Alia Bhatt, Taapsee Pannu, and Deepika Padukone, the acting profession is literally equivalent to gambling because one never knows what hand they are being dealt or if they will even ever hit the jackpot. On top of all of those elements, there is the greatest factor of mockery: sucking up to the bigwigs, being used, and yet facing rejection. This is not an industry for people who aren't thick-skinned, because no matter who you are, be it Amitji or Alia, they all had to start at the bottom and prove their self-worth. Additionally, add on the biggest ingredient to it all being something as vague as one being lucky, and trust me, I have seen very successful talentless actors solely surviving on luck even today,” she added.
 
She feels that for actors too, it depends on which family they are coming from. While for some it’s difficult to earn their next meal until they become popular, for others they manage to continue living a lavish lifestyle because of their family money. “I think people who do their research are well aware if an actor started with money, as in one coming from a wealthy household or one trying desperately to earn enough to afford their next meal as they go from one audition to another. Actors like Kangana Ranaut have been very vocal about having to face the misfortunes of coming up in the industry the hard way and becoming one of the most successful actors we have to date,” she said.
 
“It's no secret that while I didn't move to India from the U.S. to become an actor, I did reside in the Searock Hotel, which was located in Bandra for my initial two years, to the extent where people made a mockery out of me that here's an aspiring actor struggling as she lives in a five-star hotel. Which is why I always say that the film industry, be it anywhere, is a very nasty and cruel place to be, just like the real world, and I have heard and seen many reject the entire world simply because they bore the harshness of what truly occurs once one is knee deep in it. It doesn't matter whether you come from money or not, because you will be picked on either way. It's kind of like being in high school all over again, with some staying back and repeating the same grade while others move rapidly with flying colors. As for people assuming that you are  loaded, this is complete farce because nowadays everyone knows more than they should about a common man or an actor thanks to technology and their social media,” she added.