Vani Bhojan interview: I would love to do Gangubai in Tamil

Ahead of the premiere of Tamilrockerz on SonyLiv on August 19, Vani Bhojan discusses her role in the series, script choices, social media presence, and more
Vani Bhojan
Vani Bhojan

For an outsider like Vani Bhojan, who made her transition to the silver screen from television, it is the confidence of filmmakers that drives her. In fact, she was the only choice filmmaker Arivazhagan had for the role of the forensic department head in Sony LIV's upcoming web series, Tamilrockerz. Beaming with pride, Vani says, "My confidence is my biggest strength. I make a conscious effort to stand out with every project, and the same continues in Tamilrockerz too."

The Arivazhagan directorial, fronted by Arun Vijay, revolves around the perennial problem of online piracy. "Many years ago, when films were being freely telecast on local cable TV channels, we didn't realise that those were pirated versions. We understood that it was wrong and illegal only many years later. I hope this series spreads more awareness about this crime."

When theatres were shut down and releases got delayed during the pandemic, Vani soldiered on by being part of back-to-back OTT projects. She is quick to clarify that the projects were not signed simply to keep her career afloat. "I believe in my performance, not the screentime. If my role is exciting, and I am confident of executing it, I take it up," says Vani. Is there a recent film she feels she would have fit perfectly into? "Gangubai Kathiawadi... I would love to do a Tamil version of it."

For actors, who don't have the guiding hand of a godfather, it isn't easy to keep landing projects. While Vani might be remembered from the runaway success of Oh My Kadavule, she points out that it was the culmination of a 12-year effort that began with roles in TV serials. The stardom didn't come easy, and it wasn’t easy to reject projects she didn’t believe in. "In the initial days, I had the urge to say yes to everything. Now, I am not afraid to say a stern no. Of course, I’m losing out on money, but for me, the performance takes centrestage," Vani says.

Keeping up with the modern trend of being multifaceted, she is not just an actor but also a social media influencer who enjoys the love showered by over 2.3 million followers on Instagram. "I am not really active on social media, and it takes reminders for me to post pictures. However, I am socially responsible, and I back only the right campaigns. Even if I am paid a lot, I don't endorse brands I don't believe in."

Vani, like Sivakarthikeyan and Priya Bhavani Shankar, is among the trailblazers who have made it big from TV. Looking back, she affirms that her biggest learning was nurturing a love for the craft and fighting for her rightful space. "Actors like Lady Superstar Nayanthara are an inspiration. They have created the space for us, and now, with age not being a limiting factor anymore, many artists in their 30s are running the show. Only the love for the craft matters."

The other kind of love that makes Vani feel less like an outsider is the overwhelming affection from people inside and outside the industry. "I feel happy that I receive so much love from known and unknown people. Ritika Singh, Ramya Pandian, Madhuri, and several others are my support system within the industry. We reach out to each other when we have doubts regarding our careers, or even otherwise," she adds.

While it is always a joy to be surrounded by love and light, the passing clouds of gloom are inevitable. "There are times when these low-points affect my work. I even feel the impulse to give it all up. But just like gloom, this doesn't linger. I remind myself that sadness doesn’t define me. I am my own therapist, in fact. I look inwards and overcome everything with my biggest strength... my confidence.”

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