New Delhi: Popular television actress Rupali Ganguly, who is famous for playing Anupamaa in the daily soap of the same name recently opened up on her struggle days. She recalled the times when her family went through a crisis and she had to start acting at a young age of 12.
In Rupali’s interview with Humans Of Bombay, she recalled how her father and late filmmaker Anil Ganguly had faced tough times. “Once, an actress backed out of Papa’s film, and he put me in it. Just like that, at 12, the acting bug bit me. But soon, Papa had 2 flops. Our tough time began, and my dream took a backseat. I did everything-worked in a boutique, catered, even waited tables. I was once a waiter at a party where Papa was a guest! I worked in ads, too that’s how I met my husband, Ashwin. He suggested that I try TV, and I thought, ‘Why not’,” she wrote in her post.
Her entire post reads: “Papa was a national award-winning director, & my biggest hero. When his films came out, people admired stars like Rajesh Khanna, but I’d say, ‘Papa is the real star!’ After school, I’d visit his sets. Watching him direct each frame meticulously… I was fascinated.
Iss bich, heroine kaise ban gayi, pata hi nahi chala! Once, an actress backed out of Papa’s film, & he put me in it. Just like that, at 12, the acting bug bit me!
But soon, Papa had 2 flops. Our tough time began, & my dream took a backseat. I did everything—worked in a boutique, catered, even waited tables. I was once a waiter at a party where Papa was a guest! I worked in ads, too–that’s how I met my husband, Ashwin. He suggested that I try TV, & I thought, ‘Why not!’
Soon after, I got the titular character in Sukanya–in my head, I had arrived! But I held Papa’s feedback in high regard. Once, I proudly showed him a scene, & he said, ‘Khud rona nahi hai–audience ko rulana hai!’ He helped me better my craft.
4 years later, Sarabhai happened. And none of us knew it’d be a hit, we were just having fun! Even now, Satish Kaka calls to check-up on me, & Ratna Ben brings presents for my son after every trip. We became a family on that show.
The next few years, at the peak of my career, I shocked people by taking a break. But I didn’t regret it. I was once told, ‘You’ll never conceive,’ so watching my son take his first steps was a blessing. Next 6 years were all about family.
During this time, devastatingly, I lost Papa. I was still grieving when I got offered Anupamaa. Ashwin encouraged me, ‘It’s high time you got your due as an actor. You go out there–I’ll take care of everything else.’ But I was hesitant.
So, I went to my producer, Rajan Shahi, who I trusted a lot, & said, ‘Give me time to get in shape.’ But he told me, ‘I want a mother, not a heroine!’ His conviction made the show what it is. Being on the sets of Anupamaa made me feel close to Papa! It was the kind of story that he would’ve written, with a strong female lead.
And the love I’ve received, from all ages, all corners… It’s so overwhelming. Everyday, I do my best to be worthy of it. I hope Papa is looking down at me with a smile!”
Rupali has now seen stupendous success with her daily soap Anupamaa and has reportedly beaten her contemporaries to become the highest-paid TV actress.
Rupali made her acting debut at the early age of 7 for the film 1985 film Saaheb, followed by her father’s venture, Balidan. She entered into the TV world with Sukanya in 2000 and has also appeared in Sanjivani and Bhabhi.
Later, she was seen in Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii among others. In 2006, she participated in the reality show, Bigg Boss season 1.
She also participated in Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 2. Rupali gave a voice-over in the animation film, Dashavatar back in 2008.